The Christmas Star
Many years ago, I found myself alone at a YWCA on Christmas Eve far from home. An employee, an elderly woman, approached me. She had something cupped in her hands, nestled in gold tissue, cradling it as she might hold a tender baby bird. She outstretched her wrinkled hands and transferred the treasure to me. “This is a Christmas Star,” she whispered, “save it until you need a miracle then put it on your tree just a midnight on Christmas Eve and make a wish. If your heart if pure, your wish will come true.”
I thanked her for my gift and packed it away. A few years later, I married and we decided to start a family. More than anything, I had always wanted a baby girl. However, we were told that I could never have children. That year, I dug out my Christmas Star and secretly placed it on the tree just as the clock struck midnight on Christmas Eve. I wished for a daughter. I became pregnant that year but was told that I would never carry to full term. I quit my job, stayed home, and took good care of my baby and myself. It was a difficult pregnancy. Back then, doctors couldn’t tell the gender of babies but everyone said they could tell it was a boy by the way I carried the child and the doctors said the heartbeat was that of a male. My husband was ecstatic. I never told him about my wish but quietly made pink baby clothes. I went into labor on December 23rd but it became clear that I couldn’t give birth so they decided to take the baby C-Section the next afternoon, on Christmas Eve. While still asleep, the doctor came out and told my husband that it was a girl. My husband said, “No, my wife is the one in there having the boy.” The doctor informed him that I was the only woman having a baby that night and that it was a girl, although disappointed my husband was happy that we were healthy. Late that night, I woke up alone in intensive care (all the other departments were closed for Christmas). The nurse pushed my bed up to the Christmas tree, woke me up, and told me that I had a girl. I smiled and immediately asked what time it was. She said, “Listen, the clock is just striking midnight.” It was exactly one year to the minute since I had made my wish on the Christmas Star.
The next year I gave that star to someone else who needed a miracle. Since then, for the past thirty-three years, I have given Christmas Stars to the special people I have come to know. I always tell them to save the star until they need a miracle. Then to place it on their tree, just at midnight on Christmas Eve and if their heart is pure, their wish will come true.
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