A Modern Christmas Miracle. O Star of Bethlehem……Pennsylvania, That Is!

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.

Star of Bethlehem

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 tree remains crooked

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.

neil diamond christmas

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.

three kings

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”!

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.

Unusual sweaters and

Yes. People were dressed in sweaters like this…

more unusual headgear

..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!

Moravian Book Shop sign

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.

Cutesy Christmas stuff

A bit too cutesy for my taste, but these were selling like condoms before a frat party!


Bethlehem pottery

..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.

star ornaments from ceiling

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…

red star ornament

….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

I found you

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!!!!”

Ornaments. The great Cornholio

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.

broken moravian star

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!

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!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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19 Responses to A Modern Christmas Miracle. O Star of Bethlehem……Pennsylvania, That Is!

  1. sandyvern says:

    What a great story!! Loved it! And glad you found your precious star…as well as a few new ones to add to your Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas!

    • Catherine says:

      Merry Christmas to you Sandy! You have no idea how happy I am that I found that sentimental ornament. My daughter is now 26 years old and I know she would be a bit upset if that ornament was not on our tree–she’ll get to see it on Christmas Eve! XOXOXOXOXO!

  2. Thank you for taking us along on your Bethlehem adventure…and so happy your Star was found!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO DEAR CATHY AND YOUR FAMILY ❤️🎄

  3. spearfruit says:

    Such a wonderful Christmas miracle, and yes – got to love that Neil Diamond!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Spear! Am I right or what? Neil Diamond knows how to do Christmas!!! I swear, last night I could NOT stop admiring my little star. It’s so bizarre. HOW old am I?????? XOXOXOXO!!

  4. Haylee says:

    Haha, love it! And glad you found the ‘true’ star. I hung a very broken snowflake on our tree earlier but it has been hanging on one of the family trees for at least the last 30 years so I won’t part with it. Have a fabulous Chrimble Catherine – may all the days be merry, bright and full of food and family! Xx

    • Catherine says:

      Same to you Haylee. I’m hoping Father Christmas shows up with with everything you wish for. Isn’t it wonderful, though, to have ornaments that we’ve had for years and years? It brings a special history to our family Christmasses and Chrimbles! XOXOXOXO!

  5. Little Voice says:

    Oh, Merry Christmas, to you, your family, and the little star that still shines.

  6. Jane Martel(totally French) Billman says:

    Loved your star story it was …perfect ….. The right way to end a crazy day!! XO Jane

    • Catherine says:

      Jane, I’m glad you liked my star story! Bonaparte was questioning my sanity over my festering but as soon as dusk arrives, HE is the one who is rushing to turn on the lights (that I put up myself) on!! XOXOXO!

  7. calensariel says:

    I laughed right out loud about the Neil Diamond Christmas album. I have it, and I had told Drollery when we bought it that I thought it was so weird that “a nice Jewish boy” would sing those songs! LOL! I’m so glad you found your star. I have enjoy every one of your posts I’ve read, but this one was very special. Well done, and Merry Christmas!

    • Catherine says:

      BWAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! I love it! My girlfriend, Jeanette also reminded me that (in her very own words…) “Members of my tribe also wrote the greatest Christmas songs”. i.e. Irving Berlin and Mel Torme. So very true! But it’s also his VOICE. That overly dramatic voice–Neil is up there with Jacques Brel and Anthony Newley. The way he sings “Beth-lee-hem” and “lee-tle”. I die. I just die. It’s my favorite Christmas CD of all time. Beats out Charlie Brown and my Jimi Hendrix. Greatness. Pure Greatness!!! XOXOXOXO”!

      • calensariel says:

        From Jimi Hendrix to Neil to Charlie! You certainly have an eclectic collection of Christmas music! LOL

      • Catherine says:

        Cheryl, I do have quite the eclectic collection of Christmas music. From the trad to the bizarre–it’s always fun to have guests say “What IS this anyway?”. LOL! XOXOXO!

  8. Sandra Lynn says:

    I’m loving the fact that you have a Cornholio ornament!!!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Sandra. Isn’t that ornament great? It goes back to when the boys were on a Bevis and Butthead kick–and my daughter used to say “Bee-vus” instead. The ornament is a mess–and somewhere in the bowels of the ornament bin is half a Butthead ornament. Not a Christmas goes by when someone doesn’t put their shirt over their head and says “I am the great Cornholio” –usually after drinking many cups of my Martha Stewart Eggnog! XOXOXO!

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