It’s Christmas of 1943, and some mysterious developments have the locals scratching their heads: smoke from the mountain, the disappearance of potatoes, a break-in at the Godsey’s. It seems to be the work of a young man named Paul, who becomes a special friend to Jeffrey. John and the rest of the Waltons want to meet the new friend, but he disappears any time others come near him. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he is invited inside the house and explains that he is an escaped German prisoner of war from North Carolina, although an American by birth. John feels the sprit has imparted on to young Jeffrey is more important, and so he allows him to stay.
Plot wise – paper thin; all the sneaking around is essentially just a who-is-it mystery (which the Waltons have done before) leading up to the revelation of this guy’s identity. But the story he tells, about St. Nicholas, the depth of his message, and the idea that the “enemy” has a human face, propels this into that trademark Waltons-style warmth. And there’s a new dog for Jeffrey in it too!