Christmas beauty of the day.
Elder Kerry Lauritzen's Christmas star.
Of all of the posts I've written this December, this one is my favorite, for it is filled with a deep Christmas memory.
Kerry served his mission in the Delaware/Maryland area from 1971-1973. He was 19 years old, and it was his first real long time away from home. He had left to enter the Mission Home in Salt Lake City in September (where the Conference Center now stands), and this Christmas would be spent away from his large family back in Utah while he served in Catonsville, MD.
Missionaries don't have much money. They didn't have it then and they don't have it now. A kind man man on a Christmas tree lot sold them a 4' tree for about $4, and they brought it home.
Now, for the ornaments. Missionaries are pretty limited in what they're able to bring on their missions. Christmas ornaments are not on the list.
So, Kerry cut out a cardboard star, glued some paper onto it, and with either a crayon or a yellow highlighter colored it yellow.
The two missionaries pooled their money and bought a string of lights and ornaments.
And, it's been on our tree every year for forty years, and on his own tree six years before that.
This 46-year old cardboard star represents to many things to me. It shows the sacrifice of a young man who left home to teach the world about the message and the hope of Christ.
It helped him to recall the legend of the tree his own mother told him about the Christmas tree:
That the star at the top represents the star of Bethlehem.
The twinkling lights represent the stars in heaven that night.
Angels on the tree represent the angels who announced and sang that night.
The presents under the tree represent the great gift He brought to each of us.
So, even though it's just the two of us, the star adorns one of our little trees. In my mind, it's the most treasured ornament we own. It was created when he was sacrificing two years of his life in dedication to God, and helped him to evolve into the man I would someday marry.
I believe when we take it down this year, I will frame it and keep it on display for my own memorable treasure.
It's another example that meaningful things don't always equate to fancy things. Sometimes, it might be something as simple as a cardboard star created 46 years ago.
|You can faintly see some of the yellow crayon or highlighting marks.|
|Kerry in front of the tree holding one of his journals.|
|Kerry's missionary journal - Vol. 1 of 3|
|The page mentioning the tree.|
|A closeup of the page mentioning the tree.|