ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS is a collection of short stories, all with Christmas settings, plots, and sentimentality. The author writes of his own boyhood Christmases, eighty-some years ago, and the Christmases of characters drawn from his imagination. He prepares us for each story with a commentary about the background for it. The stories are intended to activate our memories, provoke thought and elicit a smile, a frown, a laugh, or a tear. To paraphrase Francis Bacon [1561 – 1626], they are to be tasted, perhaps chewed; some are to be swallowed and digested. All are to be enjoyed and read in the spirit of Christmas.