When my parents and I started living fairly far away, we still had a desire for closeness, particularly around the holidays. We started a tradition where my mother would write a story and email it to me, I would create illustrations for it then send the finished pages back over to them, then my father would help bind and ship the story. Usually with sparkly yarn and a fancy cover. They would go out to all the friends and relatives as their Christmas present.
There were so many advantages to this. The extended family would start calling each other and discussing the story. I got plenty of chance to illustrate things. We all three had the feeling of continuing a holiday tradition that drew us together.
Now, for this year, my dad is the one who wrote the story. I had the idea to publish the last twelve or so stories into one big volume. I also would re-illustrate the stories that needed it. So “Yuletide Lights” was born. It’s fifteen stories, each one born of personal experience, and filled with the central themes of the holiday season. They stories are in general heartwarming and filled with generosity but in some truly touching ways. Each story is a slice of life, a pair of magic glasses with which you can peep into another life, another way. The story I wrote is about a lost cat in Japan, but even it happens around the Holidays. The little girl in the book my dad wrote might as well have been me, and I remember versions of many of events in these and other stories. Many times I’ve been moved to tears, working on this project.
I had fun preparing, editing and illustrating these stories, as much fun as I hope you have reading them.