Twenty-Five Stars

We have a tradition at our home this time of year. On December First I put a star in our yard and another star in the yard north, south, east and west all around the house every day of the month until Christmas Eve. Then the twenty-fourth star goes up accompanied by the grandest star of all, hundreds of multi-colored lights on a wooden framework hoisted high into a tree in front of our home. All the other stars of various heights are staked into the ground, each star twinkling with clear bright lights.

I use untold feet of wire and numerous junction boxes, all connected to one 30 amp circuit breaker in the garage. With one flip of a switch, I set our electric meter twirling merrily in anticipation of our monthly greeting from the power company. We leave the stars burning all night each and every night. If the winter sun remains hidden or even better during snowstorms we leave the stars on throughout the day to add a special quiet luster.

Not everyone appreciates our stars. Some people stare down into a small screen as they walk by our home with ear buds nestled all snug in their ears or their heads bowed in homage to the small patch of pavement in front of their feet. They never look up. Yet others are quite effusive. They’re the ones who look far ahead. They began weeks ago asking if the stars would go up again this year. We gratefully answered Yes and they graciously received the good news.

Our stars declare no creed or denomination. They are stars. They are constructed of primed lumber, pin lights bought on clearance and a few nuts and bolts. Their brilliance makes our street corner of the world a declaration of hope.

At this or any other season of the year, our stars are a celebration of optimism.