She softly knelt in falling snow, letting flakes fall around her porcelain face and enrobe her gold-tipped wings. She glowed from within, silently blowing a trumpet that I imagined sounded beautiful. I curiously looked at her through the snow globe Santa (Nana) had gotten me for Christmas. My mom's family celebrated Christmas every year, and though my dad raised us Jewish, he still let my brothers and me open presents, admire my aunt's four Christmas trees and pretend to believe in Santa.
I stood in the light of my aunt's kitchen, turning the globe in my tiny hands. She was magnificent. Whiter than the snow that fell around her, more perfect than any doll I'd ever seen. There was an ethereal quality about her, something magical. I repeatedly flicked a light switch beneath her base, watched her body ignite.
"You're going to drop that, Rachael. Put her down before you slip and fall." I sashayed along the tile and wood, watched the snow swirl.
"I'm fine, I won't drop her!"
And then I tripped.
My tights gave out as I turned a corner in my aunt's hallway. The snow globe left my hands, seemed to descend like a feather. Time quickened and it smacked onto the floor, burst into a cloud of stardust and water in all directions. Someone lifted me and carried me off before I could see her. Then, someone yelled (likely several someones), and the words hit me numb. My angel was gone.
I moped away crying, hanging my head in sadness and disbelief. I don't think I spoke for the rest of the evening. My mom boxed up my other gifts, quietly apologizing for the mess. Then Nana found me and met my still tear-stained eyes.
"You know, Rachael," she said. "I'm good friends with Santa, and I'm sure if I gave him a call, he could make you a new angel." A new angel? For me? I knew I didn't deserve it.
Yet one week later, Nana stood at my front door, holding a pretty box with script twirling along the top. "To Rachael, Love Santa," it said.
I opened the box to see my angel restored.
She is in my own home now, still kneeling in her tiny world, trumpet held high. She is still magical, still able to glow. And sometimes, around this time of year, I still like to pretend she came from Santa.