A small tree bloomed, its branches bent with jewels, glass-walled reflections. Twinkling lights lent red and blue and yellow to shade the dark. And childish hands, each movement planned, pressed fingers over figures loved by time. Jane had the pale blue Mary, sparkling smile. John held out Joseph; Tim, the child, while Mama clutched the manger.
They set their shapes in place to wait while Papa fixed the lights. Then, shades and shadows blending right, he set the cruciform night-lamp to guard against the dark. “Saved by His grace,” he whispered; smiled; the Christ-child born again in Bethlehem.