Sister Cecelia taught us kids to share with our guardian angelswe sat on just half of our school desk benches so our angels had a place to perch. That class of some 50 first-graders at St. Francis of Assisi in Burien took it very seriously, true believers all.
Then I was busted for failing to do my workbook assignment, and there was no angelic intervention when I was called to the front of the class to confront goggle-eyed Sister Cecelia with her reprimanding voice thundering from the heavens. It was a lesson hard-learned: Guardian angels use their powers only for good.
In the past few years, the commercial world has noticed what we first-graders believed, and companies have used all of their angel powers for good sales.
Almost everywhere you turn, you find angelically inspired merchandise: accessories to take you from the welcome mat and door knocker into your home, past wall hangings, plaques, switch plates, night-lights, all the way to the toothbrush holder (see www.angels allaround.com/homedecor.html). You could hang the "Fallen Angels" poster (below, $8.99 at www.frame posters.com), depicting two chubby cherubs, in a style not unlike the dogs-playing-poker prints, sitting at a bar smoking and drinking. Like anime? There's the Anime Angels store (www.animeangels.net/store.php) for T-shirts, boxer shorts, bibs, wall clocks, flying discs, mouse pads, briefcases, teddy bears, and license plate covers.
Off the Web, you can turn to the well-stocked Angels Store (201 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 1, Edmonds, 425-712-8000) for all your angel needs. In this little shop, you will find items big and small, for old or young, inexpensive to . . . what's your limit? There are charms and pet-collar charms; the classic car-visor clip; mini molded votive candles and candle wall sconces; ornaments, prints, cards, plaques, and pins; pacifiers and piggy banks (pigs can fly!); house numbers and teapots; clocks and memorial benches; and refrigerator magnets.
Should you be thinking of a friend who is an angel beginner, try the $9.95 Copper Angel Ornament at www.gearthat gives.com (at left). It is handmade in Africa and handled by a fair-trade- certified importer. Each one sold helps fund health services for four children. The other angel items include a set of three straw angel ornaments, in jewel tones, handmade in Swaziland ($9.95).
For the more advanced, consider jewelry incorporating Zibu, the Language of the Angels. Debbie Zylstra Almstedt of Shoreline makes it with sterling silver wire and promises: "Pure Love from Spirit is infused into each symbol. The messages are powerful and offer hope and encouragement to mankind!" (www.languageofZibu.com).
Faith O'Neill produces portraits of your angel. The background is done during an angel reading; the "final detail work is done with the return of your angel on the etheric, the painting is totally directed by your angelic beings," she says on her Web site (www.2angels.net). O'Neill, who studied realistic oils at Cornish, does portraits and readings in person or on the phone, and gift certificates are available (an 11- by 14-inch portrait is $125; 16-by-20 is $225).
Prefer to give gifts of time and service? You can be an angel on Earth and volunteer with Chemo Angels (www.chemoangels.com), who offer support for people with cancer with cards, uplifting notes, and small gifts.