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About the Author
Barbara Escher fell in love with Christmas – and especially the Christmas tree – at an early age. In her house, the children did not see the tree until Christmas morning. In fact, its appearance was the sure sign that the big day had arrived.
One year, Barbara and her younger brother awakened long before dawn on Christmas morning and were twitching with excitement. They could hardly keep themselves from running downstairs to see if the tree was in place. But their parents were still asleep, and there was A RULE. And the rule said, “You cannot set foot on the stairs until Mom and Dad are awake.”
Imagine two children bouncing off the walls trying to peek down the stairs to see if the tree was there.
Let’s see – no feet on the steps. No feet on the steps! Eureka! What if they found a way to see the tree WITHOUT putting their feet on the steps?
All it took was a problem solver (six-year-old Barbara). And a kid who was too little to object (little brother, age three).
After some quiet negotiating, Barbara lay flat on her belly at the top of the stairway, then grasped her younger brother by the ankles, and carefully lowered him down the steps until he could see the tree.
There it was!! Lucky for Little Brother, Barbara didn’t just let go in her excitement but hoisted him back up so they could awaken their parents with the great news that Christmas had arrived.
In the Beginning…
Barbara’s story began in Philadelphia, the land of soft pretzels, Independence Hall, and trips to the beaches of the New Jersey shore.
Even when she wasn’t very old herself, she was surrounded by younger children as she sat on the beach and used sandcastles to create tales of magical children who looked just like her little friends! Freckled, sunburned, and covered with Coppertone.
Philadelphia was also the home of a historic department store where a giant Christmas tree changed colors in time to organ music while children (like Barbara) craned their necks in wonder. (Philadelphians will know that the beloved Wanamaker store is no longer there, but the tradition that began in 1956 continues with the Macy’s Holiday Light Show).
When she was a little girl, Barbara read every book she could get her hands on, especially books about Christmas! Her children loved books too, from The Cat in the Hat to The Lord of the Rings. Today, if you came to visit Barbara, you would see that she still has a book open in every room of the house!
And at Christmas time, Barbara’s tree occupies a place of importance. Along with pictures of stockings, reindeer, and a Christmas angel. You can read about Barbara’s hopes and goals for The Girl Who Found Christmas in a blog post!