Once there was a father called Andersen, the Carpenter and he had a lot of children, like fathers usually do. One Christmas Eve, he slipped out of the house while his wife and his children cracked nuts and played games.
He was on his way down to the woodshed, where he had a Santa Claus suit and a sled with a huge sack of Christmas presents. Andersen put the costume on and pulled the sled, with all the presents out into the yard.
But it was so icy that Christmas Eve that Andersen slipped and fell, right on top of his sled - and the presents and away they went - down the driveway towards the main road. Close to the main road, another man with a Santa suit and sled was coming.
"Watch out!", yelled Andersen, and tried to steer out of the way. But he couldn't see very well with his mask on, so they collided and fell off the side of the road, both of them.
"Oh, excuse me!", said Carpenter Andersen.
"Excuse me", said the other man.
"Looks like we are running the same errand" said Andersen, the carpenter. "I see you've got your Santa suit on, too" he said joyously. He put his hand forward and introduced himself: "I am Andersen, the carpenter."
"Santa Claus, here" replied the other, and shook hands.
"Huh, anything you say. Well, I guess you can allow a joke or two on Christmas Eve, " Andersen said laughing.
"Absolutely," said the other. "And if you agree I'll go and give your children their Christmas presents, and you can visit mine. But you'll have to take off that silly Santa suit."
"How should I dress up then?" asked Andersen.
"There's no need for disguises, my children see Santa all year long, but they've never seen a real carpenter. Every Christmas I say to them, 'If you behave, then Andersen, the carpenter, will come on Christmas Eve while I'm out giving presents to all the children'. But this is the first time I've run into you. Why don't trade jobs tonight? Then my children won't have to be alone on Christmas Eve."
"Sure," said Andersen, but I don't have any presents for your children."
"Presents?" asked Santa. "Aren't you a carpenter?"
"Well, yes," said Andersen.
"Just bring some wood and some nails. And maybe you have a knife?"
Of course, Andersen had a knife and he found some small pieces of wood in the woodshed.
"Now, you can follow my tracks into the woods," said Santa, "and I'll take the sled and the sack and knock on your door. You live on the second floor, don't you?" "That's right," replied Andersen.
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