In the original game, the Santa Trader showed up again this year, making his third set of appearances. Shortly thereafterwards, another Mysterious Vessel appeared in Tiny Empires 3000, with its own version of holiday cheer. Here is the record of my encounter with it:
Assuming it follows true to form, this evening and tomorrow should see another appearance or two. Tell your chef to have plenty of milk and cookies ready!
On a game performance note, the huds were running very slowly when both of the gift bringers were in. Both times (games) had gifts being given to everyone at once (all kingdoms, all guilds). It would seem that the great servers that were set up last year aren't quite enough to handle that much traffic! Things just keep getting bigger and bigger out there.
But regardless, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the coming millenia bring much profitable trading, and even more important, many good and true friendships!