'You know all about the first Christmas," said her father. 'You just saw the pageant. Mary and Joseph and the angel. The trek to Bethlehem. No room at the inn. Baby Jesus born in a stable.'
'Not His first Christmas. My first Christmas."
A December when the grownups left a lot to be desired. But oh- the children desired so much.
-From What Child Is This?- A Christmas Story
Eight-year old foster child Katie wants nothing for Christmas but a family of her own. Not a temporary family, but a forever family. When she is given the chance to write her Christmas wish on a paper bell, and hang on a Christmas tree to be granted, she tells the social worker to write 'Katie wants a family.'
'Christmas isn't about big things,' the social worker tells her. But Katie knows that it's a lie.
There are no angels singing down from the heavens this Christmas.
But there is Matt, who hangs the bell with her wish on the tree. There's Liz, whose family decorates every inch of their house, yet still miss out on the real reason for Christmas. There are Tack Knight and his father, who run a restaurant- and by the front counter they place a small tree, almost too small for all the Christmas wishes that weigh down its boughs.
The snow is as deep as Christmas carols, and the air is scented with miracles. Could a little girl's impossible wish be granted this season?
What Child is This? is one of those books to read a few times every Christmas. It's the sort of story that needs to be repeated, because the truth between its pages can be all too often overlooked in the decorating and bustle. Even on the thirtieth reading, it doesn't wear thin, or lose its freshness. It's too miraculous a story for that.