Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Another Way To Lighten Your Spirits...(Sorry)

Pressure Busting Tip #13
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 little lot of tinsel can't fix.


  1. That's a good tip, because it's a lot of work to string a tree, and how frustrating to finish and then discover some are out.

    We have downsized mightily, to a tiny (very narrow, meant for an entryway) pre-lit fake tree. I adore it. No guilt about cutting the life short of a real tree, year after year. No fear of it catching on fire. No needles on the floor. It's great. We'll see what happens when a light goes out on that sucker...

  2. May I add, have the lights ON when you are installing them. a) it's easier to see where they need to go b) sometimes they go out while installing, so you can quickly fix or replace the string.

  3. We just have a table-top tree these days (well, it's about 4 feet tall & when we put it on a trunk it looks like a big tree). It's Mike's job to handle the lights. If he's in the mood we'll put the tree up & if he's not then we won't. So from where I sit the lights thing is dead easy - ha!

  4. We've had a really good run on Christmas lights for some time now. (Knock on wood.) We do always check before they go on the tree, but it's been years since I've had to replace any. I laughed out loud when I read about all the guests commenting on your lightless spot on the tree though. We're all so helpful like that, right? Reminded me of the "here's your sign" routine. LOL


  5. Shirley--I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your live tree this year, esp. with guests coming. LOL.

    Bug--Lights are Rick's job, mostly, but I do step in and help fasten them in and do some camouflaging. It's a horrid job. One year, he was particularly recalcitrant, and it took about 4 hours and as many beers.

    Silliyak--You may. I guess I assumed that part, but you know what they say about when one assumes...!

    J@jj--We keep threatening. I'm thinking that your tree is one you can keep up all year, then, and simply decorate at Christmas? Sounds dreamily convenient. Such heaven.


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