Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Tin Foil Star

A tin foil* star resides atop our Christmas tree. Brian skillfully crafted it out of poster board (perhaps a file folder?) and foil in 1984--our very first Christmas together.
(Brian making our tin foil star, Christmas 1984)
Our first tree was flocked (as per my family's tradition) and its branches were sparse to allow ample ornament hang (as per Brian's family's tradition.) We purchased one box of small glass balls and a string of lights for our little tree. The rest of the ornaments I had received as gifts over the years.
(Our first Christmas tree, 1984)
Secretly I had wanted a shiny and glittery tree topper like those found only at the fanciest of department stores, but Brian's star made me happy. I figured it would do until we could find something else. Years past and I finally did find a beautiful gold star to top our tree. Brian, ever the sentimental, wanted to continue with our first tinfoil and cardboard star, but I convinced him to let me use the "nicer" one for almost a decade.
(Me adding the star to the tree, Christmas 1984)
Then, in my thirties, something happened to my proud tree-topper heart. For some reason that year, when we pulled the old silver star from the box to retell the story of our first Christmas together, I allowed it to be placed atop our now round, fat, ornament-laden tree. Perhaps it was the Christmas that my brother passed away? I'm really not sure of the exact date, but from that time forward our tin foil star has presided at the pinnacle of our Christmas celebration. 
It is a symbol to me of humility, of gratitude, and of what really matters. It is memories. It is family. It is pure love. I don't even care that the foil has pulled away from one of the points. That endears it all the more to me.
(Christmas 2012)

"Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright. Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light."

*In reality it is made from aluminum foil, but for some reason I grew up calling the substance tin foil and continue the usage today. :)