Happenstance is a delightful fairy tale about fortune and misfortune. The story begins with the sibling birth of twins, one of which is St. Nicholas, a.k.a. Santa Claus. The story answers questions on why St. Nicholas decided to give gifts rather than receive them on his birthday, how reindeer's learned to fly, and why Santa Claus lives in the North Pole. Through twist and turns of life, these twin siblings get separated at birth. Fortune rested on St. Nicholas. Raised by a loving father, he learns the value of giving rather than receiving. His father, a master carpenter, teaches St. Nicholas the contagious power of a smile, how to fix broken things, benefits of bartering, and helped him perfect his renowned toy making ability. St. Nicholas learns hard work brings a profit, and loving others more than yourself makes for a meaningful life. Misfortune followed his twin brother, Amaris. Raised by a self sh mean spirited witch, he learns to fend for himself. Lacking parental skills, the witch does not know how to get close to her son. Instead, she teaches him about casting spells and the benefits of thievery. these traits caused Amaris to become selfish and driven to serve only himself. The story shows the reader both good and evil exists in the world. It shares a life lesson on how life's unforeseen events can bring forth goodness or destruction. The story reaffirms a parent's role in helping children overcome struggle. Taking time to teach, love, share, and hug our children in the formative years pays dividends. Each of us has a role in this world, and we are all capable of fostering the power of love and forgiveness. The decision to foster good or evil is within our control. It just depends how, who and what we want to become.

--Arlene Belmont

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