young boys and girls wearing white robes and angel wings over jeans and scuffed sneakers. A girl fixing the crown of another girlI have seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. –Tracy Chapman

I think there are many people who find it an easier approach to life to be the kind of person Tracy Chapman speaks of. They usually are like a magnet for others to gather ’round, because that cheerfulness, or laughter, or joy, or compassion, is contagious.

It seems to me there’s a distinct uptake in the numbers of these angels around Christmas. There’s a certain shift in mood. I love the whole spirit of Christmas. Yes, it can get chaotic, especially that last week before Christmas; some folks get worried, or anxious or rushed, but those moods don’t last as long.

Days are shorter, the pace slower, moods lighter. We don’t ordinarily get snow here in Tucson, but there’s a kind of angelic magic drifting down like snow in neighborhoods, stores, churches, hiking trails, and homes. Folks are easier in their “ways,” quicker to smile and laugh, and huggers come out “in holiday style.”

Ambling along the pathways at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun almost ten years ago, there was a festival in the making. A mariachi band was readying to play. Discordant warm-up sounds gradually blended into a harmonious and exuberant hum. There was no slouching amongst the young processional angels waiting to take their places. Grown-ups took photos of shyly smiling angels. This was the day the angels were wearing their wings on the outside. The jeans and untied sneakers peeked out from under white robes. On the angel’s shoulders that day were not the weights of childhood fears or problems, but the light weight of brilliantly white wings. I don’t remember the exact reason for the celebration, but the photo I captured reminds me angels are everywhere.

A bit of Christmas magic for me is that I can see the angels in people that, for whatever reason, might not show other times of the year. Can you see them?

Wishing you the happiness, peace, and joy that, no matter what your belief, this Christmas magic can bring.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s been immersed in writing for over 30 years, teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. She also enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson Tellers of Tales, and just about anywhere there’s a mic.