When The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell was published in 1946 it was a holiday phenomenon. This “classic” story has since been published many times (with plenty of different shown versions); made into movies (cartoon, musical, and live action); and in the list of best-selling children stories of all time (!) it come up in the optimal 20. 

Heck, even holiday crooner Bing crosby sang a song based upon the plot the it! 

I mental the first time ns heard this story. It was at catechism. And the teacher check out it to united state as if she was bestowing a good holiday gift on us children. I can still check out her smile. If the other youngsters casually sat near me with crossed legs, i remember yes, really being bothered by the story. I couldn’t placed my finger on it then, however that reaction to the tale has never unable to do away for me. And that day, I increased my hand for I had actually some questions.

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My hand is still up in the air.

The fact is, after thinking about it much too much, and being haunted by it favor Marley’s ghost every year, ns can’t escape my difficulties with this narrative. I have concerned the opinion that this Christmas timeless yarn is… simply awful. Horrendous. Maybe the worst holiday story. Oh, God, the is simply bad.

Okay, the takes a lot for a story to it is in a worst holiday yarn than the appalling song “The Christmas Shoes” (which for those lucky no to understand is the materialistic and disturbing ditty around an ignorant kid who leaves his dying mother’s bedside to go shopping, assuming the the pair of shoes he put on she feet will go through her heart to heaven and there impress Jesus), however The Littlest point of view does it. That does it ten time over.

Grab a cup of warm chocolate and also a Christmas cookie, snuggle in through the fireplace, and also let me tell you why…

People don’t end up being angels!

Let’s gain this out of the way- I’m no religious.

On a good day ns am a possibilian or agnostic; top top a negative day, a straight-up atheist.

However, no matter what job it is, I have actually studied enough standard literature and the bible to understand the difference between people and angels. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic college. I even visited the Vatican twice! and Milton and also Dante (Who i studied and also reimagined in mine radio comedy series The Dante Experience) and the Old testimony all make a strong difference between angels and also dead people.

This is just how I favor to think of it… You understand elves in The lord of the Rings? (Yes, i just carried up Tolkien in a spiritual conversation, hear me out.) Well, elves are angels. They room older, more cool and also collected. We people are smelly dwarfs and also hobbits. (I have no idea what Gandalf is, no one is the sweet.)

That angel with the flaming knife guarding the gates of Eden is not old man Wilson from under the street. No, that is one angel!

So The Littlest Angel, i beg your pardon stars a dead young boy who has transformed into an point of view upon fatality starts turn off on a glaring mistake. A mistake us will continue to experience in our culture in Hallmark cards and badly-rhymed poems. Now I can’t placed all the blame of this mistake on this story, but I wish ns could.

Again, angels are elves, we room hobbits with hairy feet… relocating on.

Heaven is no Chucky Cheese

So once this tiny deceased child comes to heaven (transformed right into an angel), that is too loud, it s okay in trouble and pretty lot annoys everyone.

Right from the start he no fit in, he sniffles in the start of the story which bothers the gatekeeper! A scene i sadly think Mr. Tazewell thought to it is in charming. The freshly deceased is holding earlier tears and also in this story it is cute because he forgot his handkerchief???

You would prefer to imagine Heaven as a location of wonder and excitement and also happiness. Uninterrupted joy. Instead, this publication creates an image of strict order, silence, and a schedule that should not be broken! The story even says in ~ one allude that the angel necessary to be “disciplined.”

That is Tazewell’s word no mine. Ns assume that the word is stated in a deep and menacing voice… in heaven.

So this sad, lonely, outsider of a child is brought prior to an “Angel of Peace” to… wait a minute… shouldn’t all angels it is in of peace? Forget it, let’s relocate on in the story.

After complaining that there is nothing because that a young angel to execute in sky (I’m no making this up, review the story), our small troublemaker asks for something from his old bedroom to do him happy due to the fact that in this truth of a heaven, heaven is minimal in what the has. And he tells the angel wherein to find this box. The under his old bed ago on Earth and is filled through his favorite things.

Just a minute… Let’s every stop and take a minute for the sad picture of parents who have lost this tiny child and also never bothered to change an inch of his bedroom because this crate is still wait there and also the bed it is under. 

Okay, the is sufficient with that really sad little nugget in this tale and also let’s relocate on because the story is about to shift.

Where is the Flux Capacitor?

It is obvious that this story is modern to the time it to be written. Ours young hero talks around playing pirate and also his crate from house sounds prefer a arsenal that would certainly make any kind of American boy happy, especially back in the 1940’s. Bits and also pieces of animals and the collar the his dog (so every dogs perform NOT walk to heaven it seems).

Anyway, that is below that our author tries come pretend the this book is happening a long time ago by speak the dead butterfly remains are native Jerusalem (Are there also butterflies in the center East???), since we are about to journey ago to the first Christmas. Get out the moment machine!

Yes, the very first Christmas is upon us and all of the angels space collecting gifts to give the Christ child. And also for those the think heaven is a socialist utopia where there is no greed and also everyone is equal, you deserve to forget that! due to the fact that everyone here has rich presents to give, and our tiny angel has nothing to compare to the gold objects of the others. Therefore there are still the haves and have-nots. Great…

Wait a minute! A recently deceased child was just welcomed into heaven… Wasn’t the why Jesus died on the cross, so people could walk to one afterlife? So how did the Littlest angel sneak in early!?! you see, what i mean!?! Time is the end of whack, people! get Doc Brown!

Well, ours hero adds his distinct box the was stolen from his old room come the mix of presents, God look at it and also as that goes through it, the tiny angel weeps reasoning he had actually just been blasphemous and also is about to gain in trouble. (Seriously, what is this place???)

Yet, God doesn’t watch the gift that method and decides to take it away from the little one that required it and uses the to make a star. (Something that typically God doesn’t need aid doing.)

Yup, the one point that make that bad child happy is take away away. Which i guess would make God in ~ that moment the the opposite of Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas native Mr. Tazewell!

There is a lot of cynicism about Christmas.

Yet, i have constantly had a fondness because that this holiday. One of the very first thing I ever before wrote to be a screenplay for a Christmas film (something i still hope gets made someday) and also I have actually a arsenal of Christmas music that is unparalleled. To trust me, the mix on mine iPhone has actually been lastly crafted by a master. There is no little kids wishing because that a hippo in mine music shuffle, thank you an extremely much.

Every year we are given a brand-new collection of poor Christmas songs and stories. It is inevitable. And while I have actually questions about each the the story I experience each vacation season (Like in The Santa Clause, go the old Santa die… and also did they leaving the body on your lawn? walk I miss out on something?) but none of lock have ever before disturbed me prefer The Littlest Angel. That is the gift the truly keeps giving.

Yes, in mine imagined variation of sky this publication would not be wait for me there… of course, in Tazewell’s variation it more than likely would be.

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