I don’t know about you, but for me the holidays are times for stories. Around tables. By trees sparkling. In pages and on airwaves. Stories spin through this space like light.

from The Glorious Impossible by Madeline L'Engle, Images by Giotto

We probably all have our favorites – It’s a Wonderful Life, “The Night Before Christmas”, or mine, White Christmas. Stories of lamps that don’t burn out and angels singing Good News to shepherds. In many ways, these are the times of tradition and familiarity. Times where the old becomes tingly with newness.

For me, the big story at this time of year is always about Grace – the way it shows up in the tiniest of ways – a baby’s hand grasping straw in a manger. The way a dream can bring promise and clarity. The way a Christmas letter with just two lines of handwriting can remind me of love and life 10 years ago.

Each year, my mom always bought a Christmas picture book – one full of gorgeous illustrations and endearing stories. No kitsch – just humor or sincerity or those ache in your soul stories that make us all teary even if we hide it. This year, I plan to read one of those picture books each day – to remember Mom and to remind myself that is ultimately all story – all part of that one Story that tells us, over and over, that we are loved with Grace beyond measure.

What is your favorite holiday story? Is it one you’ve read or seen or heard? Or is one you tell yourself in these times of sparkling lights and snowy dreams? Please do share.