Well, it could have happened this way. When the demand for his carved toys outstrips both his ability to make them (even with the enthusiastic if inexpert help of elves) and his storage space, old Claus the forester packs up and moves north, building a big house, enlisting the aid of local reindeer to get the gifts delivered, and even, with the help of his wife, Eva, inventing the Christmas tree. Paxton's is a leisurely tale, using plain language and formal-sounding dialogue. Dooling's oils are rougher, less polished than usual, though still rich in realistic detail: Claus is a kindly figure in red flannels and the elves are really laughing children wearing green hose and curly-toed slippers. The story's matter-of-fact telling and the way characters appear to make eye contact with readers give this a subtle, comfortably tongue-in-cheek tone.