The Christmas Angel
by John Williams
It was the night before Christmas and we didn’t have a tree. This story starts months earlier. August to be exact. That would be our wedding date. Being young and in love is mostly an upside but there are drawbacks. We thought we could live on that “love” aspect but if a couple desires to have anything, money is pretty important. A honeymoon, apartment, utility bills, food and such took an incredible amount of it.
As frugal people we never realized we were poor. That Christmas Eve we went looking for that special green fir to set in our living room for the next day’s celebration. Christmas is about Christ, but we’ve been programmed to add other aspects to make it more special. A tree inside a house with ornaments is one of those. That evening we drove through the colorful street settings that add to the festive atmosphere. We stopped at a few tree lots but soon realized a cut tree was worth more than a live one in the woods. Living in the evergreen state of Washington is especially beautiful during the Christmas season. At the first stop, the sign read 30 dollars. At another 10 dollars. We were about to give up hope as we stopped at a third tree lot. The sign read 6 dollars. All the good ones were gone and what remained had issues but Teddi, my wife, seemed to think we needed to negotiate. I mentioned to the seller that the price was more than we were comfortable with. He looked at Teddi then me and since it was late Christmas Eve and we were just kids he says, how about 1 dollar. Teddi smiled as I handed the man the dollar.
Teddi’s workplace had given her a green guitar playing Angel ornament a few days earlier to set on top. It crested our tree for years until finally wearing out. 53 years later we think of that very first Christmas together. It has always been my most favorite one.
P/S. It’s “Worth Going Back”
About the Author
If you are looking for the author, John Williams, you won't find him in the office writing. He may be trekking a nearby hiking trail or floating in his canoe or kayak on one of the beautiful lakes that surround his Appalachian foothills home. If not there, jump on your bicycle and find a nearby trail, he may be wrapped around a tree somewhere and in need of your help. Teddi, his wife of 50 years, will tell you to take your time. Four children, all grown, made a break for it and put roots in different parts of our beautiful country. The seven grandkids don't know what he looks like. Go to the nearest locally owned coffee shop and just by chance he may be there. He will be the only one with a pencil and paper.
John Williams is the author of Worth Going Back: A Memoir of Alaska.
See all of our favorite Christmas ornaments here!
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