This single-author holiday anthology fairly drips with sugary nostalgia for a storybook version of an English Christmas. A novella, set in the late 1940s, portrays the young daughter of a poor seamstress trying to keep Christmas while her mother lies ill with pneumonia (the local gentry save the day with a hamper of Christmas treats); another reminisces about an Edwardian Christmas at an Anglican parsonage where, after hollyladen festivities, the young daughter pays pastoral calls with Papa, bearing a hamper of Christmas goodies. One short story describes a boy's breathless sledding on a longed-for white Christmas; another is about a lonely old widower who finds an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve and takes it to a hospital, where it is laid lovingly in the annual crÃ¨che scene. A final, tedious poem listens to a litany of animals echoing a message on midnight Christmas Eve, summoning all to a wondrous stable scene. Long on misty-eyed description, short on plot and character development, Hill's (King of Kings, 1993, etc.) treacly tales are illustrated with unappealing dark woodcuts, many of them too small.