There were more beautiful ornaments than Nel, but none could do the things he did after the lights went off on the tree. Nel helped the ornaments stay in good condition, and he listened to their comments about trying to cope with always being beautiful.
There was one ornament, particularly this season, that had a problem. It was the jack-in-a-box, which was a gift given to the family that year. Well it seemed that Jack was lonely because he had spent so many holidays with another family that he felt abandoned. You see the other family moved out of town and decided to give away some of their cherished possessions to their friends.
Nel talked to Jack that night about how, he, a cardboard angel had come into the house. He was lonely, too, in the beginning, but he started to talk to the other ornaments each night after the lights were turned down. They told him how they missed their families. It seemed eventually that each were noticed by a special guest and touched with great care. When this happened, they became loved again. Nel thought for a moment and told jack-in-the-box to just wait a few more days until the Christmas party. He was sure to be noticed and appreciated then.
That day arrived and Nel was right because on that Saturday evening the children had their annual party before the adults dinner later that night. It was then that a small boy reached his hand up to the branch on the tree and touched the treasured jack-in-the-box. It was a thrilling time for Jack to feel needed once again. The boy kept saying he had never seen such an unusual toy and so well made. The owner of the house looked at the smile on the boy's face and brought over a small box so Jack would not get tossed around on his journey to his new home.
"Please, the toy is yours," said the kind man.
The boy was so thrilled that he lifted the toy from the tree with such care it felt brand new again.
"Merry Christmas Nel," shouted Jack. He was then safely put away in the cozy container until he could be opened again with great care and admiration.
"I will never forget our friendship and what you taught me," were Jack's parting words to Nel. Then Jack was taken out of the home by the boy who was smiling happily while taking one last look at the ornaments still waiting for a tender touch.
"Blessings to you Jack," cried out Nel. A tear came down his little angel eye, as he was so happy for another ornament had been loved.
After the lights went out that evening, Nel, felt a feeling of contentment and no longer just a plain cardboard angel. He felt he had a special purpose and tonight proved it. He had made another ornament think happy thoughts so it would look brand new sitting on that tree.
Today let us think happy thoughts so our faces will look cheerful as we greet the day. We can be just as brand new at 92 as we were at two years old if we just smile at the world.
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