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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

TITLE: Poppy Lights
By Alice Zvacek
11/05/08


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I knew that something was going on but couldn't quite figure out what. My mom called unexpectedly and suggested that we ride to the Christmas Eve service with them. I know our pastor was concerned weíd have enough parking, but I didn't think the 5:30 service was going to be that big.

When we got to my mom's, she insisted on curling Avaís hair and putting Adamís new Christmas outfit on him. You would have thought that we were going to see the Queen of England. It got even stranger when we got to church. I noticed my mom's camera bags and asked her what was up? She said she had to take pictures of the little kids singing. True to her word, she did do that, but she didnít bring in her video camera.

After the service, we were standing near my parents van when their best friend Dan came over and took their keys. Just as I was about to question my dad, a stretch limo pulled up. Ava and Adamís eyes got as big as saucers. Then Nanny told them that the limo was there for them, and they started jumping up and down screaming. I looked at my husband, and he shook his head. He didnít know about it either.

My mom said that they had hired the limo for three hours so that we could go look at Christmas lights. We loaded the kidís carseats in, got them settled and all climbed in behind them. It was a 45 minute drive to the areas biggest animated show, but after only 20 minutes we pulled over and stopped. Steven, our driver, cleaned our windows and got us pop and snacks. All of the things that you see every day look different when youíre in a limousine.

We finally got to the animated Christmas show. We sat in line passing lit Christmas Card displays and listening to Christmas music. We finally got to the animated lights. There were lit polar bears playing, elves making gifts, teddy bears tumbling around, sugar fairies dancing around the car. Finally Santa and all his reindeer jumped over the car with Rudolph leading the way. At the end, they took a collection for several local agencies that help the needy.

As we were leaving, there were some people dressed as toy soldiers, who told us that if we turned right, we could see a display about the true meaning of Christmas. We drove through a neighborhood that had set up a Christmas light display about the birth of Jesus. At the end, we turned into a church. Cars parked in circle around the edge of the lot, and in the middle was a live nativity story with narration. The kids were mesmerized.

We were able to drive through many Christmas light displays on the way back home. One of the kidsí favorites was the Town Greene shopping area. We pulled into one of the parking lots and let them out of their car seats. They got to look out of the moon roof at all of the lights and watch the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Glass Theatre.

When we got back to my parents, we opened presents, but Iím not sure that Ava and Adam even remembered what they got. All they talked about for weeks was the limo ride to see the lights. Their eyes would get the same look of wonder, and their smiles would glisten as they remembered. Iím so glad that we all have that memory; because itís the last Christmas memory we have of my Dad who passed away in a boating accident the next summer. Itís been two years since that Christmas, and Christmas lights still remind the kids of Poppy. Angel who was born six weeks after he passed away doesnít remember Poppy, but she does bear his name Ė Angel Josette. She truly was our angel after he passed away. She gave us a reason to live.

Last week, as we were putting up the lights, I heard Adam tell her ďAngel, these are called Poppy Lights because our poppy made them. Right before he died we got to go see his Christmas Lights in a limousine. Someday, you will get to go on a ride like that and see all the lightsĒ I started to tell him that Poppy didnít really make the lights. Then I thought if it brings him comfort to think that Poppy made them, then who cares.


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This article has been read 293 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter11/10/08
A touching memoir of a percious time in your family history. Than you for sharing it.
You might think about the beginning - it was a little unclear and took me a couple of paragraphs to work out.
Well done.
Yvonne Blake 11/12/08
Wow! What a treat! I've never ridden in a limo. I'm sure the family will remember that their whole life.