It was Christmas Eve, and everyone had gathered once again in Old Possum’s living room for a beloved holiday tradition.
Being the youngest, Baby Hoppy was given the honor of playing the part of Squire Frog and handing out all the gifts that had piled up under the tree. A chorus of oooohs and ahhhhs rang out as, surprisingly (or not surprisingly, as it was, in fact, part of the tradition), they each unwrapped a book. There were picture books, illustrated chapter books, lyrical novels, mysteries, ghost stories and fairy tales, histories real and imagined, and delicious-looking cookbooks; new favorites, all.
Once everyone had a book, the adults found spots on Possum’s ancient sofa and comfy rocking chairs, while the children snuggled together on the floor in front of the fireplace. Rabbit and Raccoon had disappeared into the kitchen and soon emerged with pots of rich, dark drinking chocolate and a tall stack of delicate tea cups. After they were all settled, near-silence descended for the rest of the evening, the only sounds being the turning of pages, the occasional sipping of hot chocolate, the crackling fire, and the wind howling around the chimney.