Angels of Christmas past and present

I was brushing my teeth when I heard the sound-- a sound that took me back 30 years. Suddenly, I was a child standing in my grandmother's kitchen, pulling the cord on a bell that hung in the doorway. This bell:

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My son was so happy to dig it out of the box of Christmas decorations. It's nothing fancy, and it's a little banged up. But after all these years, it still plays Jingle Bells. And each time my son pulls the cord, the tune tugs at my heart.

Christmastime takes me through a maze of mixed-up emotions. I watch my boys-- the way they marvel at the lights on the tree, unable to resist the urge to reach out and touch it-- and I see myself. And as they get older, I know they'll experience the bittersweet turn of the seasons. One day, their holidays will be filled with the angels of past and present.

And I hope they'll recognize how beautiful that really is.

What are some of your most special holiday memories? Are you making new ones?

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