An angel for Christmas: Mother’s gift connects generations

CAPE GEORGE — In 1970, Mary Maltby’s mother gave her a present — a small angel, kneeling, its cupped wings holding an infant.

The angel was a silent acknowledgement of the loss Mary and her husband had recently suffered. That same year, Mary’s father died at the age of 63.

And every year afterward until she died, her mother gave Mary an angel for Christmas.

Now a grandmother, Mary Maltby has collected more than 100 angels of all sizes and shapes, from drugstore figurines to fine porcelain pieces.

Some were gifts, some were inherited, some she bought herself at a gift shop or garage sale.

But each is a keepsake, a symbol of hope and love passed down from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter.

“I gave one of my mother’s angels to my niece, a snow globe with an angel in it,” Maltby said.

“She was only 10 when her grandmother, my mother, died.”

Most of the angels are female, most are young. Some kneel in prayer.

Others, designed as gifts for young girls, have a more lively persona.

Among Maltby’s favorites are a set of three young angels from her mother’s collection, each playing a musical instrument.

Two larger angels are by Lladro, the Spanish porcelain maker, and were gifts from Maltby’s daughter when she worked in Spain.

Of the two, the larger, chunkier angel is one of Maltby’s favorites.

“I like the bare foot sticking out,” Maltby said.

Maltby will share her collection on Saturday at First Presbyterian Church as a new addition to the Presbyterian Women’s annual Nativity Open House.

When Christmas is over, Maltby carefully wraps each angel in bubble-wrap, then places it in a storage crate.

When it comes time, she will pass on the collection to another generation.

“I know my youngest daughter will appreciate them.”

From there, they will be passed down to Maltby’s granddaughter, Olivia, who is the image of Mary’s mother.

________

Port Townsend/Jefferson County reporter/columnist Jennifer Jackson can be reached at jjackson@olypen.com.

More in News

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Siena Vo, 2, of Da Nang, Vietnam roams through a lavender field at B & B Family Farm on Wednesday near Carlsborg.
Lavender star of weekend fest

Plethora of activities set for annual event

August primary ballots mailed

Races to be narrowed to top two candidates

David Faber.
Ethics complaint names Port Townsend mayor

18-page document details four points

Port Angeles City Council approves clean energy grant

City OKs lodging tax request, bed and breakfast ordinance

A kayker makes his way between the pilings of a former floating log yard near the entrance to Port Angeles Boat Haven. Pleasant conditions and calm waters are expected across most of the North Olympic Peninsula through the coming weekend. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Passing through

A kayker makes his way between the pilings of a former floating… Continue reading

Law enforcement officers arrest a man who allegedly led a high-speed chase from Port Angeles to Sequim along U.S. Highway 101 on Wednesday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Man arrested following chase on U.S. Highway 101

Law enforcement officers arrested a man following a high-speed chase… Continue reading

Drought response activated on three water systems

Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1 has announced a… Continue reading

A Port Angeles public utilities crew vacuums out water and debris from a hole around a water main break on South H Street near West Sixth Street on Wednesday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Public asked to avoid area of water main break in Port Angeles

Crews working at intersection of Sixth and H streets

Chloe Turner, a kennel technician with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, gives some attention to Dingo, a canine housed at the society’s Bark House campus. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Humane society closes Bark House, plans to sell

Executive director says monthly finances were ‘unsustainable’

State hopefuls address forum

Candidates discuss inflation, housing

c
Legislators learn effects of climate change in park

Kilmer: Day lodge funding could come in disaster supplement

Port Townsend City Council to interview four finalists for open seat

Sessions set Tuesday; selection expected Aug. 5