The Littlest Star
- A Christmas Short Story -

Winter Scene - Blue Sky and Sunlit Trees in Deep Snow
This is a religious and inspirational Christmas short story.

I wrote it in November 2010, and published it here on the website just before Thanksgiving. I revised the format in January 2016.

A "short story" is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in a single sitting. It usually averages anywhere from 1000 words, to 4,000, 7,500, 10, 20, or even 30,000 words.

This Christmas short story has approximately 4,347 words.

This short story is for adults and children alike. I used imagination and inspiration to tell a story about the Star of Bethlehem, in the bible setting of Matthew, chapter 2.

There are 13 short chapters. Then there is an appendix, with notes and lesson plans great for home, church, and school. And finally, a little of the science and history behind this story.

You may share it with others provided you follow the Story Terms and Conditions.

I hope this is a blessing for you.

The Littlest Star

     by Paul Berchtold, November, 2010

Chapter 1 - In the Beginning

Once upon a time - a long time ago - Father Maker made the sun, the moon and billions and billions of stars.

He did it all in one day, in the middle of the week. On the fourth day of the week, to be exact.

It was a very long and busy day.

Finally, he made the last star. It was the littlest star.

Father Maker had put all the other stars in their places, and given them names, and jobs to do.

They all had worlds and their own solar systems and planets to shine on, and they were busy using their fiery furnaces to give heat and light and warmth.

Except for the littlest star. That's because he was too little. He had no job to do like the bigger stars. He was not big enough. He did not have enough gravity, to keep planets going around him. He could not give that much light, or give very much warmth.

And he had no name, except everyone called him the littlest star.

But, he was a grateful little fellow, especially the day he discovered he could travel anywhere at all. He was not tied down like the big stars. And he was always eager to learn and discover.

Yippee. So off he was to see the whole wide universe.

He saw many exciting things. One of the most interesting things to see, was when 2 stars came too close to each other. They got sucked into each other's gravity.

Sometimes, he saw the stars get together and go dancing around each other.

And other times he saw them fight and try to destroy each other, making for huge fireworks that could be seen for millions of miles - actually, millions of light years.

The littlest star learned not to get too close to the big stars, or he also might get sucked in to their gravity. But he found out that he could get closer than any other star, because he was so little.

So over time, some of the stars became his friends. But some other stars teased him and made fun of him, just because they were bigger and had big star systems to run.

Eventually, the little star had seen everything in the whole universe!

Chapter 2 - A Bad Feeling

After years and years of traveling, the littlest star was getting tired.

Now he was not very old at all, if you are counting star years. He was still very young at heart, and in every other way. He was simply little. You could say he was a dwarf of a dwarf star. He didn't have that much energy to begin with, and he was slowing down a bit.

He began to feel quite lonely. Every star was older than him. Because he was the littlest star, he did not have anyone his size to play with.

He was getting tired of being teased by some of the big self-important stars. Even his closest star friends had gotten very busy running the star systems that swirled around them.

So the littlest star went to Father Maker. He asked, "Why don't I have a job to do, like the other stars? Why don't I have any planets going around me? Why don't I have a name like the other stars? Why are all the other stars bigger and older than me? Why are some of them so mean. Why am I so little? I'm so little, no one can see me like all the other stars. Can't I be bigger and brighter? Why do I get tired so quickly? Can't you give me more energy? Can't you make me bigger? Why am I so little?" he asked again. And he began to cry.

Father Maker had been very quiet while listening to so many questions. He even listened while the little star cried. Finally, the little star stopped crying.

Then Father Maker quietly said, "Little star, one day you'll understand. I can't tell you now, but one day, you'll be very glad you are little. You will be glad you saw the whole universe, because then you will be able to tell everyone what you think is the most beautiful thing in all the universe. You will be very glad you can travel, because I will have an important assignment just for you to do.

"In the meantime, you are always welcome to stay or visit right here in my home."

Chapter 3 - The Long Wait

So the little star said "Thank you" to Father Maker. He liked staying in Father Maker's home. He saw angels coming and going. He saw countless galaxies of stars slowly spinning around. Well, it looked like they were spinning slowly, but it really was very fast, because galaxies are just so big - some of them billions and billions of miles across.

