The Star of Bethlehem has been a mystery for many centuries. At Christmastime it is usually discussed around the world by scientists and nonscientists alike, all of whom are fascinated by its meaning and history.
But what was this mysterious apparition in the heavens? Will we ever know? There are opinions for all tastes: some people say the Star never existed but was added to the Bible to give significance to the birth of Jesus; others feel it was a simple astronomical event; and many Christians feel it was a miracle, a sign placed in the heavens by God to indicate the divine nature of the infant Jesus.
——Mark Kidger, The Star of Bethlehem
If the Biblical account is taken literally, then no scientific explanation is necessary or even possible; it could only be a miraculous event.
I've collected Christmas books for years, and must have at least a couple hundred. Their contents range from anthologies of seasonal poetry, short stories, and novels, to histories of the holiday and its customs and traditions, sketches and narratives of remembered Christmases by various writers, cookbooks, even a craft book or two, though Myladylove collects the latter two categories and probably has upwards of a hundred Christmas volumes of her own.
This year, starting on the first day of December, I thought it might be fun to dip into a few of these works and share a quote or two from their pages—a few lines of poetry, a bit of prose, maybe even a recipe—on a daily basis, a sort of "Christmas Quotedown," which I'll put up in addition to my regular posts. I'll also include a photo of the book's cover, from which the day's quotes are taken—though a few, lacking a dust jacket or any sort of fancy cover design, might be decidedly non-photogenic. On the other hand, several of my favorite Christmas works are quotably rich troves, indeed, and thus might end up furnishing more than a day's worth of quotes—though I'm starting out with the notion of a different book each day.
Along the way, I hope I select some things you enjoy.