I am witness to a wonderful miracle and it would not have happened had we not made the journey to Bethlehem to seek a star.
We were on a mission to follow the great star!
One of my favorite Christmas ornaments was lost misplaced. A small, sparkly, white Moravian Star ornament. Oona gave it to me when she was a freshman in high school. Her German class took a field trip to the Christmas markets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
A big part of hanging ornaments on the tree is the memories that each one brings. Every year when I hang the star that Oona gave me, I not only think of her, but I think of the great memories of the days when my children were in school and back at home. It’s nice.
When our current Christmas tree was decorated and as I admired our ever-crooked leaning Christmas Tree of Pisa, it occurred to me that the little Moravian star was not hanging from this oversized embellished bush.
The crooked tree was missing my Moravian Star. Hmmmm. Maybe the tree is crooked because it is sad!
I went downstairs and checked the large plastic bin that houses our ornaments. It wasn’t in there. I checked bags and drawers and under furniture. Nothing. It was upsetting to me because I know that it was not thrown in the trash. I also realize that I could have placed it in a random spot anywhere in the house and could possibly find it months from now. This has happened in the past with well-hidden Christmas gifts. Whatever the case, it upset me to no end.
I explained my harrowing and dramatic issue to Bonaparte. We had to make the trip to Bethlehem to find a replacement for my Moravian Star.
And that’s what we did on Saturday. With my Google Maps GPS on the iPhone, Chippy in the back seat, and Neil Diamond’s Christmas CD playing the best assortment of seasonal songs that only a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn can do, we drove on our way to Bethlehem. Pennsylvania.
Only a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn could get it right! One of the greatest Christmas CD’s of all time!
Bonaparte, Chippy and I were a modern-day trio of the Kings of the Magi—a modern day version of the wise men! Although I don’t know if I qualify as wise.
I had better get my lip and chin waxed soon or I WILL pass for one of the three kings!
We traveled far and wide to get to Bethlehem.
We traveled on the harrowing Schuylkill Parkway in Philadelphia. We trekked onto the toll road of 476 until it narrowed down to an annoying two-lane highway. We left suburban land for the terrain of the rural. We passed cows and horses. And farms.
And when we arrived within the limits of Bethlehem, there stood a building in the background. It looked like a bunch of organ pipes leading up to the heavens. Bonaparte explained to me that it was the old and abandoned Bethlehem Steel Mill.
It’s actually sad that the steel mill is abandoned. Sometimes progress isn’t good to the people who help it….
This little town of Bethlehem was once a thriving city of steel mills and working people. What was left was largely a city that, in spots, was left to decay and depression. Oh—and a downtown area that prided itself as being deemed “Christmas City”!
At least the city can cash in on the name of Bethlehem!
We needed to find the area of Bethlehem that would lead me to my star.
We took a few turns and lo and behold. Before us was a street of many shops. People adorned in brightly colored sweaters and unusual headgear crowded the streets.
Yes. People were dressed in sweaters like this…
..and headgear like this. I felt so out of place dressed in J. Crew from head to toe!
Like Mary and Joseph looking for a place to rest for the evening, Bonaparte and I searched for a parking spot to none avail.
Then I spotted it. The sign hanging from a shop. “The Moravian Bookstore”. Surely, this be the place of the missing star!
Books are just a tiny part of what this store sells. It’s pretty darn amazing!
Whilst Bonaparte and Chippy circled the streets to park our donkey car, I entered into this fascinating building of all things Moravian. Some Moravian History
Ornaments and Mornaments galore.
A bit too cutesy for my taste, but these were selling like condoms before a frat party!
..just in case you didn’t know where you were…
Moravian Cookie Tins.
Believe me, I was tempted–but not at the price point!
The Bethlehem Star beckoned from above with other Moravian stars suspended in an animated but breathtaking sight. I did not see my Moravian star ornament.
Stars along the ceiling—but where was MY star?
I searched in vain for one who might have been able to lead me to the star that I seeked. I found her in the Teas and Coffee department. I approached and asked if any small Moravian Star ornaments could be found.
Like the stern shop keepers who turned Mary and Joseph away, she looked at me as though I was a special kind of stupid. She grunted and nodded in the direction of the wall to the east. “Over there”.
I was elated and ran to the wall. Alas, the wall did not have a twin of the ornament that my loving daughter gifted me with. Among the mass-produced decorations, I did find two ornaments that could suffice. Actually, they really needed to suffice because Bonaparte would not be too happy if our journey had been for naught.
With ornaments in hand, I paid the proprietor of the shop and went in search for Bonaparte and Chippy. My two kings awaited me around the corner. Off we went on our return journey to Chateau Bonaparte!
That night, I hung the two ornaments on the branches of our crooked tree.
This white sparkly star was pretty but could not replace the one Oona got me…
….nor could this!
I heard a voice from the heavens. It was the angel who rested atop our crooked tree (with an excellent sense of balance, I must say).
Ok. I’ll admit, I DID hear her speak to me after I sampled the base for the Martha Stewart Eggnog!
She look-ed down at me and said:
“You must go back to the bin that stores the ornaments. You must look hard and dig through all the mess that you haven’t cleaned up”.
I walked down to the closet, opened it and searched the bin.
Well, I guess the bin IS somewhat askew. I suppose it can be organized. One day!
There, under layers of tissue paper that I should have trashed and was too lazy to do so, I found it. The Moravian Star that Oona gave me years ago.
My star was damaged, one of the points had fallen off. Perhaps my ornament was hiding on me because she realized she was no longer perfect. I took her in my hand and whispered.
Oops! One of the points was gone. My star is damaged!
“Hey. Don’t worry about your missing point. We have a Great Cornholio ornament that’s missing hands and feet!”. “Imperfections just add character”. “Come with me my little star; and shine and make my tree more beautiful and spectacular than ever!!!!”
He went to war with one of our dogs. I guess he lost!
My little Moravian Star’s story now has another chapter. And the other Moravian stars that hang on our tree have a new chapter to tell.
In her imperfection, she is even more beautiful. I’m so happy I found her!
And this is my Christmas miracle!
Have a Mayer-Y Christmas!
I’m sure I’ll be posting before Santa visits, but so close to that special day and I have tons to do–so I’m wishing you well today–just in case I forget to do so later! XOXOXO
Seriously—what other Christmas carol could I give to you today? “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”..as only Neil Diamond can sing it!