A warm and appealing little Christmas story, with the added value of its being about foreign born living in America- a Finnish-American family at Cape Ann, Massachusetts. The eldest of Erkki's nine brothers and sisters works on a stone barge, and the family learn that he wont be home for Christmas, and may in fact be missing. So Erkki is determined to take his place and make sure each of the younger children have gifts. How he uses simple tools and available materials, how he brightens a sad Christmas without recourse to ""store-boughten"" toys makes a satisfactory story. The close ties of family, the love and fun in simple things in a real home, and the happy ending as the brother turns up, makes this more than just a good Christmas gift item.