Light of the Great Star
It bothered her. She couldn’t fight how commercial it had all become and she missed what it once was: families gathered for a night together. Games were played, and stories were told in candlelight. The story of the Lord’s birth brought her so much delight. A real Christmas tree bringing in the smell of pine indoors is heavenly, but Christmas wasn’t Christmas without the nativity scene. The Eve was magical with the caroling and midnight mass, and everyone gathered to pull Christmas Day dinner together.
She was brought up believing that preparing the meal and breaking bread together was a spiritual experience. Christmas dinner was usually saved for family and the closest of friends, but the most memorable to her were the ones that made room for less fortunate strangers at the table.
Then there was the jolly ol’ red man with the white beard that she wasn’t such a fan of. She had seen the Second World War come and go, and experienced more than what a person should bear in a lifetime, but she never swayed in her belief, and Christmas was her favourite time of year.
Despite her faith, she did not feel she was more than others—she simply felt lucky that she had found her light early in life—her anchor through every storm. What others believed was inconsequential to her, except when it wasn’t. She took no issue with other faiths and their celebrations, but it seemed to her that Christmas was a ‘free for all’. She wanted to say, “Have your practices, just don’t call it Christmas.” She cringed when she saw “Xmas” and wondered why she had to downplay the religious significance of the day, because it clearly didn’t matter to many that the day was sacred to her. She couldn’t help feeling disheartened by the greed, the distance with everyone under the same roof in their own corners, and the fact that to her, and others like her, Christmas was a holy day, not some opportunity to find a good deal or have a few days off work. Things have changed, and she got used to the excessive gift-giving and the new secular carols, but damned if she was going to give the man with the beard the spotlight. Her heart was filled with the Star of Bethlehem and her whole life had been guided by its light.