Within the many shops of Santa Barbara, I happened upon this artsy little book, The Story of Christmas. Being as pretty as it is, it isn't just for the shelf: it can be part of Christmas decorating each year. The text is from the King James Bible, and Pamela Dalton did the illustrations using a cut paper method. Everything, as you can see, uses a black backdrop, with colorful images of the people, angels, animals, and scenery placed on top.
Simply as a piece of art, this book is gorgeous. It's simple and intricate at the same time; I think the black background helps with that. The images look almost illuminated, reminding me of Medieval illuminated manuscripts. That look, I think, speaks of tradition; this is, after all, a traditional folk method of imagery (the paper cutting, I mean).
Paired with the text, this book is something to bring out every year. Read it over on Christmas Eve, or set it out on display with your Christmas cards. Three and a half days until Christmas.