For quite a few years, I wrote a Christmas story as the Season approached and sent copies to family and friends. Once the number of stories had grown, I collected the ones I thought were particularly effective and published them in a volume called Born in the Darkest Time of Year: Stories for the Season of the Christ Child.” The Christmas season is offered as a time of hope in the midst of darkness. The hope is fragile, or at least seems so to human eyes. After all, God the Word had been born as a baby needing care from others to survive. Today, Christmas seems to be threatened at times even as Herod threatened the Christ Child. So it is that many of my stories deal with threats to Christmas through human folly, weakness, commercialism, or just plain malice. I know it is early for Christmas but some people will be thinking ahead already to their Christmas shopping. I invite you to read the opening story that I have just posted: Silent Night: How John Beaconsfield Saved Christmas.” John is a devoted chorister traumatized when all Christmas music mysteriously disappears just a few days before Christmas day.