In Italy, the fairy Befana brings gifts to children under the Christmas tree. In this fairy tale, she is only a little bit of a sorceress - she flies on a broomstick, but otherwise she is an ordinary rather strict old woman. Befana is the owner of a toy store, which she sells and does not give to children. The thing works like this: the children write Befana a letter wishing for a gift, the parents pay, and the fairy delivers it on the holiday night. Or it doesn't deliver. This does not depend on the child’s behavior - it’s just that if the parents do not have money to pay, then the fairy will not work at a loss. But there are many poor families in Italy, and every year there is a whole host of children left without a gift.
And so the toys - the inhabitants of the store - decided to slightly smooth out the injustice of human life. Actually, they all wanted to get to the boy Francesco, who every day passed by the window and looked at them with sad eyes, but it turned out differently. Even better. On Christmas Eve, the toys escape from the store on the luxurious Blue Arrow train, travel all night through the city, maneuver on the roadway, cross puddles, get stuck in the snow and hide from the fairy, who noticed the loss and immediately set off in pursuit. The train makes many stops along the way: the toys decide that it is not necessary for them all to come to Francesco in a herd; it would be better for each of them to please one child. Girls get dolls, an adventure lover will find a ship with a captain on board in his washbasin in the morning, an airplane is already rushing towards the son of a political prisoner in the night sky, and a box of pencils will make a young artist truly happy. Plush toys, puppets, cowboys and Indians, even a clockwork canary will find owners, and children will not have to shed bitter tears in the morning.
Magic and nothing more! However, these fabulous events are closely intertwined with socialist realism: on this New Year's trip we will meet poor people; children forced to work instead of study to help their families; Let's listen to the history of the bronze monument to the patriot; we will meet with that same prisoner of conscience who, on a festive night, cannot hug his little son because he is behind bars; and even - oh, this is the most terrible moment, prepare for it before you start reading a book to your child! - we will see how the girl froze to death in the entrance.
But this is a wonderful, wonderful fairy tale. It's not about socialism, of course, I'm joking. The political background is noticeable only to an adult reader, but for children this is a story about kindness, empathy and love for one's neighbor. Well, about the most magical night of the year, when toys come to life!