I believe the world around Christmastide is a world so full of grace that the world is so full of the grace and glory of God that she lifts up her skirts a little so that we can see the light brimming form underneath, at least if we have the time and eyes to see. I was in the supermarket on the Friday before Christmas just after getting out from work and the place was a mad house. I hate shopping at the best of times and people were playing crash cars with their trolleys , there was a kind of mad buying rush. I can be as ruthless and cut throat as the best of them and was delighted when I got to pay out just ahead of a poor woman with a huge load of food for her (what must have been ) very large family. As I watched her with a certain amount of pride at having beaten her to the draw I saw her kind of deflate and her head dropped down to her trolley and it was plain to see she exhausted. Summoning what little good will was in me I offered to let her go ahead first. She perked up at once and was, clearly, delighted. She thanked me profusely. But when she got to paying time, disaster. She had forgotten her purse. We waited many minutes til l she went out to the car park and I , feeling even more sorry for her hoped and prayed she had not left the darn thing at home. Waiting I had time to wonder about her. Where were her husband and children to help her? Why was she so alone ? Why so exhausted? When she returned she again apologised and said to me that everything had gone wrong for her that day. But at least she had her card to pay. It came to me that although we criticise folks for being materialistic at Christmas hers was a very good kind of materialism, for she was giving all she had to feed her family through the holidays. She was exhausted , yes. But exhausted through trying to help others. By giving herself. So she was a Christmas angel in teaching me something about a mothers love at Christmas. A very tired Christmas angel but still, an angel. She mad emy heart sing a little watching her, my Christmas miracle.