Back when I used to send Christmas cards, I was always fascinated by the ones that showed an Olde Fashionede Christmase Treee with lit candles on its boughs. Two thoughts occurred to me: 1. Who ever thought that was a good idea? 2. How ever did they keep them lit? Lights on a tree are a constant source of angst for my family, both when I was growing up and in my own family now. As a kid, I was an expert at snapping my finger against a Christmas bulb to get it to light again. I could also whip up and down a string of dead lights, snapping, tightening, unscrewing and re-screwing in order to find the faulty one. My special talent was getting the vintage (even then!) bubble lights to start bubbling.
At home now the little mini-lights are more of a pain. So difficult to get one out; so many bulb variations, and all so darn tiny! And for years and years, our tree was an evergreen giant, both in height and girth. One year, an entire string right in front went out almost as soon as we decorated. Every single person who came over said helpfully, "Hey. You have a big string of lights out right in front." And that included each and every one of the forty guests on Christmas Eve. By the time Christmas was over, I actually hated and detested that tree.
Of course you know now what Pressure Busting Tip #13 is. Check your tree lights in advance. Last year, Rick and I simply tossed all the mini-lights and, taking advantage of early sales, bought all new LED lights with some gift cards he got from work. The old lights were just that, old. And on the dangerous cusp of failure. Naturally, as he strung the lights on our tree last year, he ran out, even though we downsized our tree dramatically. Nothing a