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Editorial: Angels are among us

What would Christmas be without angels — especially the secret kind? We’re seeing quite a few of them this year, here and elsewhere.
Thanks to a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, four of Salisbury’s Christmas angels have been “freed” and can spread their colorful wings this holiday season after all.
Initially, it appeared that all 39 wooden angels created by local artists would have to remain in storage this year because of budget tightening at Downtown Salisbury Inc., which previously had paid for the installation and removal of the 8-foot tall angels. But four of the angels are now on display at St. John’s Lutheran Church on West Innes Street, thanks to the donor, the cooperation of St. John’s and the assistance of the city of Salisbury’s Parks and Recreation Department.
While it’s not the full contingent of this heavenly host, the smaller display — and the manner in which it transpired — fully shows the spirit of Christmas, and the message that it’s better to give than receive. This is a gift to the community as a whole. So as you’re finishing up that last bit of Christmas shopping, be sure and take a trip down West Innes Street to enjoy the heavenly view at St. John’s.
And while we’re on the subject of divine displays, who can help but be amazed and inspired by the “layaway angels” phenomenon spreading across the land as anonymous benefactors help provide Christmas gifts for needy families. It apparently began a few weeks ago when an anonymous woman paid off three layaway accounts at a Kmart in Grand Rapids, Mich. The story about that incident apparently inspired copycat angels. Now, “layaway angels” have appeared in several states, paying off Christmas accounts for people they don’t know — and most likely will never meet. Kmart alone has received more than $400,000 in donated layaway payments, USA Today reports. And in true “pay it forward” fashion, some of those whose accounts had been paid off turned around and donated money to pay off the layaway for someone else.
Christmas angels come in other forms, too. Many have contributed to the Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund. They contribute to toy drives, donate food and clothing to the needy, help prepare and serve holiday meals for the homeless, sing carols to those spending the holidays in hospitals or care homes and spread the Christmas spirit in countless other ways.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and there are also Christmas angels. They show up in a lot of places this time of year, including the streets of Salisbury.

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