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Photo by Pat Pilon

Despite the fact that I usually start hearing Christmas music around Halloween (why?!), whenever the holidays arrive, I almost always find myself missing something. A present for this person, a piece of holiday clothing I swore I'd wear (ugly Christmas sweater, why must you be brought up every year), or an important festive decoration. 

Like the Christmas angel tree topper. 

If you're hapless around the holidays like me, well, here's an excerpt from the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven. Just in case you forget to pack that angel for the top of the tree. 

How to Make an Emergency Angel

If you do not have an angel or ornaments for your Christmas tree, you will have to make your own. A paper plate angel. 

You will need:

• Paper Plate
• Crayons/ coloring pencils
• Coffee mug
• A quarter
• Scissors
• Glue/ tape


1. Draw the angel. In the center of the paper plate, trace the circumference of the mug for the wings and trace the quarter on the top inside edge of the first circle for the head, as shown.

Draw in the shoulders freehand.

2. Cut the bold lines. Keep the body attached to the skirt. The upper portion will fall away.

3. Decorate the angel. Use crayons or colored pencils.

4. Overlap the edges of the skirt behind the angel’s back. Use tape or glue to keep it in place.

5. If you have no tape or glue, cut two vertical slits: one at the top of the left side, the other at the bottom of the right. Interlock the two sides.

6. Set the angel atop the tree.