Saturday, December 15, 2012

Three French Hens

Growing up there were three of us kids in our family-- me, my brother, and my sister. Over the years, we received many kind gifts from friends and family at the holidays. I'm sure there were lots of other nice things, too, but in my memory, it seems like we always got Christmas ornaments.

I didn't mind the ornaments, though; it was kind of neat to hang them on our beloved tree, and then always nice to remember the person who gave them to us year by year. What I did mind was that each of us always got the same thing-- I got an angel, my brother got a Santa, and my little sister got a miscellaneous holiday something, either a star, or a drum, or a jack-in-the-box, or a reindeer, or a teddy bear.

For some reason all those angels bothered me. In my mind they were far less fun and exciting than Santa and all his cute accessories. Yet still they came-- ceramic, yarn, tin, and glass-- a host of angels adorned our tree, most of them mine.

Years later,  after all our family Christmas decorations were lost in a generous gesture by my father and we were adults, I began to assemble my own collection of ornaments. Childhood bruises may be invisible, but they last-- today the only angel on my tree is at the top.

When I think about it, I wonder, though. What's my problem? Seriously, who could possibly object to angels?

These days when I hang the ornaments on my own Christmas tree, each one of them sparks in me appreciation of the things I love. Among them there is a skillet, a fountain pen, a school house, garlic, snowshoes, several dogs, a basketball, a Navajo polar bear kachina, and a suit case labeled with destinations all over the world. Are these not all angels in some form? Do they not represent a bit of the divinity that inhabits our every day lives?

I'm going to go with yes.

P.S. I also have a ton of Santas. I LOVE the Santas. I guess sibling rivalry may just be formative after all. Who knew?

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