The Christmas Angel - Candy

“Father, the things you have me do,” said Gabriel as he finished getting dressed, “but a Santa Claus suit?”

He had answered an ad about being a Santa Claus at the mall for the holidays. He had done it before and had hated it. All he could remember was sticky fingers and a wet lap from leaking diapers and excited bladders. Now he was about to go do what he dreaded.

“Gabriel, do you doubt me?”

“Never, Father, you know that I will do whatever you ask,” he answered.

“Gabriel, I sent you there for a reason. This is the best way to meet your assignment. Candy and her mother just entered the mall.”

“Father, I shouldn’t complain. I was wrong. What would you have me do?”

“Ask her what she wants for Christmas,” came the reply.

“Yes, Father, as you wish.”

Gabriel settled in the chair and Santa’s helpers began bringing children to him. It was an ordeal. Within fifteen minutes he had a wet lap and a sucker stuck in his beard. The little ones were afraid of him, the older ones wanted everything. Most of them had a list a mile long. He endured it until the Father got his attention.

“They are coming. Get ready.”

Gabriel watched as the child begged her mother with tears in her eyes. Giving up, they got in line in order to sit on his lap.

“What’s your name,” said Gabriel while lifting her up on his lap.

“Candy Cain,” she said while fingering his beard.

“Mu, that’s a pretty name. And what would you like to have for Christmas? A dolly? A dollhouse?”

Candy looked up into his face and began to cry.

“My, My.! Don’t cry. Talk to Santa.”

“I want my daddy,” she said through her tears.

“Your daddy, where is your daddy?”

“In Heaven.”

Gabriel wasn’t prepared for her answer. He was speechless for a moment, then he spoke.

“What happened to your daddy?”

“He died. Daddy got real sick,” she sobbed.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I bet you miss your daddy,” said Gabriel.

That only made Candy sob as she lay her head on his shoulder.

“I miss him and I want him. Mommy says we won’t have Christmas this year. She cries all the time. Santa, I want to see him again.”

Gabriel looked toward Heaven and softly spoke, “Father.”

“I’m here. I was expecting her request. Tell her that you will see what Santa can do,” came the immediate reply.

Gabriel nodded his head and turned to Candy.

“Candy, I won’t make any promises, but I will see what I can do.”

“Oh boy!” she squealed while hugging his neck.

Gabriel reached in the red pouch beside him and said, “ Here is a candy cane for a Candy Cain.”

She got down and ran to her mother. They disappeared into the crowd and he went back to being Santa Claus.

When his stint was over Gabriel lifted his head and spoke, “Father, I did as you requested. It’s up to you now.”

“Gabriel, on Christmas morning I want you to deliver a package to Candy.”

“Yes, Father, I will. May I ask what it is?”

“You will know in due time.”

Christmas morning arrived, and Gabriel quietly placed a beautifully wrapped present on Candy’s doorstep. He rang the doorbell and scurried out of sight. The door opened and Candy’s mother saw the package. Picking it up, she saw that the tag said it was for Candy.

“Candy, come here. There’s a present for you on the front porch,” she called.

Candy came running. Squealing with delight, she grabbed the package and ran.

“I wonder who it is from,” wondered her mother as she watched Candy unwrap it.

“Mommy, look at the pretty angels on the paper! And the bow, isn’t it pretty? It’s purple!”

“Yes, honey, it’s beautiful. Do you want me to help you open it?”

“Please, Mommy, please hurry.”

Her mother cut the tape holding the box flaps shut. At the same time, the fragrance of flowers filled the room.

“What in the world?” said her mother.

The box was full of purple tissue paper. At the bottom of the box was a gold picture frame lying upside down. Candy took it from the box and turned it upright.

“Daddy! It’s Daddy,” she squealed.

“Let me see!”

Candy handed the frame to her mother.

With trembling hands, she stared at the picture. It was of her husband. He was dressed in an immaculate white robe and was the picture of health. In the background was a white throne with a white-bearded man sitting on the throne. She saw angels in the background.

“What? How can this be?” she sobbed.

“Mommy, I told Santa that I wanted to see my daddy.”

“You did?”

“Yes, and he said he would try to make it happen.”

“Candy, there is something else in the box. Is that an envelope?”

“Uh, huh,” said Candy while grabbing it. Handing it to her mother, she asked,” What does it say?”

Her mother opened it and began to cry. Through her tears, she said, “Merry Christmas from Santa Claus.”

December 19, 2021