I hope, dear reader, that you, along with our protagonist, will find the spirit in this short story of the season with hardly a spirit in sight.

I. Introduction

Stephanie was in a foul mood, which was her usual mood, when she collided with the stranger. Literally. She had come barreling toward the mall’s exit, arms loaded with gifts, the office having closed early this Christmas Eve, when the sight of a dress in a store window diverted her attention for