In the United States, about 21 million households had either a spa, pool, or hot tub in the year 2014. While many people like the idea of having the luxury of a place to swim or relax, one woman wanted nothing more than for her house to be decorated for the holidays, even though she was unable to do it herself.
42-year-old Catherine Hughes was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012 and has been undergoing treatment and radiation ever since. Because of all of the treatment, her family and friends knew that it would be hard for her to decorate for the holidays this year, which is her favorite time of year.
Fox8 reports that when Hughes recently left for a doctor’s appointment, the group of people that mean the most to her, along with complete strangers, arrived at her home and started the decorating process. The decked the home with garland, lights, and a 7-foot Santa Claus that stands proudly in her front yard. The group even hung big red bells from her home’s garage.
Live Well Nebraska writes that the group even went into her home with two Christmas trees — one for the living room and one for the basement. Nine wooden nutcrackers were also lined up on a shelf and stockings were hung on the mantle.
In short, they turned her home into a winter wonderland.
“To see it so beautiful is much more than I could have ever imagined,” Hughes said.
A friend of Hughes’, Katie Hipsher, says that when they came up with the plan to decorate the home, they sent the word out of their project to the community. She said many people responded by donating decorations, and one man even showed up to the home with a ladder ready to string some lights. That man had never met Hughes before; he was simply moved by the Christmas spirit.
Millions of Americans donate to charity every year, and donations are typically tax deductible. However, impromptu events like these prove that some Americans need to incentive to help each other celebrate the Christmas holidays.
Hughes’ family say that she is a fighter. Her brother says she has been told that she only has six months left to live, twice, but has proven the doctors wrong each time. However, her daughter says that she recently decided to stop responding to treatment, as it would only prolong her life a little further.
Even though she has decided to stop receiving treatment, Hughes will spend this Christmas in her decorated home surrounded by her friends, family, and enough Christmas cheer to fill a home with nutcrackers galore.