Some of the angels like to come down and inhabit our strange doll-like images. They like hanging out on Christmas trees. These were glad to be gathered together in a group on this tree. They could chat when the house was quiet.
“Next time I’d like to hang around a lighthouse like the one in the picture beside us,” said the golden angel at the very top of the tree. “I’d like to protect ships at sea and maybe visit the lighthouse keeper and his family.”
“How old-fashioned you are,” snorted the little paper angel of brown and red. “Don’t you know the lighthouses are controlled by computer these days?”
“Well then, I could hang around with the computer operators and make sure they didn’t fall asleep or make any mistakes. Somebody has to work on Christmas Day.” retorted the golden angel.
“Don’t quarrel,” whispered the little white fabric angel. “That’s not what we came here for. There’ll be enough squabbling when the presents are opened. I hope they don’t have any uncles who get into the brandy before they pour it over the pudding. Last year an uncle Jack set fire to the tablecloth in the house where I was.”
The little paper angel hung her head and thought how much quieter it was in the green forest where the Christmas tree had been cut. She decided to inspire the oldest child to water the tree. It was quite hot and dry in the house and the tree was starting to droop.
The tree was patient and silent. He had been proud and happy when the ornaments had been hung on his cool branches but as the days wore on he became weaker and his forest spirit began to fade. He liked to remember how birds and insects had found refuge in his dark recesses. Now, snowmen and crimson bells took their places. In the evening the family switched on the sparkling lights but often after a few moments of admiring him they left the fancy front room and went away to look at television. Truth to tell he did not mind. He was used to dark and quiet.
The angels and the tree sat in quiet companionship. It was Christmas Eve. They enjoyed a few moments of silent fellowship. Soon the company would arrive and sit at the big table spread with a white cloth. In a few days the images of angels would be put away in a cardboard box. The angel spirits would depart to circle the earth and try to do good. The tree would be put out on the street to be carried away. It was just during these few days at the darkest period of the year that the angel and tree spirits came close to human families. A few people, especially children noticed and were inspired by the strange company. These were the ones who loved Christmas and kept on loving it even when they grew up.