Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Christmas Angel

What I'm about to share is pretty darn nostalgic, but I feel like it is a good and proper time of the year to embrace nostalgia.  This is a piece that I wrote for a senior journalism assignment that I had in high school (Smoke Neck Tech!  Go Panthers!), so, that would make this story about twenty-five years old.

The Christmas Angel

As far back as I can remember, whenever we would decorate our Christmas tree, a little angel would appear on the top.  The angel was dressed all in white with a halo and beautiful gold wings.  My sister and I never knew how the angel got there, but every Christmas we would try to watch and see if it would appear.  But no matter how long we would watch, the angel would never arrive until our backs were turned.  Mom and Dad always told us that God sent the angel to us from Heaven, and in our childish trust, we believed.

One summer while I was looking in my mother's hope chest for some old pictures, I ran across a piece of brown cloth with something wrapped in it.  My curiosity got the best of me, so I unwrapped it.  Lying there in my hands was the angel.  My angel.  Our angel.  The angel that Mom and Dad had said that God sent to us.  I felt tricked and deceived.  Mom and Dad have been putting the angel on the tree while we hadn't been watching.

I was so hurt.  I felt like running up to Mom and confronting her with the horrible truth.  But then I started thinking about how happy Mom and Dad looked at Christmas whenever Vicki and I squealed in delight about how the angel had come.  Yes, it had been magic for us, but it had been magic for them, too.  I started crying.

I didn't have the heart to tell my parents that I knew about the angel.  I wrapped the angel up and put it back into its hiding place.  It was my secret now.

The angel still comes each year at Christmas time.  Even though I know the truth, it still means a lot to me.
It took me at least another ten years after I wrote this assignment before I finally fessed up to Mom and Dad about having found the angel.  And even after my confession, the angel continued to make its mysterious appearance on top of the tree while no one was looking.  I hope that it always does.

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