Every year our family plays a special holiday game beginning on US Thanksgiving and continuing until Christmas Eve. We call it "The Star". Whoever has "the Star" has to secretly do something special for another person in the family. It could be a chore, like emptying the dishwasher, taking out garbage, making a bed. It could be leaving a little trinket where someone will find it. The trinket could be anything, from a paper snowflake to a satsuma or a holiday cookie. It could be leaving a few inspirational words, a snippet of poetry, a lovely photo. It is supposed to be something that the recipient will enjoy, something that will brighten their day a little bit. And, importantly, this is all done secretly - you never tell the recipient it was you, and you leave the Star in sight so the recipient knows it is their turn to "have the Star" and pass it on.
We have played this game for many years now, since our children were quite small. Then, they required parental assistance to play. Now they are both teenagers and the game has evolved with them. On Christmas Eve, over dinner, we talk about what we particularly enjoyed about "the Star" during the past month.
So far this year, I have received a lovely cut paper snowflake, the origami crane shown in these photos, and today when I came home from the post office, there were jewel toned lights all around the window in my studio.
The Star itself is a little battered and worn, and has had repeated coats of paint and glitter. But it has served our family well over the years, and for all its worn appearance, it is an important symbol of our love for each other.
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