Clarissa was a very happy angel. The bells had rung. Clarissa just received her wings and halo. Her task: to rescue a hard-working postal carrier from the brink of suicide...
...after Victoria's Secret catalogs magically multiplied in his bag.
Clarissa was floating around, finally enjoying what she believed to be a richly deserved vacation. She was heading down to Cabo to show off her wings and spin her halo.
She figured when she returned, she could take on new, more glorious tasks. She's finished with the postal worker. Surely the next job would be with a princess or a saint or maybe the head of a major auto maker.
That's when the call came in on the halo-phone. "Your mission, and you'd better accept it," began the Head Angel, "is to bring Christmas to a sad worn-out purse."
"A purse?" Clarissa objected loudly. "I'm an Angel First Class. Why do I have to help out a purse?"
"One. Because the purse has been good and kind its entire life. It always held spare change for the homeless. A soothing hard candy for the person coughing during silent meditation. A kleenex for a sneezing child. A poop bag for a passing poodle."
"That's all very nice," Clarissa interrupted. "but I-"
"And Two," said the Head Angel, "Is because I said so."
"What if I don't want to?" asked Clarissa.
"Then kiss those wings and that halo hasta la vista, babies!" said the Head Angel. And that was that.
Clarissa sat down on a nearby trash can lid to ponder her dilemma. The purse, probably through the machinations of the Head Angel, appeared at her feet. But how was she supposed to bring Christmas to a tired old purse? And could she do it on the way to Cabo?
Reluctantly, Clarissa hoisted the bag. A few of the seams were unraveling. It was worn in patches. But the zipper still worked. Clarissa peeked inside. Yep. It still held poop bags and spare change and candies and kleenex.
Clarissa checked the tailwinds. She could still reach Cabo by nightfall, if she just finished Mission Handbag. Up ahead, they were lighting the tree at Rockefeller Center.
Clarissa had an idea. With a turbo burst of speed, she rocketed over to the tree... and hung the handbag upon it.
From the heavens above, a voice rumbled down, "I DON'T THINK SO!" Her halo did a shake, and tilted over one ear.
Clarissa took that as a sign from El Angel Grande. Quickly she removed the purse and paused to consider her options. Perhaps she had placed it badly.
Emboldened with her new plan, this time Clarissa flew the purse to the very top of the tree. With one hand she removed the star tinkling there. With the other, she balanced the sad old purse.
"CLARISSA!" boomed the voice again.
Clarissa sighed with exasperation, removed the purse, and replaced the star. Maybe she could just give it to someone who would love it. Quickly she scanned the crowd. And what to her wondering eyes should appear... but a pickpocket, busily working the crowd. Surely a pickpocket would give a good home to a tired old purse.
She swooped down and, with her own pickpocketer's stealth, slipped the purse over the pickpocket's arm.
At the moment, the woman whose pocket was being picked felt the movement. Turning around, and realizing that someone's hand was in her pocket, she snatched the purse off the pickpocket's arm and smacked him with it until he saw stars. The pickpocket turned and ran, shouting, "As god is my witness, I'll never pick pockets again!"
Clarissa viewed the whole scene pondering. Was this enough? Had she brought Christmas to the sad old handbag? Surely it felt a useful part of society again.
But there was the voice. El Numero Uno Angel. And he said, "Nope. Not good enough."
The woman who had seized the purse, meanwhile, was checking it out. Where had this purse come from? Where did it belong?
"Lady," said Clarissa. "it's not that hard. Check the wallet for some ID."
So she did. And there was an address, not too far away. The purse could easily be returned to its owner. Clarissa, hoping this would count as an appropriate angelic act, was only too happy to take the purse there. It was, after all, on the direct path to Cabo.
Quickly she reached the apartment in question. Through the window she saw a young woman happily decorating a tree that had surely come from the Charlie Brown Christmas tree lot.
Clarissa looked at the purse. "Is this what you want for Christmas?" she asked. "Is this all about going home?"
The purse seemed to nod. But is still looked kind of sad. Clarissa pondered again. When she felt sad, she always liked dressing up. In fact, she was looking forward to trying out all sorts of new halos and vestments in the milleniums ahead. And in Cabo, she was planning to shop for a new angelic swimsuit. Perhaps the purse just needed a little Christmas bling.
So with her angelic powers, Clarissa began to decorate the purse. She added a hard candy and a sterling candy cane, for all the candies the purse had distributed. She added a Christmas star of sterling silver, and a sparkling tree of sterling silver which was a tiny version of the tree at Rockefeller Center. Not wanting to decorate with poop bags and kleenex, she added a green crystal, and a bead of red and green. Then she added a bead to protect the purse and its owner from the evil eye. And finally she added a tiny Christmas tree, much like the one being joyfully decorated inside.
And, as a calling card, she added a small angel that looked remarkably like Clarissa. The handbag gave a sigh of contentment as Clarissa set it on the doorstep and used her angel bell to signal its presence.
Then, with a wink of her eye, and a nod of her head, she fired up the turbo boosters and headed to Cabo. "Because," she reasoned, "Everyone has their own version of the perfect Christmas."