Every once in a while the littlest star went on short trips in the universe. Actually, they were longer than you and I could imagine, but for a star – even a little star – millions of light years is only a short distance.

But more and more, he liked to stay around home – Father Maker's home. And every once in a while he talked with Father Maker, asking the same questions.

And he waited and waited for the time he would have something important to do.

Chapter 4 - The Right Time

Now Father Maker had a grown up son, who, as far as the little star remembered, had always been a grown up.

One day, after many more years had passed, Father Maker called the little star. He said, "My dear little star, now is the time for a very special event. I have an assignment ready just for you. Are you ready to do it?"

"Only if you think I can", said the little star. Father Maker said, "Of course you can."

So Father Maker first told the littlest star this story.

"Thousands of years ago, during the week I made you, I made the earth, and I made people. The earth and the people on it are called the world. It was a beautiful world. Shortly after, the people disobeyed me and sinned. They ruined the beautiful world. It became a bad place to live because of sin. I promised them that one day I would fix the world.

"Now the world is getting worse and worse, and terrible things are happening on it. There are fewer and fewer good people on earth. And almost all of the good people have given up hope.

"The people have always looked to the stars to guide them in their travels. And when they find another person to guide them, they call that person their star.

"The problem is, that now most of the people are looking to bad people as their stars. Now there are bad rulers, bad teachers, and bad people everywhere."

The little star nodded. He understood. He remembered some of the big stars teasing him. Even though they looked big and powerful and beautiful, he knew that some of them were really big and bad.

Father Maker continued, "The world has gotten itself into so much trouble, that only my son can fix it. I promised I would do it, and now is the time. I want you to go see what happens."

The little star was excited. He imagined Father Maker's son fixing the world for good. Maybe the son would let the earth break loose from the gravity of the sun, and fly off its course away from the sun. It would get colder and colder until everything froze, and nothing would remain alive on earth.

Or maybe, the son would allow the earth to fall into the gravity of the sun, getting hotter and hotter, until it would melt and become more fuel to help the sun burn even brighter.

This was not hard at all for the little star to imagine! That's because he had seen many such events traveling around the universe. He had seen stars and planets go off course and join and collide and blow up so many times, he had almost gotten tired of seeing it.

But instead, something happened he never could have imagined.

Father Maker's son decided to come on earth as a little baby!

He wanted to save all the people on earth from such a terrible destruction. He wanted to teach them the way they could stop being wicked. He was going to do everything possible to reach as many as possible, helping them change inside of them first. He wanted to reach their hearts and lives, and give them the hope that one day they too, could be happy with him forever in Father Maker's house. One day, they too could be free to travel anywhere in the whole universe and discover new worlds and see all the sights - just like the littlest star!

It was almost more than a little star could understand, that by being little you could actually be big and important - or something like that.

But he knew that Father Maker and his son were wise and kind - very wise and very kind indeed.

Chapter 5 - The Little Errand

So when Father Maker asked the little star to run him an errand, he was very happy to do it.

The errand was to go to earth and show people where his son was to be born.

However, the little star asked Father Maker why he didn't ask a bigger star to do such an important job.

Father Maker replied that if a bigger star came near the earth, it would have too much gravity and be too bright and too hot, and instead of saving the earth and the people on it, everything would be destroyed!

At long last, the littlest star had a job to do. He had been waiting for this for over 4000 years. That's a long, long, long time. A very, very, very long time to wait.

Now he'd better hurry. He was very happy to finally be going to work!

Chapter 6 - The Three Wise Old Men

Carefully the littlest star came closer to earth. He began to shine as best and as bright as he could, even though he was so little.

And at first, no one noticed! They were too busy with their partying and sinning and fighting and killing to notice the little star. And those that did notice didn't even care.

But in a country far away, there were 3 wise men who kept hope. Because they had studied so much, they knew of the promise Father Maker had made to the first people on earth. They knew that Father Maker had destroyed the wicked people on earth in a great flood.

They studied and they prayed. They got together often and talked to each other. They looked in their books every day, and they looked into the sky every night.

