With Gladness: A Christmas Story Collection
Author: Sarah Kay Bierle
124 pages; historical fiction short stories; ages 10 + or family read-aloud
Original Cover Photograph: A Williamsburg Christmas Wreath by Cindy McCord, 2006. Used with permission.
Details About The Stories
Christmas comes every year in every era, reminding us to hope, trust, and have faith.
This collection of 10 historical fiction stories features moments from America’s holiday past, reflecting inspirational ideas and traditional values. Characters search for Christmas meaning or seek to reconcile their struggles with a message of joy and peace.
Each short story presents Christmas in a certain historical era and introduces new characters facing unique challenges. The historical settings include Colonial Era, American War For Independence, Trail of Tears, California Rancho, Civil War, Gilded Age, Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam Conflict, and the Modern Era.
Excerpt from Stars In The Window (World War II Story)
Sally wanted to snap off the radio with its cheery holiday songs. Something was wrong. She was certain. The rest of the family did not seem to feel the same way, though. Mom rolled the cookie dough with her usual calm precision. Pops whistled as he headed out to the barn. Fourteen-year-old Helen still neglected her chores to peacock in front of the mirror while ten-year-old Jerry enthusiastically read the battle accounts in the newspaper.
There hadn’t been a letter for weeks. There was fighting in Europe. Sally had thought winter’s snow would end the battles for a few weeks, but according to the news reports, the Germans had launched a counterattack which had pushed the Allied forces back.
The eighteen-year-old girl paused while putting away the dishes to run her hand over the map and push-pins Pops and Jerry used to mark the positions of the armies and to remind them to pray for victory. Her fingers lingered over the thin defensive positions in France. Somewhere along those stretching lines, Don and Jim were crouching low, battling for others’ freedom. She hoped…
A sharp knock on the kitchen door startled her. “Can you get that, Sally?” Mom asked, as she slid a tray of gingerbread cookies into the oven… (Read the rest of the story in your own copy of With Gladness)
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