Holiday Cheer by Karen Gershowitz

December 23, 2014 § 5 Comments

deflatedThe Holiday Smiles just keep piling up:

My neighbor Jose stretches over the edge of the cherry picker straining to place the star atop the tree in his front yard.

“Too far to the left.”  His wife yells.  Jose’s daughter says, “It’s too far back.”  I decline to offer an opinion as I walk by.

Jose may have the fanciest equipment, but he’s got a lot of competition for the most extravagant holiday display. I admire everyone’s effort, if not always the result.  Most houses are as tasteful as a traveling carnival.  But, the lights brighten up the long nights, so I don’t really mind.

Late Thursday night an arctic express blows through. On Friday morning an elf lies huddled next to Joseph, while the wise men appear to be doing a new form of yoga. Across the street, reindeer head in different directions.  The sleigh has tipped over and Santa lies beneath it.  A competing Santa has flown off of another roof – he now sits in the middle of the street, looking as if he got the worst of a bar fight.  Toy soldiers have abandoned their posts and are napping under a tree.

By evening most decorations have been returned to their rightful places. But that night another stiff wind does its mischief.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus assume a position that isn’t really appropriate in full view of children.  A huge inflatable Kermit deflates and by morning is hanging face down from a tree. The soldiers again go AWOL.

Sunday morning, Jose is back on the cherry picker.  As I walk past, I tell him the star is just right. After all, who’s going to notice a slightly askew star?

“The decorations look great, I just love them.”

Jose flashes me a huge grin, full of Christmas cheer.  “Thanks, I needed that.”


Karen Gershowitz lives in New York.  She walks in her neighborhood with her dog, Cully, who tries to maintain neighborhood safety by barking at the intruders.


We encourage readers to use Amazon Smile to help Brevity pay authors and grow stronger. Continue to purchase books from your local independent bookseller, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby, but please channel other Amazon holiday shopping through the Amazon Smile Brevity Link: (it doesn’t cost you a cent) and we get a few pennies on every purchase. You can bookmark the link and make it your permanent Amazon entryway, which would really make us smile

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