" ... The Stars Are Brightly Shining ..."
"O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of the dear Savior's birth. ..." So begins my favorite Christmas Carol. Music is an integral part of this holiday season for me and this carol in particular always fills me with peace and hope. There is something about the imagery evoked by the words that touches me deep inside every time I sing this carol.
"... Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! ..."
I close my eyes and I can see it all before me. On that starry, starry night so long ago, all people regardless of their station in life, from the shepherds in the fields to the Magi, knelt in the presence of the Holy Child while the voices of the angels rang out over them.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace to all people."
Baking is also an important part of the holiday for me. I am a baker, after all, a gift given to me by God, and so to celebrate this season of hope and light, I have made a sweet bread which brings to my mind that holy night when the Christmas Star arose and the angels sang so sweetly - cinnamon star bread. Isn't this just a gorgeous loaf? I saw this recipe in King Arthur Flour's Baker's Catalog this fall and immediately tagged it for the holiday season. There is a post on this bread on KAF's blog Flourish which is complete with the recipe and photos demonstrating how to mix and shape the dough to achieve the star effect.
I chose to shape my loaf a little differently than KAF's version because I wanted more of the Christmas Star shape than a star with arms of equal length. I rolled the dough sections in more of an egg shape than a circle, using an Easter egg cookie cutter as my guide. I cut and shaped the arms of my star as instructed in the recipe. I am happy with the result as were my husband and my friends who not only loved the way the bread looked but the way it tasted as well.
To close this post, I am sharing a slideshow of some of the many angels displayed in my home and on my Christmas tree. Old and new, large and small, glass, wood, lace, embroidered, copper and tin, they all proclaim the birth of Christ the Lord on this night so many years ago.
Can you hear the angels singing? Merry Christmas, my very dear friends! May the peace and hope of this season fill your heart.