, Muskogee, OK

December 15, 2012

Paper angels tell family story

By By Liz McMahan
Phoenix Correspondent

— WAGONER — To others, they may be simple paper angels. But the angels that top the piano in Jane Teel’s living room represent her family’s heritage.

Until she was about 6 years old, Teel lived in Arizona, where her family was far away from large stores.

Their Christmas decorations came from what the family had on hand — popcorn strung on thread, chains made from strips of construction paper and delicate little angels made by her mother from paper doilies, pipe cleaners and cotton balls.

“She used a plate to cut her circle and made a cone,” Teel said. “Then she split the doilies and used cotton balls for their hads and then a Chroe Girl — she made their hair with that because that’s all she had and they made pretty good hair. She dabbed paint on the cotton balls for faces.”

A pipe cleaner made halos for the angels.

That’s been a long time ago and Teel, a bookkeeper for an area tree nursery, wishes she still had some of her mother’s angels for decorations.

The seven angels on her piano today recall that Christmas tradition started by her mother. With six granddaughters, Teel always had hoped they would pick up the tradition.

This year, on the day after Thanksgiving, six of them gathered around a table in Teel’s home and started what she hopes will be an annual tradition of making their own Christmas angels and will annually decorate the Teels’ piano for years to come.