Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Christmas Star

Author Unknown

This was my grandmother's first Christmas without grandfather, and we had promised him before he passed away that we would make this her best Christmas ever. When my mom, dad, three sisters and I arrived at her little house in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, we found she had waited up all night for us to arrive from Texas.

After we exchanged hugs, my sisters and I ran into the house. It did seem a little empty without grandfather, and we knew it was up to us to make this Christmas special for her.

Grandfather had always said that the Christmas tree was the most important decoration of all. So we immediately set to work on the beautiful artificial tree that was kept stored in grandfather's closet. Although artificial, it was the most genuine looking Douglas fir I had ever seen. Tucked away in the closet with the tree was a spectacular array of ornaments, many of which had been my father's when he was a little boy. As we unwrapped each one, grandmother had a story to go along with it.

My mother strung the tree with bright white lights and a red button garland; my sisters and I carefully placed the ornaments on the tree; and finally father was given the honor of lighting the tree.

We stepped back to admire our handiwork. To us, it looked magnificent, as beautiful as the tree in Rockefeller Center. But something was missing.

"Where's your star'" I asked.

The star was my grandmother's favorite part of the tree, for it represented the star of Bethlehem that had led the wise men to the infant Jesus.

"Why, it must be here somewhere," she said, starting to sort through the boxes again. "Your grandfather always packed everything so carefully when he took the tree down."

As we emptied box after box and found no star, my grandmother's eyes filled with tears. This was no ordinary ornament, but an elaborate golden star covered with colored jewels and blue lights that blinked on and off. Moreover, grandfather had given it to grandmother some fifty years ago on their first Christmas together. Now, on her first Christmas without him, the star was gone, too.

"Don't worry, Grandmother," I reassured her. "We'll find it for you."

My sisters and I formed a search party.

"Let's start in on the closet where the ornaments were," Donna said. "Maybe the box just fell down."

That sounded logical, so we climbed on a chair and began to search that tall closet of grandfather's. We found father's old yearbooks and photographs of relatives, Christmas cards from years gone by and party dresses and jewelry boxes, but no star.

We searched under beds and over shelves, inside and outside, until we had exhausted every possibility. We could see grandmother was disappointed, although she tried not to show it.

"We could buy a new star," Kristi offered.

"I'll make you one from construction paper," Karen chimed in.

"No," Grandmother said. "This year, we won't have a star."

By now, it was dark outside, and time for bed, since Santa would soon be here. As we lay in bed, we could hear the sound of snowflakes falling quietly outside.

The next morning, my sisters and I woke up early, as was our habit on Christmas day - first, to see what Santa had left under the tree, and second, to look for the Christmas star in the sky. After a traditional breakfast of apple pancakes, the family sat down together to open presents. Santa had brought me the Easy Bake Oven I wanted, and Donna a Chatty Cathy doll. Karen was thrilled to get the doll buggy she had asked for, and Kristi to get the china tea set. Father was in charge of passing out the presents, so that everyone would have something to open at the same time.

"The last gift is to Grandmother from Grandfather," he said, in a puzzled voice.

"From who'" There was surprise in my grandmother's voice.

"I found that gift in grandfather's closet when we got the tree down," Mother explained. "It was already wrapped so I put it under the tree. I thought it was one of yours."

"Hurry and open it," Karen urged excitedly.

My grandmother shakily opened the box. Her face lit up with joy when she unfolded the tissue paper and pulled out a glorious golden star. There was a note attached. Her voice trembled as she read it aloud:
"Don't be angry with me, dear. I broke your star while putting up the decorations, and I couldn't bear to tell you. Thought it was time for a new one. I hope it brings you as much joy as the first one. Merry Christmas. Love, Bryant."

So grandmother's tree had a star after all, a star that expressed their everlasting love for one another. It brought my grandfather home for Christmas in each of our hearts and made it our best Christmas ever.
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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