Christmas Angels

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Two Rivers


Two angels came into my life, both very different.

Submitted: December 05, 2017

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Submitted: December 05, 2017

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The first Christmas angel I met at the old Judd Drugs Store on Lexington Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana.  I had gone there to get a prescription filled and went to the snack bar for a cup of coffee while I waited.  I sat down next to a fellow about my age.  We got to talking about Christmas.

 “Nah, we don’t celebrate Christmas,” he said.  “I’m a musician and play in a band.  I don’t get my money until after the holidays.”

“That’s too bad,” I said.

“Well, you get used to it.”  Then he looked up and said, “Too bad she ain’t sticking around.  I’d put her in the band.  She’d make a great upfront person.”

I was confused.  I asked, “Who?”

“Her!” He looked at me like I was crazy.  There behind the counter was a bubbly, young lady, singing, laughing and kidding with the customers.  She had dark hair, brown eyes, and fair skin.  It was hard not to fall in love with her.  Everyone was mesmerized by her exuberance.

“I hear you,” I said.

I went to pay my bill and the pharmacist told me she was the best worker he had.  “Yeah, she was hitchhiking in front of the store, and I went out to asked her if she wanted a job.  She said she was on her way to New York City.  Best worker I’ve ever had, and the customers like her too.” 

“Where does she go at night?” I asked.

“I don’t know.  That ain’t my business,” he said.  “I pay her each evening and she shows up the next day.  She said she’ll be moving on shortly.”

The musician and I returned everyday. Talked and ogled the Christmas beauty behind the counter.  “Well, I know one thing, no one can get to first base with her,” he said.

“Of course not, she’s the Christmas angel,” I said jokingly.

He laughed.  “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

After New Year’s Day, I stopped in at Judd’s again.  The musician was gone.  I figured he was resting up from the holidays or celebrating Christmas with the family.  Our holiday beauty was gone too.  “Hey, what happened to the Christmas Angel?” I asked the pharmacist.

He said, “I paid her off New Year’s Eve, and she never came back.”  He looked over at the counter.  “I hope she made to New York.”

“Yeah, me too,” I said.

“It’s a sadder place without her,” he sighed.

 

The second Christmas angel came to me on Christmas Eve.  My doorbell rang, and I half expected it.  My sister, Mary, often came by on Christmas Eve bringing her latest boyfriend, who sitting uncomfortably refused any refreshment, looking at his watch, and squirming eagerly to leave.  It had happened so often we actually anticipated it and would buy a gift for the new stranger, maybe gloves, socks, or a flashlight, along with the gifts we bought for my sister. 

I rushed to the door, and there stood a lowly Mexican lady with a handful of small craft items.  Each was made like a depression doll with folded white yarn with a string around the neck to produce the appearance of a head.  The total length was maybe six inches long with a string protruding out of the top of the head to make a Christmas tree decoration.  A folded blue and yellow a ribbons were attached to the string at the neck and hung down the front giving the appearance of a dress.  Each had wings made of cloth.  The one I chose had wings of printed Spiderman fabric. 

I was so surprised for a moment I didn’t know what to the say.  Finally, I said, “Come in, it’s freezing out there.”  She came in and stood in the entryway not coming in any further.  I asked how much they were. 

“Five dollars, I made them myself,” she said. 

I said, “Well, let me get my wallet.”

When I returned she was craning her neck to see the rest of the house.  Looking embarrassed, she said, “You have a nice house!”

“Thanks,” I said, giving her $5.00 for the little angel.

“Have a Merry Christmas!” she said, leaving.

My wife, Sally, came from the sewing room, and said, “Who was that?”

“Oh, some lady selling these tree decorations,” I said.

“Neat!” Sally said.  “I like it!  Too bad she used Spiderman material for the wings.”

“Yeah, anyway, it cost me five bucks,” I said. 

She handed the doll back to me.  She reached up kissing me, and said, “It’s nice, my little softy.  But, it doesn’t go with the tree.”

I hung it near the light switch in the bedroom because there was an empty nail there.  It has hung there now over 20 years, and I hardly notice it unless I hand brushes over it to turn on the light at night to go to the bathroom. 

I have caught myself saying on occasions, “Yeah, my little Christmas angel.” 

One summer years later Sally noticed it and took it off the nail and examining it, and said, “It’s too bad you bought only one.  It was probably made from scraps and was all the money she had for Christmas.”  She placed it on the nail as if it were precious. 

I stood looking at it. Feeling guilty, I said, “Yeah, what’s five dollars.  I could have bought all of them.”  I continued looking at it for a moment and the said, “Maybe she was an angel selling angels.” 

“You’ll never know,” Sally said.

 

 


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