Karen Jordan

A “Real” Star Story

Photo/JordanA few years ago, I invited all our kids and grandkids over to “help” decorate my Christmas tree. And with seven grandchildren, things got a bit hectic.

Food and Fun. I prepared chicken and dumplings–a special request from Pop–while the older guys watched football games. The gals tried to corral the kids, who were romping and roaming throughout my house on that cold and rainy day.

A couple of the little boys–Ethan and Zach (ages six and five at that time) to be specific–tried to sneak out the front porch door in the rain to swing in the front yard.

Pop’s Cave. When we finally got around to “decorating” the Christmas tree, I decided to start with the tree in Pop’s cave. Since Pop collects indian artifacts, I designated a special room just for his collection.

So, I found a small tree, and I covered it with chili pepper lights. Then, I bought some candy canes to add to the ornaments I retrieved from my collection of Christmas stuff.

Swirly Things. When the first group of grandkids arrived, Ethan (age six back then), the middle child of five, ran up to me in the kitchen and said, “Nonnie, you put a ‘real’ star on your tree this year!”

I couldn’t believe that Ethan remembered his comment to me previous year. He had walked up to me in the kitchen, pulled on my sleeve, and asked, “Nonnie, why don’t you have a star on top of your tree?”

I responded, “I do have a star, Ethan. It just doesn’t have any lights on it.”

“But, Nonnie, it’s not shaped like a star! Stars don’t have those swirly things on them!”

“Well, Ethan, I guess I’ll just have to get a ‘real’ star next year. Okay?”

Real Star. When I bought the new tree for Pop’s cave, I remembered Ethan’s comment from the previous year. And I found a “real” star for our “real” tree.

“So, Ethan … how do you like my new star?”

“It’s great, Nonnie! It looks just like a “real” star!

Pop’s Tree. But before Ethan ran off to his next adventure, he scrunched his shoulders, curled his index finger close to his face, and motioned for me to bend down. Then, he cupped his hands over his mouth, leaned close to me, and whispered in my ear, “But that thing on Pop’s tree is NOT a star … that’s a snowflake.”

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:3 NIV).

Do you have a “real” star on your Christmas tree this year?



6 thoughts on “A “Real” Star Story”

  1. First, I have to say it took me several minutes to get past the notion that you are old enough to have grandchildren….and seven of them! It’s not fair that you look so young! And, love the pictures and the stories. Kids are frighteningly smart at times! Merry Christmas to you and yours! (And no, no star on top my tree…an angel instead.)


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