Neighbors Decorate Elderly Woman's Home For The Holidays

That's what neighbors are for.

Christmas was never the same for Natalie Conkel after she lost her husband Ted to lung cancer five years ago. The 85-year-old resident of San Lorenzo, California was used to having Ted prepare the house for the holidays by hanging up their outdoor Christmas decorations. Ted would adorn the outside of the house with the most festive lights in the neighborhood.

With her husband gone, Conkel hired "Rent A Husband" to hang their holiday light machine, which consisted of an outdoor projector illuminating the house with green and red lights.

On Nov. 19, Conkel discovered that her holiday light machine had been stolen.

She reached out to her neighbor, Leslie Lewis, and told her the story. Lewis wanted to help her neighbor in the worst way, so she posted Conkel's story on their community's Facebook page.


Dozens of neighbors read the post and decided to help Conkel get back into the Christmas spirit.

They were volunteering to supply and help adorn Conkel's house with Christmas decorations.

"Everyone wanted to do something to get her Christmas spirit back," Lewis said to KTVU.

Lewis and her neighbors crafted the best plan to surprise Conkel in true Christmas fashion. David, Conkel's son, escorted his mother out of the house on Nov. 24 for dinner. Meanwhile, Lewis organized 50 people to decorate the outside of the house.

When Conkel returned that evening, she saw the Christmas miracle.

Her house was fully decorated in a sea of Christmas lights, bright ornaments and a homemade wreath on the front door. There were even children singing Christmas carols at her house.

"I was totally in shock," Conkel said to "It's a good thing I'm a strong person and didn't faint."

And this happy Christmas story also includes an additional positive ending.

Her neighbors gave Conkel $300 to go towards her electricity bill. Conkel said that she could afford the bill herself. So she collected another $200 and donated a total of $500 to the Wounded Warrior Project.



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