Mindy pressed her nose against the frost-decorated window. “One, two, three,” she counted.
Mom stepped out of the den. “What are you doing, dear?”
“I’m counting the sparkly snowflakes. Four, five, six. … Mom, why is everything sparkly at Christmas?”
Mom sat beside her. “What do you see that is sparkly?”
“Snowflakes, angels, tree lights, wrapping paper, sugar cookies, …”
Mom took a tiny glass angel from the tree. “Some Christmas things have lights inside them, like the tree lights. But other things, like this angel, reflect the light—see? That’s what makes them sparkle.”
Mindy held the angel near the blinking lights. Star drops bounced around it. “That’s the sparkliest angel I have ever seen,” she whispered.
“Do you know where one of my sparkliest angels is?” Mother asked.
Mindy shook her head.
“Right here.” She hugged Mindy. “You are filled with more light than all these things.” She got up and hung the angel in its place on the tree. “Now, I have to get back to work. If you need me, just call.”
When Mom was gone, Mindy gazed at her reflection in the window. Am I really sparkly? she wondered. If I am, where is the light?
She nudged the angel. Its dress twinkled.
I wonder what light feels like. Mindy put her hands on her face. She knew she felt happy, but was happy the same as sparkly?
She touched the angel again. It danced. Mindy lifted her arms high above her head and danced too. When she stopped, her face felt warm and tingly. Her body felt strong. Is this what light feels like?
Suddenly something tugged her shirt. “Play?” asked two-year-old Kate.
“Not now. I’m busy. Why don’t you watch the tree?” Mindy suggested. “See the pretty lights?”
Kate’s lower lip curved toward her toes, and Mindy didn’t feel very happy anymore. “I’m sorry. Yes, I will play,” she said. Flashing her fingers open—shut—open—shut, she sang a sparkly Christmas song that Dad had taught her.
When she finished, Kate clapped her hands. “‘Gain!” she begged.
Mindy sang the song again and again and again.
Finally Kate jumped into her arms and gave her a big hug.
Mindy grinned. She felt happy, tingly-warm—and sparkly.