I used to be a Paper Angel.
When I was two and three, I lived in a homeless shelter and every Christmas, I was a Paper Angel to the world.
You know? Those artificial trees placed in the middle of malls and dept. stores, flooded with names and ages of little children who won't get a Christmas without you.
There are organizations that go around to help their kids they're taking care of and place a single Paper Angel on a tree limb somewhere in hopes that some kind person will walk by and feel moved enough to purchase that doll or race car for that one child who that may be their only gift.
I was a Paper Angel.
On my third Christmas, I got a baby doll. She had blonde hair and pigtail braids. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I hadn't even opened the package the whole way before I knew that it was Jesus who'd really brought me this gift. He was with me. With all of us kids without a home.
But? He moved through you.
So, when you're out doing your Christmas shopping and your mumbling and grumbling about all the gifts you can't find or don't want to find for all those on your list...?
When you brush past that tree....
...the one filled with innocent children's names and greatest hopes of a toy on Christmas morning...
I pray you stop.
I pray you look at those Angels and pick one. Give that child a Christmas.
I promise you.
They'll cry when they get it.
And, those children? They don't tear open the paper with wild excitement and vigor. No, we all sat and opened slowly, looking around at each other asking with our eyes, "Is this really okay?" "do I really deserve this?" "is this okay to open?" "are you sure this was meant for me?"
MAKE their Christmas.
That's all they're going to get anyway -- let it be from YOU.
...don't let Christmastime come to an end and there still be straggling Angels hung to the tree that no one answered to. Don't let them go empty on Christ's birthday. After all, it's Jesus who provided that shelter for them to live in anyway. They had nowhere else to live. At least you have a house, a warm place to cuddle up with family and open myriad gifts.
We were lucky just to have a bed somewhere,
in a place that wasn't even our home.
Add them to your shopping list.
You may be the only Christmas they see.
Thank you to whomever bought me that baby doll that year.
I didn't even like dolls, but I cherished that one for years. She was my angel.
And thank you, Jesus for leading them to not forget me.
Give her music this year. Give her her own Christmas Carol. Sing for her. Make HER heart sing for the VERY first time.
Don't forget about them.
They're my children.
They always will be.