"The song of Christmas" is not louder. It is swallowed up quickly in the cry of anger or the clack of greed. No, the song is not louder, but it persists. It comes, as it had come to me beside my dying father's bed, a melody of the most stubborn sweetness, for which we are never prepared. And we turn away from it again and again and again.'But oh, my child,' I said to the empty night, 'even though the song is not louder, it is stronger. And someday it will find you out there alone in the darkness.' "A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season" is a collection of modern-day short stories by Katherine Paterson, award-winning author of "Bridge to Terabithia" and "The Great Gilly Hopkins"; both loved by children and adults for over twenty years. This compilation includes stories of real-life people such as a shopping mall's night watchman, a lonely widower, a pregnant teenage runaway, a political prisoner in China, a grieving mother, and a privileged American, who have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas because of loss, pain, greed, or circumstances. Through unexpected and uplifting ways, each is reminded of the first Christmas story and the vision of hope and peace it offers the world. They realize that even in the darkness, the light and song of Christmas can be seen and heard. This heart-warming gift book, filled with stories of realistic people finding hope, courage, and faith amidst life's circumstances, radiates the spirit of the season and reminds each of us what Christmas truly means. Originally written to be read during her church's Christmas Eve service, this collection of holiday stories is perfect for individuals, families, and churches to read and share during the season.