Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: Forever Beaming
By Beckie Stewart
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As we thought and talked about the Christmas approaching, his voice rang in perfect baritone pitch “Away in a Manger”. It soothed my anxious spirit to listen to him. My life remained safe and secure when he held me.
Christmas proved to be my least favorite time of the year. I enjoyed being with my daddy, but weekends were our only time together. The rest of the week I stayed with my mother.
Her house consisted of a lot of fighting and tension. Love abounded in my life when daddy and I were together, but little with my mother. I wanted to be with my daddy on Christmas morning, but my mother insisted I be with her.
“Daddy, can we hang Christmas lights on our porch this year? Please. All the other houses look so pretty with their lights. I want our house to look pretty too.” I asked my daddy peering up at him.
I stuck out my bottom lip to add a little more emphasis to my request. I knew I had him securely wrapped around my little finger. He found it hard to refuse my requests.
“I don’t know. I’ll think about it. It’s a lot of work for such a short time.”
“I’ll help you. I promise.” I said as I disembarked from his feet and gave him one last hug. I knew my daddy well. I began to anticipate how beautiful our house would look with lights shining from them for the first time.
Later that afternoon, we headed to the store in search for lights. We debated over the large bulbs and the small blinking ones. My daddy insisted we buy the larger ones. I was disappointed but thankful for lights.
We hung the lights around all four large windows on our porch, and they illuminated our house with red, green, and blue. I loved when we drove up in the evening, and I spotted our house from the distance among the others.
What I hadn’t expected was the fact that those lights never came down until after my father died over twenty years later. I begged him year after year to remove them for him, but he insisted that they kept the cat warm in the cold winter months. I’m not sure what they did for the cat in the summer.
My most embarrassing moment with those lights happened the summer after my first semester of college. As my date returned me home, he asked, “Which house is yours again?”
“Oh you can’t miss it,” I answered. “Mine is the one with the Christmas lights on.”
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