For years they worked very hard and very long, so that they could buy very expensive treasures to give as gifts to Father Maker's son when he came. They wanted to go to him and give him the gifts, to satisfy the anger of Father Maker and his son. They didn't want to see the whole world destroyed as it was in the great flood.

They decided when they received a sign, they would find Father Maker's son. They would bring their very expensive treasures and present them as gifts to save the world from destruction. They got everything as ready as they could to quickly leave. Day by day they filled their chests with the most expensive things that could be found on earth, until they had accumulated a fortune in treasure.

They kept a caravan of camels in readiness for the sign.

The wicked people laughed at them and called them crazy to spend so much time on a promise made 4,000 years before.

As the years passed, the world got more and more wicked, and the wise men were getting older and older. They were afraid that soon they might be too old to travel to the place where Father Maker's son would arrive.

But, they never gave up hope. They kept praying. They kept looking in their books. They kept looking in the sky. And they kept doing this for years and years.

Chapter 7 - The Big Journey

These 3 wise men spent years and years in hard work and careful study. Finally, after year and years of waiting, one night, when they looked up into the sky, they finally saw the sign they had been waiting for. It was the littlest star!

It was the sign they had been waiting for. Quickly they packed their things and loaded them on camels. With great care they loaded up the treasure chests. They had no time to lose to satisfy the anger of Father Maker and his son!

They went in the direction of the little star to the west.

They had to cross a very big desert. During the day it is very hot in the desert, too hot to travel. So the wise men stayed in their tents all day, and traveled by night, riding their camels. And because the desert is so dry, at night there were no clouds, and they could always see the little star in the west.

After many days, the three wise men came to a big city. Many people lived there. Even though the city had some of the biggest and most beautiful buildings in the world, many of the people were wicked. The ruler was so wicked he had unjustly killed many of the people.

Chapter 8 - The Big Mistake

The little star got scared. He remembered the big bad stars that teased him. He remembered Father Maker telling him of big bad stars on earth.

And now he was afraid that he had brought the wise men to the wrong place, right to the place of the people's big bad stars!

So he ran away and hid behind a cloud and cried and cried. He cried so much that the cloud he was hiding behind poured down rain the whole time.

But every once in a while, he'd take a peek from behind the cloud, and several days later he saw the 3 wise men leaving the city. Luckily some people had gotten out their books and they found out what place Father Maker's son was supposed to come. They told the 3 wise men where it was. It was a little town only 5 miles away, just south of the big city.

But the ruler and the people in the big city were too busy being wicked - and too lazy - to go show the wise men the way.

So the little star stopped crying. He bravely wiped his tears away. He came from behind the cloud, and led the wise men to the place.

The 3 wise men were very, very glad when they saw the star again. They found out they had also made a mistake in going to Jerusalem. They didn't trust the people in Jerusalem. Many of the people of Jerusalem, especially the rulers, were too big and too important to care about the coming of Father Maker's son. They were too busy and didn't want to be bothered. And the chief ruler actually wanted to get rid of Father Maker's son, and later was going to kill a lot of little baby boys trying to get rid of him. He didn't tell the wise men, but the wise men were smart enough to not trust him at all.

So when the 3 wise men left Jerusalem, and saw the little star, they were greatly relieved to know that they were going in the right direction. They were filled with joy and they were happy to again be on their way.

And the little star was happy to be doing his job again. He led them down the road. He brought them to the place where Father Maker's son had come to earth.

Chapter 9 - The Greatest Show

The littlest star had brought the 3 wise men the last 5 miles of their long journey. He stopped right over the house where Father Maker's son was.

And suddenly, he saw the most beautiful thing in all the universe.

He saw real stars gathered together in a single show. Only it wasn't just a show. It was live, happening in real life, all in one place!

He saw the sweetest mother in the whole universe holding the best little baby in the whole universe. Father Maker's son was named Jesus, his mother was named Mary.

The littlest star also saw a gentle hardworking carpenter named Joseph taking care of them both.

He saw the 3 wise men kneel and bow down. Then they got their treasure chests and opened them, and offered their very expensive treasures, for which they had worked so hard all their lives. Their dreams had come true.

And of course, because he was a star, the littlest star could see many angels with reverent smiling faces.

