How much do we really know about the birth of Jesus? While today's Christmas celebrations are more about glitzy gifts and glamorous lights on evergreens, the real story of Christmas is gritty and even dangerous. And while most people are familiar with the main characters of the Christmas Story; Mary and Joseph, the Wise men and the angels. How many of us know about Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna, and Jesus's own surprising lineage which begins early in the Old Testament? On this episode of Lighthouse Faith podcast, author Dan Darling sheds light on these unlikely characters who fill out the Christmas Story. Two things are very important about the biblical narrative: one is that everything within the story has a purpose, so these characters, even though they are not the most prominent, have a particular part to play in how we understand the story. And second, lineage in the Bible is like today's equivalent of a resume. Who your ancestors and relatives are, and what happened around your birth is tantamount to modern day networking, of helping others understand who you are and why it's important. Darling takes a deep dive into the people of the Christmas story and talks about his new book, "The Characters of Christmas."