Our angry Christmas angel, Elvis


When I get too caught up in the running, buying, doing and utter delight we all seem to take in exclaiming the “stress” of the holiday season (“So much to do! So much to do!” Like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland forever late for a very important date) I take a deep breath and ask “what would Elvis do?”

Elvis. Elvis is the angel our son made in first grade. Matt tells us the angels, construction paper fashioned around a toilet paper tube, were supposed to represent the students themselves.

Our son had thick brown curls and poor fine motor skills so the combo met in a curious sort of pompadour. The angel’s “smile” is more a sneer (perhaps a true-to-life representation of how our son felt about the project?) The entire thing was doused in a liberal coating of glue and glitter.

Having gotten over the shock of an angel-face-only-a-mother-could-love, we came to call it “Elvis the Angry Christmas Angel.”

To answer the question of what would Elvis do? Judging from the look on his face, what Elvis would do is punch someone.

For the first year of course I made quite a fuss about Elvis because that is what mommies do. Then I tucked him away on the side of our Christmas tree because, oh my gosh he looked homicidal.


He hung out around the lower branches for the next few years, sneering his way through the holiday seasons. I appreciated the sentiment but Elvis knew his room for advancement was limited.

The point of pride at the top of our tree was reserved for a very special — and somewhat valuable — ornament. For years our tree topper was a beautiful vintage piece that Mr. Wonderful had received from an elderly friend of the family when he was just a boy himself. The box said 1949.

It was a tall spire of blown glass, beautifully shaded in the Technicolor hues of that era. I say “was” because, of course, we can’t have anything nice. It finally broke even after years of kid-glove care and use.

I tried gamely to stab it atop the tree top for a few more years but each year it listed further to one side as the crack lengthened. Finally, this year, it was less “beautiful” and more “potentially deadly” if it toppled off point down. With what would we replace it?


Like most women I can be so particular about my home, my decor, and “my” holidays. I have certain visions of how things should be. WILL be darnit! Do not mess with my pursuit of perfection. The tree, the wrap, the ribbons, the bows and the “look” of the holiday shall all be picture perfect. If Martha Stewart should pop in I’m not taking any demerits thankyouverymuch.

Perusing the Internet for the perfect tree topper I saw stars and light and even some feathers? Was my tree more “rustic woodland” or “spun sugar delight?” I could have spun glass or woven fibers. So many choices (and expenses) to choose what in a family of pack rat traditionalists will be our tree topper for years to come.


Frankly, it’s a lot of pressure. I was looking for that tree topper that had not only style but sentiment. Meaning. A history. One that would shine a message of love and acceptance down upon us for years to come. That’s hard to find in a catalog.

Fortunately, I already had that all along. Elvis the Angry Christmas Angel finally received his promotion. I moved him all the way up the ladder to the very top of our tree. There he resides in all his pompadoured glittery grimacing glory. A reminder of when one small boy brought home what just might be the angriest art project ever — to have it received with love and good humor because it was his and he was and is very much loved.

It’s true what they say that with most things you can usually look back and laugh. In the case of Elvis the Angry Christmas Angel, we simply look up.


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