Once upon a time in a land far away, a tiny baby boy was born in an animal stall. From such a humble beginning came our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
The imagery in the carol Away in a Manger resonates with people of all ages. Children especially identify with a little baby, too poor to have a crib to sleep in. They feel the thrill and silent energy of a starlit night and are comforted to know that the little Lord Jesus now watches over them in blessing.
When Angela and I began working on the two romantic stories that would become Snowflake Tiara, we knew children would play a central part. We quickly discovered that Away in a Manger had first been published in 1884 and was so loved that the lyrics quickly spread. It seemed reasonable that people in Montana in 1889 (the year of Angela’s story, The Debutante Queen) may well have heard of it. Angie wove this carol into the story of how Calista hid a 6-year-old girl, an indentured servant to a brothel, and taught her the story of baby Jesus.
In More Than a Tiara, my character Marisa comes across the sheet music her triple-great-grandmother Calista had used in the 1889 Miss Snowflake Pageant. Marisa, too, is challenged to do her part in blessing all the dear children in Jesus’ tender care.
One reviewer says, “This fun, 2-in-1 novel will have you craving Christmas no matter what time of year you read it. Between the delightful imagery of snow-covered Helena, Montana, bedecked in holiday finery, to the delectable smell of gingerbread, hot cocoa, and fresh Christmas trees, Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer do an amazing job of transporting you into their story world.”
Today I pray you will take time to absorb the peace and tranquility of a crisp starlit night. I pray you have your family gathered around you. I pray that, together, you are celebrating Jesus, who grew up and made a way “to take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.”
And that, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.