A Christmas Tree Angel….reposting this story has become a tradition. This year, for everyone, Christmas looks a little different. My beloved life weary angel no longer presided over an evergreen tree. This year her perch is atop a tree fashioned for crab pot wire on our boat. NO longer safely stored in our home, she has had better starts to her year ( as have we all). She lost her head in the transition from house to boat, but we are happy to report she has been restored. I love her all the more each year. Now, in the lopsided tilt of her head, in the small “scar” of glue we used to reset her head, I am reminded not just of grace, but of the hope of restoration. This season we celebrate the Savior Who came to give us a path to forgiveness. In Him our brokenness is restored. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and new beginnings!
I’m not sure where she came from. (update: at my last post someone recognized her and informed me she is a Nuremberg angel!) I’m not even certain of her age. (update: As a Nuremberg angel, we probably acquired her when my family lived in Germany when dad was in the Air Force…this would make her well over 50 yrs!)
She sat atop the Christmas tree for many of my growing up years, quietly presiding over each holiday season. I acquired her from my mother many years ago.
Her gold foil, cardboard wings, once ended in perfect points extending her stature to seven inches. Now her wing span is slightly reduced, as the tips went from being slightly bent, to folded, until they eventually tore off. Her dark red velvet dress, trimmed with gold brick brack, fits snuggly to her waist before flowing over her cardboard form. Her once silky, radiant white hair, now hangs in brittle coils around her shoulders. A little gold foil halo covers a place on her head where some of her hair has given way to the passage of time.
Her head and hands are made of wax, as is the candle she holds in one hand. I remember her as a beautiful lady, her face perfect and delicate. Those qualities are now faded. Her head, once held high and straight, has melted somewhat. It now bows lovingly downward and a bit to the right. Two years ago a significant amount of time and effort was put into re-attaching her long held candle to her now miss shaped hand. Yep, she’s a bit of mess you might say. I like that about her.
She doesn’t light up or sparkle, and quite often she is too small for the tree, making her look even more out of place. But I look forward to her presence in my living room each Christmas. Late at night, when the tree is lit and others have gone on to bed, I find myself thinking of her and all we have in common.
I too, know what it’s like to have my wings bent and torn. I know what it feels like when your body gives itself over to the challenges of time. My hair is no longer silky or radiant, and I only wish had a halo to hide the places where it has become thin. I understand the sagging of her shoulders and the bowing of her head. I have felt the weight every mother bears for her family. I know the need to bow my head in constant prayer. I love her imperfection. She’s a holiday reminder that God loves us in our imperfection.
A love full of grace, a savior born to take on the sin of the world, a reason to celebrate, reflected in the melted features and unraveled edges of our Christmas tree Angel.
God’s love was revealed among us in this way. God sent His son into the world so we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9