Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Star Shone

I love Christmas.  I love decorating, and making the house smell yummy.  This year, my kids have their own little tree, where they can put the massive amounts of Hallmark ornaments we have amassed over the year.  I'm actually a little surprised the little tree is able to stand under the weight of all the ornaments!

Then, we have our big, fancy, family Christmas tree.  This year, I went ahead and put up our enormous fake tree.  I prefer real trees, but I opted for "big" instead of "real" this year!  Since the kids have their own tree, I was able to color coordinate the big tree, and make it look just like I wanted, instead of all the ornaments jumbled on just the lower front of the tree.  Everything is blue, silver, and gold, and I adore it!

When it comes to wrapping gifts, however, I stink.  I am terrible at it.  I'm ashamed to admit that I throw the paper on just good enough to cover the present.  I never get around to even sticking bows on the presents, and the closest thing I get to name tags is writing the recipient's name on the paper with a black sharpie.  Thankfully, I have a friend who said that just wasn't acceptable.  She wrapped each of my gifts this year, and made them beautiful enough to be worthy of sitting under my beautiful tree!  I'm so very thankful to have pretty presents this year!!!

My favorite part of my tree,  however, isn't how big it is.  It isn't the perfectly coordinated colored balls, ribbon and tinsel.  It isn't even the perfectly matching presents under the tree.  It is the star.  I love my star.

This star is most likely the most simple, cheap star in all of Christmas tree stardom.  You can't buy this star in a store, and to my knowledge, only one other tree sports a star like this: my mom and dad's tree.

When my parents were first married, they were, like most newly married couples, broke.  They didn't have a star for their tree, and couldn't afford one, either.  Instead of spending money they didn't have, on something that wasn't a need, they did what they do best and made the best of the situation.  Mom and dad cut a star out of a piece of cardboard.  They covered it in aluminum foil, and put the shining star up on top of their tree.    And even after they were able to buy a "perfect" store bought tree topper, my parents continued to use that silver star throughout my entire childhood.

When I married and moved out of my parent's house, my Christmas gift from my parents was a tree, some lights, and some blue, gold and silver Christmas tree balls.  My parents always knew how much I loved the silver star on top of our tree, and inside of the box of Christmas ornaments was my own silver star, that they had made of cardboard and aluminum foil.  For the rest of my life, my favorite Christmas gift will always remain that silver star.

Barb Wire Man asked me for our first 7 Christmases together why I didn't go get a different tree topper.  This year, he didn't, because, he knows nothing will stop me from using that star.

That simple, handmade, tin foil star represents what Christmas is to me.  It is the simple, yet world and life changing fact that years and years ago, a star shone in the sky, marking the spot where the Savior of the world laid in a stable.  His parents were, like most newly married couples, broke.  They didn't have a place to lay their newborn son, let alone a star, but they did the best they could, with what they had.

Every time I look at that star, I am reminded that nothing else matters.  It doesn't matter how rich or poor we are.  It doesn't matter how many gifts are or aren't under the tree, if all the colors match, or if you even have a tree.  All that matters is that Jesus is.

Be blessed today!

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