The House With No Lights

The House With No Lights

This is a multi-part Christmas story, sparked by my imagination while riding along looking at Christmas lights in the city, written in two different points of view (a toddler’s and a man’s). I started it on my Regular Life blog, so to keep you here I’ve placed Part 1 below. Links to more follow it.

Part One

Chad had gone through a very long day at work. Nothing went right, and he left 15 minutes late to meet his wife and their little boy, Dysan. They got into the minivan with Chad’s mother-in-law, Sue Bee, and left to look at Christmas lights.

There was a lot of traffic. The drive to downtown Dallas took a long time, and they saw only a few houses with grand light displays. A lot of houses didn’t have any lights at all. Dysan was only three years old, and Chad knew he liked Christmas lights a lot. He wanted him to see the best lights ever.

“Some people don’t celebrate Christmas,” Sue Bee said.

“A lot of people,” Chad said. “But there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Dysan pointed to two lighted reindeer on a rooftop. “How did those reindeer jump all the way up there?” he asked.

“They flew up there. Remember? Reindeer can fly,” said his mommy.

“Oh, they can?” Dysan said.

“That’s right,” said Chad.


They turned off the busy street into a neighborhood. All the houses were much bigger than Dysan’s. Some were dark on the outside, while some had lights wrapped around the trees, the windows, the shutters, and on candy canes lining their sidewalks.

“Gramma, can you put down my window so I can see better?” Dysan asked.

She pushed a button and the window went down. Cool air rushed into the minivan, but it wasn’t cold. Dysan could see everything much better. There were giant snow globes with Santa and Rudolph inside, little carousels going round and round, and lighted reindeer moving their heads back and forth, up and down.

A horse and carriage came the other direction on Dysan’s side. The horse was big and dark with white feet. Its big feet went “ka-clop, ka-clop, ka-clop” as it came closer. When the carriage passed, all the children inside shouted, “Merry Christmas!”

Dysan smiled. So did his mommy and daddy and gramma. A long, dark pool of water reflected big, lighted snowflakes hanging from the trees.

When he saw a family of lighted reindeer on a lawn, Dysan said, “That one looks like it’s pooping.”

Everybody laughed a long time. After that, Dysan said that about all the reindeer he saw. He laughed hard every time, but nobody else did. His daddy even said, “Okay, son, that’s enough.” Dysan didn’t understand why they thought it was funny the first time, but not the others.

On their next turn, the back tire hit the curb. The minivan only rolled a little bit farther before the ride got rough. A bumping sound came from the back where the tire had hit the curb.

“I really didn’t want to change a flat out here tonight,” Chad said.

“Hold on. I’ll pull over,” Sue Bee said.

She stopped in front of a house with no lights at all in the front yard, and no Christmas tree in the front rooms. All the grown-ups got out and left Dysan strapped in his carseat.

“Can I come, too?” he asked.

“No, son, not right now. You stay in here where it’s warm,” Chad said. He pulled on the door handle and let go.

“But I’m not cold, Daddy,” Dysan said.

The door slid closed, locking Dysan inside all alone. He sat listening to what his daddy had told him was “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairies.” There were no words in the songs.

The door slid open. Chad got inside and got on his knees on the floor.

“What are you doing, Daddy?” Dysan asked.

“I’m digging out our spare tire.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s what we put on the van when one of our tires is broken.”

Part Two

Part Three

The End

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