My sister and I were children of the Great Depression, and Christmas was especially hard. Mama, who helped clean an apartment complex, always scrimped and saved to get us a small tree. Then, when I was six, I saw my first real glittering, fully decorated Christmas tree in the home of the apartment manager. “The ornaments are so beautiful!” I exclaimed.
The woman smiled and pulled one off the tree. “I want you to have this. It’s very delicate so you need to take good care of it. And share it with your family!”
“I’ll cherish it forever,” I promised. And every year it made our tree seem like something special. Until I grew up and left home for California, and Mama moved from Ohio to Kentucky with my sister. At Christmas I asked what happened to my ornament. “I passed it on to our best neighbors,” Mama said.
I was more disappointed than I would have expected, but it was my own fault. After all, I’d left the ornament behind. One Christmas, when I was going through a rough patch, I kicked myself for letting go of the one thing that, in a way, had reminded me of the joy of the season.
My sister came to visit. She’d just been back to Ohio for a high school reunion. “I stopped to see our old neighbors,” she said. “You’re never going to believe what they gave me.”
She handed me the Christmas tree ornament! Over years and miles, the joy of the season has a way of always returning.
Read more stories about heavenly angels and angels on earth.