Girls Write Out
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Okay, by now you all know I’m a Christmas fanatic. I play Christmas music with the first snow, whether it’s September or November (Just ask the Girls). So needless to say, it’s no surprise that we put up our Christmas tree (we have an artificial one because our daughter is allergic to real ones), over Thanksgiving.

Here’s the thing you may not know about me (don’t tell anyone, okay?). I struggle with Christmas tree lights. I mean, what’s the deal. Do I need a Ph.D. in engineering to string them on the tree or what?

Last year the tree was near perfection when I decided it was time to plug in the lights. Suddenly, I noticed that they weren’t, well, connected. As in, plugged in to each other. In other words, I had strings of lights totally unrelated to one another. Come to think of it, some of my sentences are the same way.

So, my husband says to me, “Di, you need to start with the plug side here, and the prong side here." Like that should mean something to me. Seeing my blank stare, he demonstrates while I munch on the popcorn I plucked from the tree, throw in guttural sounds to assure him I’m listening, and continue watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV.

I admit I have the attention span of a bird, but excuse me, if someone has to take more than one breath while giving me instructions, I'm off to the movies. This little character trait of mine causes my principal husband endless grief, I can tell you.

You’ll be happy to note, however, that this year I did follow hubby’s advice (he kidnapped my credit card), and our Christmas tree is bright and blinking as I type this.

Yes, people, she can be taught!

Am I the only one who struggles with lights?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 3:10 AM  
  Comments (17)
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At 12:30 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

You have to get a fake tree that has all the lights already on. That's what my dad has. Easy fix. Life that makes you feel stupid is just $300 or so from being gone. LOL Merry Christmas girl!

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Katy said...

"I admit I have the attention span of a bird, but excuse me, if someone has to take more than one breath while giving me instructions, I'm off to the movies. This little character trait of mine causes my principal husband endless grief, I can tell you."

This entire paragragh had me howling!! And when I read how your "principal husband" feels about it, I automatically wondered about Husbands Number Two, Three, and Etc.

But then, I'm evil that way..... :)

Katy McKenna

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

WHAT? Lights already on the tree?!!! Where have I been????? Sigh. Okay, next year . . . . Thanks, Kristin!

LOL, Katy! You sound like a writer!

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Sally said...

The trees with the lights already on are WONDERFUL, and they look perfect every year! However, you do still have to figure out how to plug in the cords from section to section of the tree -- that causes me grief every year!

My $300 tree is down to $100 a year (we've had it for 3 years), so I figure it's already paid for itself if we would have bought real trees each year...and NO needles to clean up...and NO lights to sting!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

My tree is up too. And so is my daughter's. We helped her put hers up.

Both times, Milton and I "aruged" (gently) over which way to string the lights--start at the top and go down, or start at the bottom and go up. My vote is for the latter. The years I put them up, that's the way I do it.

"You make sure you have a nearby outlet," I instruct, "then plug in an extension cord, then plug the first strand into that, then thread it around the bottom, then plug in the second strand to the first strand, then thread THAT one...oh, and zig zag the strands instead of going all the way around because it's easier..."

Can you tell I have OCO--obsessive compulsive ORDER (as opposed to DISORDER). LOL

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...


My friend has an elevator shaft in our house (no elevator, just the shaft--don't ask). She just pulls out her fully-lighted and decorated fake tree every year. I so want that!

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

Fake trees? I understand for those of you with allergies but the rest of you? *gasps with horror* The smell of a Christmas tree is my favorite smell in the whole world.

We don't have a tree yet so every time I drive by someplace that sells them, I roll down the window of my air conditioned car and smell. I can't wait to get a tree! Only 16 more days of school. And 26 days until Christmas. :)

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Katy said...

Seriously. I do not think I could catch on to the stringing of lights. I know, at age 53, my limitatons.
When my mother became a young widow (age 54), she decorated the tree one last time. At the end of that holiday season, instead of undecorating it and dragging the tree to the basement, she had someone drag it into the little unused den, right off the living room.

From then on, we called the den--which contained the completely decorated tree year 'round--"The Christmas Tree Room." It worked for her!!!

Katy McKenna

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristin is right. You have to buy the tree with the lights already on.

We did that last year. I just did not have the emotional energy to string ten strands of lights, or worse, unstring them a month later when the tree needles are dry and really, really sharp. I've caused myself bodily harm before.

Never thought I'd say it, but fake is the way to go.

Love, Rachel

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Ditto Kristin. I got one of those trees with the lights already on. And I leave my decorations on, too, when I put it away. I just cover it with a huge Christmas Tree Bag, carry it to the basement and set it in its corner. The day after Thanksgiving, I bring it back up and plug it in. Voila! Decorating done!

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Okay, that does it. I'm looking for the trees with lights already on them. Sheesh. It's like I've been stuck in my own world or something.

Ane, that sounds like a perfect idea. Wish I had a basement. Sigh.

Katy, I love your mom's idea of a tree up year-round, but if I did that Colleen and the Girls would have a fit!

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Stringing Christmas tree lights has never been my forte; I leave that job to my husband. I don't have the patience for the lights, he doesn't have the patience for stringing popcorn. It seems like a good trade-off. :o)

We have a tree-decorating tradition that is (probably) uniquely ours: Starting tomorrow (1 December), we put one group / type of ornament on the tree each day until Christmas. Tomorrow we'll do the lights and popcorn. Then Dec. 2 we'll do green ornaments. Another day, angels... then stars on day 5, and so forth. (There's no particular order, actually.) When we take the ornaments off the tree, we bag them by type so it makes decorating easy the next year. Each evening, decorating the tree comes after our Advent candle(s) and reading. For those of us with short attention spans, 3 to 5 minutes of decorating a day keeps it interesting!

Aren't you glad that the Advent season is only days away?!

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

My husband's advice/assistance to me?

"If you want a tree with lights figure it out because I don't care if we have a tree."

That's why the song "You're a Mean One, Mr Grinch" is my husband's ringtone on my cell phone.

:) We have such a black and white relationship it's sick.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Kaye Dacus said...

I have a pre-lit tree--a little 4.5 foot one--that I picked up on sale at Michael's last year for about $20. They always have their trees on sale with increasing discounts in December.

But while I do not have to deal with stringing lights on the tree, I do put them up outside--across the lintel and spiraling down the pillars of my front porch. This year, I splurged on the white "icicle" lights for across the front and brightly colored mini-lights for the pillars. I have them and the tree set up on a timer so that they come on a few minutes before I get home from work, meaning I don't have to leave my porch light turned on all day this time of year!

Oh, and the Christmas light timer comes in handy when I go out of town, too. I just plug a really bright lamp into it by the front windows and the "lights" go on and off even though I'm not there!

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

You're my hero if you put up outside lights, Kaye. My husband used to do that, but we're just not into it now that the kids are gone. We have candle lights in every window and that's the extent of it--oh yeah, and wreathes on our double front doors with a light on them. That's it. But I do love to see the lights that other people display. I'm just too lazy (as you've probably already guessed by now) to put them up.

Thanks all for input on the tree with ready-made lights. I'm checking that out for sure next year!

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I leave the lights to dh. . . heck, what am I saying? No way would he let me touch them! We put the tree up over a week ago. Still no lights, no ornaments. We can't keep the branches in the fake tree because our 2 kittens keep sitting on them and they fall out! Sensing we'll be having one of those prelit things soon!

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Christmas music with the first snow? You played it this year in September with sixty degree temps! LOL


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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