Henry van Dyke was born on 10th November, 1852 at Germantown in Pennsylvania. His education was of the highest quality; he graduated from Princeton University in 1873 and Princeton Theological Seminary, 1877 and later served as a professor of English literature at Princeton between 1899 and 1923. He chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, The Book of Common Worship of 1906. From 1908–09 he was an American lecturer at the University of Paris and then by appointment of President Wilson, a friend and former classmate of van Dyke, he became Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. Despite his inexperience in the role he showed great diplomacy and provided genuine comfort to American refugees who at the outbreak of WWI gathered in the Netherlands. However, he is best known as a poet, providing the lyrics too many popular hymns including "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" and for his short stories. This collection of his Christmas stories clearly displays his tremendous talent and enormous energy. Religion and nature meant much to him and its motifs recur constantly here as well as his poetry, hymns and essays. Henry Van Dyke died on April 10th, 1933 and is perhaps best remembered in the following quote from his work: "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love — time is eternity".