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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

TITLE: Tutu Bubble
By Donna Powers


It was enough of a surprise to get a package from my father. But you could have knocked me over with a feather when I opened it and found a Tutu Bubble.

I’d written Dad without much hope. We haven’t been in touch for three years since I left home, and I had no idea how he feels about me. If I hadn’t been desperate I wouldn’t have written; after all, when I left, I vowed I’d never go back.

Everyone has dreams, and for me, the dream was on the stage: with the lights of Broadway spelling out my name. Dad warned me it would be tough, but four years of community theatre gave me hope that I could make it happen.

All that’s happened is failure.

Whenever I go out the holiday lights remind me that it’s time to celebrate Christmas. But, how can I celebrate when I don’t know how I’ll pay rent on the rathole I live in, because I just got fired? On top of that, I’m still nowhere near being famous?

So I wrote to Dad. I hoped he’d send some money – and yes, the package has a check in it. But why did he send me a Tutu Bubble? Maybe you know what I mean: they’re Christmas lights that look like an eyedropper, sitting on a fluted circular base. Inside the tube is colored liquid that bubbles when the light is plugged in.

Man, how I loved those lights. As a little girl, they fascinated me. When first saw them, I named them “Tutu Bubbles” and our family just kept on calling them by that name.

I couldn’t look at the Tutu Bubble without thinking of those Christmases, or without thinking of Dad. He’d done his best to raise us, after Mom died. Dad was always quick to point out that Christmas lights are symbols: they remind us God gave us the Light of the World, on the first Christmas.

My faith in Jesus had been so strong then, but when I wandered away from Dad’s house I somehow drifted away from my faith, too. I can’t even remember the last time I attended church.

I have to admit it: I miss church. I miss the feeling I got, when I talked to God. And it really seemed as though the church members really loved me.

I put down the little light and looked at Dad’s check. I sighed with relief: I could pay the rent and buy some food, too. I rifled through the package to see if he’d sent anything else, but it was empty.

Well, if I wanted to cash that check before the bank closed, I had to get moving. But, as I got up, something caught my eye. On the check, Dad had written: “come home.”

Come home? Was Dad serious? How could I face him and admit what a failure I am? Did he really think a little light bulb would derail me from the path I’d chosen?

I jammed the check and the light into my coat pocket and stamped down the stairs onto the snowy streets. Everywhere I looked were brightly lit reminders of Christmas. The lights on the streets blinked out their multicolored invitations to buy, shop, or see.

You can’t beat New York City’s holiday lights. They’re fabulous. So why did I keep thinking of those little lights on my family’s Christmas tree? It was that stupid Tutu Bubble. It evoked memories of our family and memories of home.

When the teller gave me the cash, I knew I should give it to the landlord. But I couldn’t get that light – and Dad’s message, on the bottom of the check – out of my mind. “Come home.”

Come home...

At the corner, I saw the lights of a tall brick church, and I faced the truth: I did miss my home and family. Dad hadn’t even asked questions; he’d just invited me home. Dad believes in a God of forgiveness, so maybe he can forgive me. And as for God, it would be wonderful to feel close to Him again.

So, I didn’t give the money to the landlord. Instead, I bought a ticket home. My bus leaves in a few hours. And, before I go back to Dad’s house, I think I’ll go to my Father’s house. Hope lit up my heart as I walked toward the lights of the church.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/06/08
I like your wonderful analogy of Dad for God with his desire always for us to return home. Well done.
Joanne Sher 11/07/08
This is beautiful. Wonderful characterization and voice especially. Love the end.
Laury Hubrich 11/08/08
What a great Christmas story - full of hope and forgiveness!