Are you familiar with the story of the Shoemarker and the Elves?
If not, the story of The Shoemaker and the Elves begins with an honest, hardworking shoemaker who, at no fault of his own, was poor. He only had enough money for leather to make one pair of shoes. After preparing the leather to create the pair of shoes, he went to bed, with plans to wake up early and complete his craft. Surprisingly, the next morning when he woke up, the shoes were already ready, stitched to perfection. The Shoemaker was able to quickly sell that pair with profit, and was able to buy more leather for two more pairs of shoes.
That night, he prepared the leather to be made into shoes, and went to bed. Once more, he awoke with two complete pairs of shoes that were stitched to perfection. Again, the Shoemaker was able to sell the shoes with profit, and he purchased enough leather to make more pairs.
The Shoemaker and his wife decided to stay awake and spy on who was making these perfect shoes. At midnight, two naked elves entered the Shoemaker’s home/work station, and quickly made with perfection the shoes for the shoemaker.
To thank the elves for all their hard work and for helping the Shoemaker’s business, the Shoemaker’s wife made the elves a shirt, jacket and pants, and the Shoemaker made them a small pair of shoes.
That night, instead of laying out leather for the elves to work with, the Shoemaker and his wife laid out their gifts and hid to spy once more. The elves came right at midnight to see, instead of leather to make shoes, their gifts laid out for them. With delight, they dressed themselves, and ran off, never to return again.
The Shoemaker and his wife continued to live happily ever after.
This holiday season, give the gift of kindness…AND maybe a pair of 80%20 shoes too.
Fun fact: The story of the Shoemaker and the Elves was the inspiration to Harry Potter’s Dobby. He was freed from being a servant when Harry Potter graciously gave him a sock.