There’s an angel on the top of my Christmas tree. She’s graced it every year since I painted her in 1989. There is an angel that my daughter made in Girl Scouts. There are bells made into angels, and several angels that I have no idea where they came from. Possibly presents for or from my kids, maybe some from Cub Scouts when I was a den leader. They have white gowns, red ones, and blue ones. One angel is just clear, with golden wings. One look and anyone can tell they are angels. Bright and shiny.
One figure on my tree is a bit shabby, though. Her gown overlay was originally blue, but is very faded now. Her clear wings, that once stood proud, as though she had just landed on the tree limb, now have sharp points on them where they have torn. The blue stars are still very visible on her wings. Her once white halo has been replaced with iridescence. Her ‘hands’ still hold the yellow candle, although they, too, have been replaced. Her wooden head with the painted eyes and mouth, has been scrubbed clean. Her entire body holds the remnants of Christmas’ past. Canned snow has been cleaned from her, but has left reminders all over her.
This angel holds a special place in my heart because of how I received it. I was about 8 years old that Christmas. My Aunt Ginner handed me a present and this angel was attached to the top of it as a wonderful decoration. It was the only such decoration on any of the presents. She had given it to me as a special item. Ginner had no children of her own, but was a special person to all her nieces and nephews. The only other niece was 18, married, and lived out of state, so I was the ‘chosen child,’ being the only girl in a groups of boys. As a kid, Ginner was my favorite aunt. She played with us as children, and enjoyed being silly and childish with us, not stuffy and all grown, like her sisters. ‘Ginner’ was born Virginia Lee Benefield on 4 May 1929 in Randolph Co, AL. She was a teacher, a child care worker, and was loved by all her family. She passed away on 26 Aug 2010 in Jefferson Co, AL.
That one little angel may not look like much to anyone else, but to me she’s a special memory.