Let's begin with a quotation from one of my favorite spiritual teachers, the Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh: "Jesus is born every time the Holy Spirit in you is touched." Christmas is just the right time and the right season for this marvel to happen. All you have to do is to be open and hospitable. Remember that the Holy Spirit is always there, free as the wind.

In three fresh stories, Edward Hays plumbs the mystery and the magnificence of Christmas. The author helps us to discern the wonders of grace ("Little Orphan Angela"), the beauty of love ("Mikel, Son of the Magi"), and the joy of bringing light into the world ("The Carol of the Candles"). Each of these tales, perfect for family reading together, is brought to vibrant life in full-color paintings by the inimitable and multi-talented Hays.

As Christians we are called to find ever-new ways of imagining the subtle and sneaky meanings of the Christmas story. After stepping inside these stories, you'll never again take for granted the jingling of bells, the face of the Holy Child, or church candles.