The Lights before Christmas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A warm little story I finally found a dry-humored end to.

David was a handyman contractor. That is to say, he employs a team of people to do all sorts of jobs people with houses and apartments don't know how to do, or do not have the time to do the work themselves.

Dave and his crew do minor electrical and plumbing jobs. They often replace damaged or water-stained wood and drywall, as well as painting. They can repair a sprinkler system or install one; not to mention a slew of other jobs.

But this story is not about their regular line of work, no, this story is about the jobs they undertake starting in December of each year; that is, decorating client's houses for Christmas.

Each December Dave has a list of clients that want their homes decorated with lights, inflatable snowmen, glowing plastic reindeer, and other Christmas related items.

Then, the day after the new-year Dave makes everything magically disappear until the following year.

One such December afternoon Dave and his crew were doing an "On the Roof, Santa & Reindeer installation" for Samantha Crisp at 801 Via Wanda Lane. She and her husband had bought this house just last summer.

It was just getting dark when Dave's crew finished, so they set the timer and the house lit-up like an airport runway.

Samantha and Frank Crisp came outside, with their two children, to inspect the installation. They were blown away!

As Dave made some last minute adjustments to the placement of Mr. Snowman, he happened to look down the street.

He was admiring the array of decorations on the other houses and the lights they had installed. But right in the middle of the block there was a house notably dark.

Thinking that the owners of that house might be in the market for his Christmas services Dave asked Samantha Crisp for information.

Samantha was quick to respond. "Well I don't know them very well, you know, just a wave and a Hi now and then. But other neighbors have told me that they lost their son a few years ago, he was killed by an IED, I think.

Anyway, they travel to Arlington each year to visit the grave. They should be home any day now.

Well it just happens that Dave has this little charitable thing he does every Christmas. He finds a family that have tragically lost a loved one, no matter the circumstances, and he and his crew do a free decoration to try to brighten their year. In every case the people were very appreciative and the smiles on their faces brighten Dave's year too.

Dave sent one of his guys over to see if there was an outside electrical outlet available, and there was. So he and his team went to work. In about a hour they had finished with the once dark house, now the timer was set and the lights were on.

It wasn't a big elaborate installation, no; it was just respectable, festive, and suited to the Spirit of Christmas.

As Dave and his crew were admiring their handy-work the couple that owned the home arrived. And as they got out of their car they asked what was going on.

When Dave explained what they were doing the couple smiled and the wife replied, "What you've done here is a lovely gesture and we do appreciate it, but we're Jewish."

Dave chuckled just a little and replied, "Not a problem."

Then Dave yelled to his crew-boss to flip the command modem to the Hanukah setting.

The lights that had formed a Christmas tree turned into a Menorah, the Santa turned into a Star of David, and every light on the house turned blue!

Everyone was happy!


D. Thurmond / JEF


Submitted: February 20, 2018

© Copyright 2022 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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