Then something even more wonderful happened. The sweetest mother in the universe gave each of the wise men the best baby in the universe to hold! When she did that for each of them, all of a sudden they understood.

Chapter 10 - The Real Treasure

What did the 3 wise old men discover?

  • They knew then that the little baby in Mary's arms was a treasure far greater than all the treasures in the treasure chests they had dragged across the desert.
  • They knew that they no longer had to appease the anger of Father Maker and his son, because Father Maker's son Jesus was going to do that for all of us.
  • They knew they could receive Father Maker's son's great love in becoming a little baby. All he would ask in return is that we love him with our whole hearts, mind, soul, and strength.
  • They knew that the antidote to the wickedness of the world was not power and greed and destruction, but living with a loving and giving spirit.
  • They knew that the greatest treasure of all can be put in our heart.
The littlest star learned all this too. He himself also learned many important lessons.

He had made a mistake. He didn't think himself as very brave when he ran away and hid. But he had finished doing his job, even though he was scared. And so, he was still able to accomplish his mission, the job he was sent to do. He knew he had been given a second chance to fulfill his duty.

  • He now knew that Father Maker and his son wanted to give everyone another chance, just like he had been given another chance.
  • He knew that Father Maker understood all the difficulties he had been through, all the teasing of the big bad stars, all the hurt he had felt and all the crying he had done.
  • He had seen the greatest gift of love packaged as a little baby in the arms of a simple woman and her husband, and given as a present for anyone who wanted to come and receive him.
  • He discovered it's not how big and shiny on the outside is important, but the love inside that makes people shine as real stars.
The littlest star had done the most important thing any star in heaven or on earth can do, which is to show the way and lead people to the son of Father Maker, so they too might receive him, and they too might experience the greatest treasures of the heart, treasures like wisdom, love and kindness.

Chapter 11 - Afterward

After this wonderful event, it was time to go back home.

The 3 wise men - and the littlest star - went back to tell everyone else the good news.

The 3 wise men went back to their country and dedicated the rest of their lives to telling the people the good news of meeting Father Maker's son and his family.

The littlest star went back home, way up high and far into the sky. He told all the angels and went around to all the stars in all the universe telling the good news.

And now the littlest star is happy as happy could be.

He doesn't cry anymore. He doesn't cry at all. Yes, he still remembers the time he cried, when he ran away from his job leading the 3 wise men. But now he knows that Father Maker and his son have so much love, they give us all many, many second chances.

The littlest star still likes to travel. But most of the time, he just likes staying at Father Maker's house. He never gets tired of telling Father Maker the story over and over again of what he saw. And Father Maker never gets tired of hearing him tell the story. He loves to listen to him telling it over and over.

Years and years have gone by since the littlest star had let the wise men to Father Maker's son. He has seen Father Maker's house get bigger and bigger and bigger.

First, Father Maker's son came back home. He had done his work on earth. And because he did his work so well, his mother Mary came to heaven also. Then Joseph the carpenter came. Then the 3 wise men from the far country came. The little star was very happy seeing them again. They had come to heaven because he had done his job well. And after them, billions and billions of people came.

And billions more are coming, which keeps Father Maker's son - and his very big construction crew of angels - very busy preparing lovely beautiful places for each and every one of them.

Chapter 12 - A Story Everyone Wants to Hear

Remember how I told you, Father Maker loves to listen each time the littlest star tells the story?

Well, I forgot to tell you, not just Father Maker listens. All the stars in heaven stop to listen. All the angels stop to listen. And all the billions and billions of people in heaven stop to listen. They all want to hear him tell the story over and over and over again.

That's because years and years ago, the littlest star had the front row overhead balcony first and closest seat to the beginning of the greatest show in the Universe!

It's the greatest show in the universe that has never stopped. It will go on and on forever in Father Maker's home. That is where all the true and best and good stars that have ever lived come to sing, celebrate, have fun, and tell stories. What a party!

And when stories are told in heaven, you don't have to use your imagination anymore. The stories come to life for everyone listening, just as if you were there, just as if it was happening all over again.

And I think I know why the littlest star loves telling the story over and over. He just wants to see over and over the moment when Mary so sweetly smiles giving Baby Jesus to the 3 wise men. After all, no one can have a smile like a happy mother holding - and giving - her precious baby!

