Every night after dinner Magalie and her family would sit in the living room and do “quiet things”. Her mother graded the students’ homework, her father pretended to be doing important things on the lap top, but Magalie knew he was playing video games, and Magalie was supposed to be doing homework, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the Christmas tree.
This year the tree was decorated with gold and silver and white ornaments, white ribbons and gold beads and silver tinsel. Magalie’s mom said there were too many decorations so from now on she would do theme decorations. So Magalie’s dad said the same thing about the lights. As a consequence the tree had only two strands of white lights on it and the lights on the front porch went only half way across. Magalie suspected they were both getting lazy in their old age, but since she didn’t want to hang the lights herself, she decided that it looked just perfect the way it was, a little pathetic, but perfect. What she did want though was a star for the top of the tree.
The Santa heads which sometimes adorned the top of the tree were all mostly red, so they had been put back into the boxes with the rest of the unused ornaments and were now stored under the tree like early presents. A single branch stood up from the tree and Magalie could see that there was just enough room for a star on top. So instead of doing her homework she sat quietly and looked at the Christmas tree and thought about how perfect it would be with a star on top; pathetic, but perfect.
The last day of school was also the day when the family began to arrive and Magalie watched eagerly to see people’s reaction to the new “theme decorated” tree. Aunt Amelia always brought chocolates to hang on the tree and Magalie wondered what would happen when she was confronted with a theme, but to her amazement, they were all made of white chocolate this year. Was everyone in on the theme thing?
After supper Uncle Charlie went out to the store. “Pick up a star while you’re out” Magalie’s Dad called to him as he left. She couldn’t believe her ears. She waited and waited for him to get back, watching the tree, imaging the star. But when he came back, he had only a newspaper. “Where’s the star?” Magalie asked when Uncle Charlie came in. He laughed when he realized what she meant, and he explained that the newspaper was called The Star. “Come with me”, he said and led her to the kitchen.
Uncle Charlie rummaged through the drawers for a while, took out some tinfoil, some wooden skewers, a paper plate, green cookie sprinkles, and white fluff from an old jewel box. He cut a star out of the paper plate and Magalie began to get an idea of what he was about. He glued a wooden skewer to the back of it, and while it dried they had cookies and hot chocolate. After the cookie break Uncle Charlie covered the star with tin foil and then glued the green sprinkles to the edges. The white fluff was glued to the back of it so that it stuck out around the edges. To Magalie, it looked exactly like a tinfoil star with green cookie sprinkles and white fluff. They took the new star and some twist ties into the living room and unplugged the Christmas tree lights. When nobody was looking uncle Charlie stood on the good chair so he could reach the top of the tree. He propped the star up by the wooden skewer and twist-tied it to the lone branch that stuck up. Then he stepped back down. He could see that Magalie was sceptical, looking up at the tinfoil star, but when he plugged the lights back in the Star was shining forth; the tinfoil reflected the glow of the Christmas lights, the cookie sparkles shone green and their light also danced off the tinfoil, while the white fluff created a halo all around the Star. It was breathtaking. A little bit pathetic if you saw the back of it through the window, but it was perfect.
When everyone had gathered later that night to sing Christmas carols, Uncle Charlie suggested that maybe next year Magalie should choose the theme for the Christmas tree decorations, and they all agreed.