Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: Holiday Weekend
By Mary Lou Cook
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My son invited me to spend the weekend at his home. A Christmas party for the church’s young married couples was to be held in Jay and his wife’s home. Miranda, my daughter-in-law, wanted me to meet their new friends.
My son and his wife were college sweethearts. Within a year of graduation they found jobs, bought a house, and got married. Only a half hours drive from where I lived. Though Jay and Miranda never said why they choose to live so close I knew why. During the holidays Jay and I needed to be close. As Christmas approached it brought back a sad time in our lives.
Two years ago, my husband, Raleigh, come home with a terrible headache. Being a pastor I thought his headache was from the holiday stress. He laid down on the couch to rest and never woke up. I lost my husband and Jay lost his father.
By the time I reached my son’s street it was dark. I turned the corner to see the street lit up in bright,clear Christmas lights. There was not a house that wasn’t covered in hundreds of lights. As I drove down the street it reminded me of an international airport runway. On every lawn were all types of Santa Clauses and busy little elves. Christmas music of Alvin and the Chipmunks surrounded my car. My thoughts turned to Raleigh. We hadn’t raised our son in the commercialism of Christmas. Had our son gotten caught up in all of this? Had he forgotten the true reason to celebrate Christmas?
I pulled into the driveway with a sigh of relief. My son’s home wasn’t covered in hundreds of Christmas lights. There were no lights, no Santa, no busy elves, and no singing chipmunks. Placed on the lawn was a white three layer cake built out of plywood decorated in holiday colors of red and green paint. On the front of each layer was a simple message painted in gold. The smaller top layer said 'happy', middle layer said 'birthday', and the larger bottom layer said 'Jesus'. On the lawn two spot lights shown on Jesus’ wooden birthday cake.
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