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

TITLE: Elizabeth, Dad and The Christmas Tree


It was time to put the Christmas lights on the tree again but Elizabeth just couldn’t do it. Her Dad died several months ago from leukemia and she was still in mourning. She couldn’t erase the memories of helping her Dad with the lights; making sure that all of the lights were working.

It was during the mid 1950s, when she was just a little girl and Dad always asked her to help check the lights, making sure that all were connected. She enjoyed helping him, for it made her feel important and loved.

Elizabeth was now in her late 50s and divorced from Ted, her husband of twenty-five years. The marriage had been a rocky one and Ted just couldn’t stand her controlling ways, so he left one morning and never came back. She found out later that he ended up in a state nearby and every now and then called to see how she was doing. He still cared about her, as she did for him, but it just wasn’t working.

It was a week before Christmas and for once in many years, she wasn’t ready for Christmas, didn’t even want to think of a Christmas without her Dad. She still missed him but knew in her heart that she needed to get on with her life. She bought a small tree from a local vendor but didn’t have the heart to put anything on it. The tree looked sad as if to say, “Won’t you please just put a few ornaments on me? I have no color or shine…”

Stan Filbert was someone she met at work and had been seeing him for a year. Nothing much had come from it, but she was happy with the arrangement. They would go out for dinner and a movie every so often, but so far, nothing more. He kept her company and cared about her well-being but the relationship just wasn’t progressing. Both seemed happy with the arrangement, at least for the time being.

So, as she contemplated Christmas and what she should do, if anything, with her humble looking tree, she turned her thoughts to her Dad and what he might want her to do for Christmas. She remembered his smile when the tree was all done and the work behind them and just thinking of his smile brought a change to her attitude and a lightness to her heart.

Yes, she would put the lights on the tree and by golly, even if she was the only one to enjoy it, enjoy it she would! After all, her Dad would want her to. Wasn’t he fond of saying, “Lizzie, don’t matter what other folks do or don’t do, you do what you think is right and what makes you happy.”

So, she began trimming the tree. First, she made sure that the tree was firmly planted into the bottom basin and then filled it with fresh water. Then, after waiting for several hours, she took out her Christmas lights and began placing them on the tree. She used to like multi-color lights but this year she dug out some beautiful all-blue lights. She liked them before when her Dad used them years ago. She would do this in remembrance of him.

Her next step was putting on some bulbs and then candy canes. The tree was beginning to look nice and her spirits began to soar.

When she was all done, she stood back and looked at the tree. It looked wonderful, she thought. But, it was missing something. She couldn’t place it but the tree was lacking something…

She squinted her eyes and then it came to her. Yes, that’s what it needs. She reached deep down into the large box and took out the needed item and placed it on the tree. Then, when she was all finished, she plugged in the lights.

“Wow! Now, that’s a tree my Dad would be proud of!”

She placed her hands on her hips and smiled a beautiful Christmas smile, for on top of the tree with the blue lights shining, colorful bulbs glowing, and tempting candy canes, was the very first ornament her Dad gave to her, many years ago. For on top of the tree was a lovely golden cross and with the blue lights shining on it, gave a most heavenly glow.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/08/08
This is a nice little story but you left us hanging with the boyfriend:) Maybe you can finish this up with more words after the challenge. So glad Elizabeth was able to decorate the tree.
Lisa Keck11/10/08
Good story but the last paragraph is a bit awkward. You repeat, "for there on top of the tree." Maybe the second reference could read, "there in it's place of honor." (My daddy's ornaments all go near the top of the tree.) You got me missing Elizabeth's dad as well--good job.