“Ah, that’s it. No more room in the inn.” Jessica placed the last of her angel ornaments on the tree. She flipped the light switch off, and stood back. A broad smile filled her face just before she caught her bottom lip with her teeth. The tree was such a mesmerizing sight. Twinkle lights faded softly from red to green to white casting glimmering shadows across gold filament, ivory ceramic, polished wood, and lace in all shades of white. For years Jessica scoured Christmas stores, craft sales, and ebay, as well as Macy’s, Hallmark and Nordstrom’s after-Christmas clearance sales to collect enough angel ornaments to fill the giant, 9 foot , artificial Blue Spruce. This year her ‘Angel-Tree’ dream came true.
Her heart fluttered as she gazed upon the tree. A breathy, “Perfect,” was the only word she could utter. She never imagined it would be this lovely.
A tiny hand slips into hers. “Whatcha doin’, Mama?”
Jessica looked down into murky pools of gold that reflected the twinkle lights. “I’m admiring my tree. Look at all the angels I have.”
Angelina craned her neck to see the top of the tree. “It’s so pretty. Is that a star we bought last year on top?”
Jessica’s eyes followed the tapering tree limbs to the summit. A large multi-dimensional star with tiny white beams emanated in all directions. “Yes, Angelbaby, it’s the one you selected.”
“Mama, the tree is pretty, but, where’s baby Jesus?”
Still holding her daughter’s hand, Jessica pointed up to the tree. “Honey, this tree is all about baby Jesus. These are the angels that filled the sky to worship Him, and the star is what appeared over the stable where He was born.”
With Kindergarten innocence, she scanned the tree once more. Before Jessica could stop her, Angelina dashed into the branches around the tree’s base. Glass ornaments plinked against each other like wind chimes, as the tree shimmied and shook. “Angelbaby, be careful. What are you doing?” Jessica clamped her eyes shut and cringed. Please, Lord, don’t let her break any ornaments.
When the sound of rustling tree limbs and tinkling ornaments stopped, she opened her eyes to see Angelina’s disembodied head resting in the boughs. “Mama, He’s not down here.”
Those beautiful golden eyes, spoke to Jessica’s heart. She was so wrapped up in creating the perfect angel tree, she put aside why the angels filled the sky that night. “Come on, I know how to fix that.” Jessica stretched out her hand. “We’ll get a Nativity scene and set it up on the tree skirt. Now come out of there, and be careful. We don’t want a mess of angels on the floor.”
Angelina began to wiggle herself free of the massive tree, but became entangled with its spidery web of twinkle lights. The child began to kick and struggle as the lights gripped her tighter and tighter. The more she fought, the more vigorously the tree shook.
CRACK! SNAP! The colossal tree toppled to the floor, and landed right next to Angelina.
“ANGELBABY! Are you all right?”
The boughs parted like the Red Sea and Angelina stood up. She pushed her hair out of her face, and began to untangle herself from the lights. “Yes, Mama, I’m fine.”
Jessica’s ‘Angel-Tree’ was ruined. She’d spent three hours placing the lights and angels in the perfect spots, and now it all lay in a heap, broken, if not destroyed. Then her eyes met Angelina’s.
The little girl ducked her head. In a soft whisper, she said, “Mama, I’m sorry.” Tears rolled down her face.
Her heart was as sad as Angelina’s apology, but she had to smile. In the midst of the mess of angels Angelina stood, covered in twinkle lights, and pine needles. The color of her skin changed with each light fade: Smurf blue, to Hulk green, to Easter egg red. She lifted the strands of lights off Angelina. “Here now, no since crying. We’ll get this cleaned up, and you can help me fix the tree.”
Angelina nodded and helped her mother clean up the angel mess.
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