The littlest star is not lonely anymore. Now he has lots of friends to play with. That's because no one can even get into Father Maker's house unless he or she becomes a little child, just like Father Maker's son Jesus did.

And many, many times the littlest star loves to jump into Father Maker's lap and whisper a big Thank You for letting him have such a little big part in the greatest show in the universe.

Chapter 13 - The Littlest Star has a New Name

For years and years the littlest star was the only star not to have a name. Everyone just called him the littlest star!

And now, if someone calls him the littlest star, he takes it as a compliment. He is not hurt by it at all, he is actually quite proud of it. He would wear it as a badge of honor for the rest of his days - goodness me, for the rest of forever - if only he would stay in one place, because he is so full of energy and life he can hardly stay in one place for long, and once again he loves to zip around Father Maker's House, which now is so big it's practically bigger than the universe, and with all that speed, it's pretty hard to keep a badge on for very long.

But actually, hardly anyone - except people like me - calls him the Littlest Star any more.

That's because people everywhere around the world - in their own languages of course - gave him another name.

When we decorate our rooms and houses and streets and churches and schools and buildings every December, we put a star or an angel on top of the evergreen tree, in memory of Father Maker's son who became a little baby boy, and the little star who did his little job so well.

It reminds us that because Father Maker's son Jesus became little, that's why he is great.

And that no matter how little we are, how scared or hurt or frightened, if we do the best we can to always do the right thing and do our duties well, we too can be a very special star.

The littlest star, by doing his job as well and as best he could, has become the most famous star of all, and now we call him the Christmas Star!

The End


           Stories by Paul Berchtold
     © Copyright -- All rights reserved.

Do you like this Christmas Short Story? You may share it with others provided you follow the Story Terms and Conditions.

A Poem that fits this online Christmas Star Story

A few days after I posted this story, I finished a one-of-a-kind original unique poem, in which God is speaking to say thank you to his children and friends!

Published on Thanksgiving Day, it's a short inspirational poem with a heavenly message.

"Thank You, My Little Star"

Appendix - Notes from the Author - Lesson Planning

There are some lessons in this story for both children and adults, which can be used for home, church, and school. Here are a few of the principle ones that I put on purpose in this story:

  • Who are the stars we should really be looking up to in our lives.
  • How easy it is to pray - talking to God - telling him stories - God talking to us.
  • Lessons of gratitude
  • Thanking God for second chances
  • The importance of faithfully doing our duties.
  • God often uses the littlest to do his greatest work.
  • God always fulfills his promises, no matter how long ago they were made, or how long we have to wait.
  • Like the 3 wise men, we should always be searching for the greatest treasure.
  • Even if we are never rich and famous, we can have the greatest treasure of all in our hearts.
  • An inkling of the joy, beauty, and fun in heaven.

Behind the Story

This is just a story, but it follows closely the biblical account, the historical setting, and today's science.

You can find the biblical account in Matthew Chapter 2.

For all you science lovers - and science was my favorite subject - I have included some of the latest scientific findings in the field of astronomy.

In recent years, thanks to advances in scientific instrumentation and imaging, scientists have been able to see deeper into the universe, and the pictures are stunning and the facts are almost incredible.

The deeper we look into space, we are now able to estimate there are at least one billion galaxies, each with countless billions of star. It is estimated that one star blows up in a galaxy every 100 years.

Multiply that by the number of galaxies, there are about 30 stars blowing up every second in the known universe.

So when we get to heaven and get bored and have nothing better to do, we can see awesome fireworks at the rate of at least 30 a second. Giant, giant fireworks, and every one of them different and spectacular.

And for you math lovers - I like math too - consider the huge distances in the universe.

A light year is about 6 trillion miles - 6,000,000,000,000 miles.

Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years across - 600 quadrillion miles. 600,000,000,000,000,000.

The Milky Way is only one galaxy of an estimated 350 billion galaxies - 350,000,000,000.

These huge distances in the universe are simply astronomical.

Thank your stars on earth! Thank your heavenly stars !!! Thank your stars God runs the biggest show in the universe !l!

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