TODAY | December 08, 2013
>> be tough on families dealing with a difficult situation. when one parent is in the military, it can make the challenges even greater. janet shamlian has made it easier.
>> reporter: on a quiet cul-de-sac in aurora, california, they arrived with a plan.
>> we'll surprise the ander sorn family.
>> reporter: one they carry out with military-like precision. they aren't soldiers but have come to surprise one, an airman, major matt anderson and his family.
>> we're going to hopefully make your christmas more enjoyable with all the challenges.
>> reporter: it's been a tough year for the andersons. son nate was diagnosed with leukemia.
>> your chest just drops. and you think, no, no it's just a pneumonia or something. they're wrong.
>> reporter: it was cancer. the 5-year-old has been in and out of the hospital for six months, all as major anderson was taking on new duties at buckley air force base .
>> how to get all the extra things done when it's so time consuming being at the hospital with his appointments and getting groceries and trying to get normal day life done.
>> reporter: when the company, christmas decor, learned of the andersons, they decided to deck their halls for free. it's truly a labor of love, every wreath and light that you see is donated. not just here, but for military families all across the country. every year more than 100 families with a mom or dad serving get the same surprise from workers like john gibson .
>> it would be hard to find somebody is more deserving.
>> reporter: yards of garland and thousands of lights later it felt like christmas .
>> i'm thinking about winning the prize for the best house decorated.
>> reporter: for a family that has been through a challenging year, their home now a point of happiness. serving those who serve our nation by making the holidays bright. janet shamlian , nbc news, aurora, california.