Walking with Angels

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There is something about Christmas and Angels that seem to go hand and hand. We see them on the tops of trees, on cards and in holiday music and movies. Angelic messengers always seem to be spreading love and joy, particularly during the holiday season. Angels have walked beside me all my life…and they still do!

When my father lost his battle with cancer two months before my 12th Christmas, my mom was left with very little in the way of financial resources to provide for the holiday season. She warned me that this would be a tough Christmas, in many ways, and not to expect too much. My Dad had been sick and unable to work for a full year before he passed away, so our family’s financial status was somewhat precarious. Although we never had much money, I had always known fun and festive Christmases, with plenty on our table and under the tree. My twelve year old self couldn’t even imagine how we could have a Christmas without any money and it worried me. Clearly I had not yet learned the message so eloquently delivered in our Holiday Concert this year: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. It seems that this holiday doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”

The day before Christmas Eve, two surprises arrived at our front door. One was a festively wrapped gift box that simply said “12 year old girl” on it and the other was a huge order of groceries with the traditional turkey and all the trimmings for a full Christmas feast. My normally stoic mother had tears in her eyes as she told me that a particular gentleman from our church had made sure we had a Christmas that year by submitting my name to The Star Santa Claus Fund and also arranging for a Christmas hamper to be delivered from our local grocer. She said “Mr. Devins is our Angel this year!” I knew this older man from our community and he sure didn’t look like an Angel to me, but if my Mom said he was our Angel I figured it must be true. That is the day that I learned that Angels come in all shapes and sizes, often disguised as our neighbour, our friend, or even a complete stranger. From that day forward I always looked for Angels in my life.

Over the years it has never really been very hard for me to find the Angels. Nowhere are they more present to me than at CGS. As I watched many parents helping their children shop at The Principal’s Club Holiday Sale, I was once again reminded of what a caring and generous group we are a part of. My Student Angels always work so hard to raise funds and awareness for their counterparts in Uganda, showing deep commitment to changing the world, one generous act at a time. During our Holiday Outreach night I witnessed the CGS teachers giving up their Friday night and displaying good cheer to ensure the success of the night. Many less fortunate Toronto children will now have a chance for a fun and joyous Christmas thanks to all the wonderful donations of toys. Angels sure are alive and well in our CGS community!

Angels aren’t just around during the Holiday Season of course, but for some reason their actions seem all that more important and meaningful. Ever since that Christmas so long ago, I recognize an Angel whenever I see one, regardless of the time of year. I also try my best to be one every chance I get. I really hope you do too.

My very best wishes to all of you for a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas and a New Year full of walking with Angels.

“Angels around us, angels beside us, angels within us.
Angels are watching over you when times are good or stressed.
Their wings wrap gently around you,
Whispering you are loved and blessed.”

Marie Bates
Principal and Co-Founder
Children’s Garden School