Editor's note: This week Mormon Times readers share one of their most enduring Christmas memories. Read the first of this series here.
The only gift the mother had to give her children that year was the following poem that she had written for them.
Brightly the star
Now Brightly was not a big star, but then he was not very old, and anyway, size isn’t everything, at least that was what he’d been told.
It never had bothered Brightly as he sailed across the sky, as he watched for himself in the rivers, then hid behind clouds floating by.
For he liked it way up in the heavens in the soft velvet black of the night, for there he could glow with such splendor and bask in his own silvery light.
And he liked to hear the angels and the songs that they would sing, and to listen to the messages and stories they would bring.
And the songs the angels sang that Brightly admired so much were all about heavenly beings, and people and flowers and such.
Why you never have heard such stories, marvelous they were, all about things that had happened, and things that were yet to occur.
A baby called the Christ Child was the story he liked best, and of a large and brilliant star, to mark the baby's rest.
For the baby was the Savior, the King of all mankind, and thoughts of such a being did gladden Brightly’s mind.
The angels sang so sweetly of the kindness of this King, of the goodness, of the peace and love this blessed babe would bring.
When Brightly learned how large the star would be who shined that night, and how its splendor down would flow to guide kings on their flight,
He fancied that the biggest star was what he’d like to be, but then he knew the skies were filled with larger stars than he.
The more that Brightly thought on it, the more it hurt his pride. Why did he have to be so small, and little Brightly cried.
"I’m just as bright as any star, but why am I so small? And if not born quite big enough, then why be born at all?"
The night was dark, the angels called, "The time has come to sing, Oh Holy Night, the Babe is born, Hosanna to our King." Then Brightly felt excitement’s joy, despite his troubled mind.
And looking east the largest star burst forth its piercing shine; and Brightly looked again to see, the master of eternity, a little babe as even me,
And filled with love as I can be, then Brightly shined with all his might, and let out such a glorious light that all on Earth might know it’s true,
That Brightly loved the new King too.
That was our most memorable Christmas. The poem is now our gift to all children.
Darrell Stoddard, former director of media marketing for BYU Motion Picture Studio, is retired and lives in Provo.