Outside, Todd noticed that his sister had built a short snowman by a tree in the front yard. It was incomplete, missing its bottom ball. He felt the urge to kick it, to make it topple. He wanted to destroy it, to destroy the holidays, to destroy Christmas.
The snowman had a stubby cork nose. Its eyes were slanted, its head on lopsided. Todd glared at these imperfections and punched in the snowman's face. He blasted its body into pieces that melted when they hit his hot face. He stamped on it and spat on the ruins. Satisfied, Todd returned home.
His family had set up their plastic Christmas tree in the living room by the T.V. Red and green lights were strung, and shiny tin ornaments hung from every limb but the tip. The top of their tree was empty, a sprout of fake pine needles. He smiled. Good. At least his birthday was more important than finding the angel for the top of the tree. Or so he thought.
Then his sister came down, cradling a cardboard box filled with Christmas decorations.
She ran to the basement, retrieved a ladder, then balanced it against the wall. Brenda saw an angel ornament, and was about to put it on the tree, when she noticed it was in bad condition. She threw it in the box again, found a five-pointed gold star, and set that on top of the tree instead.
Never mind about my birthday, then, Todd thought. He rummaged around in the box, until he came up with the plastic angel. It had crooked wings and a twisted halo.
"Hey, you're just like me. No-one cares about us, 'cause they always go for the better stuff. I know how it feels." Todd whispered to it. The angel's wings drooped, but it seemed to smile. Todd looked at it closely, then carried it off with him.
"A Christmas angel, huh? Well, I don't care much for Christmas, but if you want to be my birthday angel, then go ahead. 'Cause no-one's fighting for that spot now." Todd realized he was talking out loud. He wondered if it was to himself or to the angel.
"Well, at least someone's listening. I bet you don't care much for Christmas, either. I bet you hate how you're thrown around. I bet no-one cares about you besides me. You know what, I think we'll be better off without Christmas, don't you? Nobody cares that I'll be 10. Nobody cares that you're stuck in the box with all the other junk."
Todd ran into his room and closed the door. He set the angel on his desk, next to his favorite book, The Lord of the Rings.
"You know what I wish? I wish there was no Christmas." Just then his mother called him down for lunch.
Todd ran out his room and down the stairs.
In his room the angel stayed. It sparkled, winking and sending of a stream of light.