As angels go it was pretty ugly— its cherubic smile rather disturbing. But my son bought it for me at the Dollar Store when he was four. His dad helped him wrap it and Alex was so excited for me to open it. “Open mine! Open mine!” he yelled on Christmas morning. So I carefully opened the lumpy package. The cheesy gold coating was already flaking off. “It's an angel, Mommy.” Alex said. “A Christmas angel.”
I smiled and lied like all good mothers. “It's beautiful, Alex. Thank you so much.”
The next year when I got out the Christmas decorations Alex watched carefully. I thought he might have forgotten about it but he didn't. “Where's the golden angel, Mom?”
So each year for the past 12 years that gaudy angel has dominated our Christmas display. Like an ungainly, ugly stepsister she hovered over her more lovely angelic companions.
I asked Alex to pick up a pair of dirty socks from the living room. Instead of taking them to a laundry basket he opted to lob the socks over the top of the piano and down the stairs.
The socks connected with the angel and she went over the railing and smashed into tiny pieces.
“Uh. Sorry, Mom.” Alex said.
As angels go it wasn't much to look at. But each year as Alex got older and busier, that angel seemed more beautiful.
Now I know that golden angels, like four-year-old boys are irreplaceable.
Do any of you have ornaments/decorations you once thought ugly, but now couldn't bear to live without?