Monday, November 22, 2010

I Fought The Lights, And The Lights Won

It was a few days after Christmas and we were shopping. There was a 90% off sale on Christmas trees. A pre-lit tree that was $199.99 was now $19.99. Are you kidding me? I had spent that much on Christmas lights alone THIS season! I had to get it. And it was tall and trim. The kind of tree that you don't have to move the recliner into your daughter's bedroom for. This tree was going to be my holiday treat to myself. So many had told me about these pre-lit things. Life changing. Saved our marriage. Ok, maybe not, but pretty close. I couldn't wait for next year.

Next Christmas came and I happily hauled the tree up from the basement. This is going to be fantastic I announced to my family. This will alter our lives forever. No more stressing over burnt out lights. No more time wasted switching out light bulbs and manipulating cords. No more extension cords. Life is good. The tree went up so easily. Beautiful lights. We played carols while decorating. Scott and I tucked Gracie in for the night and retired to the living room to enjoy the new tree. What a lovely sight. Our fireplace was warm and we were sipping our cafe mocha. Really, could life be much better? And then it happened. A row of lights went out. I rubbed my eyes to see if I could possibly be wrong. First of all, the instructions read, "if one light bulb should go out the rest will remain lit." And if it was a fuse... Well, we addressed that immediately. Changed the fuse. No go on the illumination front. What the heck?! A few little wiggles of the cord and it was back on. And then off. And so on and so on. Sorry to say I let this pre-lit nightmare consume me.

Really? So these pre-lit jobs are supposed to be the greatest, huh? To make a long story short I ended up buying multiple extra light strands and supplementing the already lit tree. I spent about as much as I did for the tree. And at that end of the season? I cut all of the pre-lit strings off of the tree because I still liked the height and shape of the tree. This only took three hours. Yes, I am a stubborn Norwegian. Those lights are fastened on with these plastic thing-a-ma-jigs that NASA should invest in. There would never be an issue of missing tiles. This year we start fresh with lights and I won't let them get the best of me. I am off to purchase. Hopefully this is it for a long, long time. This year I am going to win the Christmas light struggle. May your holiday season be bright. And not blink, or blow a fuse...

©2010 Ann M. De Broux

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