I have always loved the fairy tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” (and I admit I feel even more connected to it since moving to high latitude a couple of years ago). A perfect tale for the cold and snowy season, this Norse fairy tale answers the question of what comes after the happy ending, after true love has been declared.
If you aren’t familiar, the premise is quite similar to that of “Beauty and the Beast”—though usually the poor father in this tale is not (always) at fault for handing off his youngest daughter over an unfortunate horticultural theft. The “beast” in this tale (usually a white bear or other white wild creature) comes to the family home and asks respectfully to join in the evening meal. Afterwards, he promises riches and comfort to the family if one of the daughters will return to his own home with him. The youngest (or eldest) agrees, and away they go to an enchanted palace where the heroine has everything she needs, and eventually falls in love with the sweet nature of her beastly suitor, who spends every night in her room with all the lights extinguished, and extracts the heroine’s promise that she will never seek to see him at night.