AMESBURY — Jeanne Hallisey’s spirits needed a lift as she thought about this holiday season without her husband, Dan. 

She put out the word on Facebook that she could use help stringing lights and decorating outside her Highland Street home, and her wish was granted Saturday morning, when about a dozen neighbors and friends turned out in bitter cold.

 “I didn’t need to lift a finger. I didn’t even direct,” she said on Monday. “I said ‘do whatever you can.’ People took over and I was thrilled with the results.”

Amesbury High School assistant football coach Steve Cotrupi enlisted four or five football team members, joining neighbors who showed up ready to hang lights. Others, who said they weren’t good at decorating, dropped off coffee, cocoa, doughnuts and even hand warmers for the volunteers who brought the Christmas spirit to the Hallisey house on Saturday.

Daniel Hallisey died in February at age 53 at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill, so this will be the first Christmas without him for Jeanne and their 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son. 

“I wanted the lights up but didn’t have any holiday spirit at all,” Jeanne Hallisey said. 

So she turned to Facebook and her simple request resonated. 

Hallisey said that on Saturday, when it looked like there might not be enough lights, one volunteer ran down to a store “and grabbed more lights. 

“Another friend, an electrician, put in a GFI (ground-fault interruptor) receptacle,” she said. “He said ‘I want to make sure you’re safe,’ and would not have any concerns about the wiring.

“Everyone wanted to do what they could to help out,” she said. “The lights came out awesome. It helps tremendously. It really inspired my spirit for Christmas. “

Richard K. Lodge can be reached at

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