The Angel Tree is a Celebration of Life

When I graduated, I moved back to Wyoming to my hometown of Kemmerer. My friend Bill, from high school, owns the Bell Family Chapel. Every year he has an angel tree. The angel tree is meant for individuals who have lost loved ones. The tree is decorated with many different beautiful angels that sit waiting for someone to pick them out in remembrance of their family member or friend whom they’ve lost. The individuals take their angels home to their own Christmas tree, where they hang on a limb and shine on.

photo of gifts under christmas tree
Photo by Iryna Kostsenich on

So, when residents of our town lose someone close to them, they can stop by the chapel and pick out an ornament in remembrance of their family member or friend whom they’ve lost. It’s a wonderful tradition. For many years, Bill has put the tree up for families living in this small Western Wyoming town.

I was over visiting my friend Charlene, who is the florist at the chapel, when Bill asked me to pick out an angel. I had recently lost my father. It was truly a touching moment to choose one for my father because I was still not used to him being gone. Losing a loved one is always a difficult time for people, especially during the holidays. 

The angel tree is a beautiful way to celebrate life and those lives are remembered as someone takes an angel off the angel tree. I think that this tree helps those who are missing someone special during the holidays. It puts a smile on their face, knowing the angel is on their tree at home. I love this tradition in my hometown and is very special for people throughout the holidays to stop by and get their angel.

About Madonna Long: Madonna works as a disability advocate to educate policymakers and congressional leaders on disability issues. She uses an Edge 3 Power Wheelchair for mobility. She is a mother to four children and lives life on her terms, despite a spinal cord injury. Click here to learn more about Madonna.