Sunday, December 11, 2016

Heard on High

"Are you finished with your holiday decorating?" a friendly salesperson asked me yesterday as I browsed in her pricey gift shop.

I nodded politely. "Actually, I just finished today," I answered.

"You can't really be done without an ornament from us," she smiled.

"You do have some beautiful things," I told her and shrugged, for truly there was nothing there for me.

A few years ago I wrote about how as children whenever my brother, sister, and I received ornaments as gifts, mine was always the angel, and I always wished it was something else, something more fun, like the Santas my brother always received, or the stockings, teddy bears, and drums my sister got. Back then I ended my post like this:
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 everyday lives? 
I'm going to go with yes.
After my conversation with the saleswoman, I waited patiently as Heidi continued to shop, my attention on the Christmas display. A basket of glass ornaments sparkled from beneath the tree in the window. "Do you like those?" Heidi startled me from behind. She reached down and picked up a tear-shaped ornament and held it up. Thin lines of glitter spiraled across the frosted glass below and crystal wings and halo shined above.

"Yes," I told her. "I do."

"You know, we don't have any angels on our tree," she reminded me.

"I know," I said. "I think we need this one."

As we turned to the register, the saleswoman was looking on.

"You were absolutely right," I told her. "I wasn't finished, yet."

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