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Artists/the arts; The Christmas Story in Stained Glass, photographs by Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans. $6.95.

This book offers an economically enchnting alternative to a holiday abroad this yule season. Without leaving your comfortable reading chair you can travel through space and time to Notre Dame Cathedral in the 16th century or the Canterbury Cathedral in the 13th century, as you rediscover familier Nativity Bible passages in a new way.

Two British photographers, Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington, have tracked down some of Europe's finest examples of stained-glass windows to retell the Christmas story in the way medieval craftsmen depicted it, each window accompanied by a text from The New International Bible.

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The windows are reproduced against black pages that set them off like jeweled medallions on a midnight velvet backdrop. This could be a perfect little holiday gift for the stay-at-home traveler.