At the core of the sentiments of the Christmas Season are stories. The original account of the babe in the manger may have started that because it contained all the elements that run through every Christmas story that has followed it.
The compassion of an innkeeper with no rooms for tired travelers and only a humble stable to offer. A child imbued with all our hopes of the future. Magical occurrences. Ordinary people touched by something special. The spirit of giving, of sharing, of kindness.
Every Christian culture has a special story only told at Christmas. A good king helping a poor man in the snow. A wealthy miser reminded of the redemption in caring for others. A kid who only wants a BB gun.
And then there's Rudolph and Frosty and Honky the Christmas Goose...
The magic that is Christmas almost always comes from characters you'd last expect to embody it, and yet, in doing so, remind each of us that we can be part of the magic too.
One of the oddest Christmas tales can be found in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's 1995 Independent film "Smoke", which follows the interwoven lives of the customers and staff of a small New York tobacco store.
It's a charming little film about the smallest things and how they can alter our lives or the way we see the world forever.
Connected to all of these stories in one way or another is the smoke shop's owner, Augie Wren, played by Harvey Keitel.
As Christmas approaches, one of his customers, a writer, is in desperate need of a Christmas story and Augie commiserates and ultimately shares his own.
It's unexpected -- and special. May it's message touch you this season.
Enjoy Your Sunday.