Thursday, December 17, 2009

One light goes out, They all go out!!

Tonight, I have experienced one of the 12 pains of Christmas. (Thank you Bob Rivers, I love that song.) Hanging Christmas lights. No, not on the outside of my house, but on my Christmas tree. At my house we have a Christmas forest rather than just one Christmas tree. 4 trees of varying heights, each with it's own decoration theme. Earlier this week, Myles noticed that the tallest tree and second tallest tree were not lighting up. GREAT!!

So, I decided that I would test the lights and buy some new ones to replace the non-working lights. Tree 2 has multi color lights and plugs into Tree 1, which has clear lights and plugs into Tree 3, which has pink lights and plugs into the wall. Tree 4 has no lights at all and is now my favorite of the trees because it causes me no problems. After isolating each tree and testing the lights, I discovered that it was Tree 1 that was causing the problem. I went to Walmart and purchased a new package of clear lights and today I buckled down to remove all of the 5 million tiny colorful glass ball decorations, blown glass decorations, and strings of blown glass garland.

About an hour later, I was ready to remove the lights. This is a task that I absolutely hate, which is why the trees get put away every year with the lights still on them. Part way through the removal process I realized that I had 4 strands of clear lights wrapped around this tree! 4! And, it turned out that only the one in the middle of the tree wasn't working. So, I only had to unwrap half of the tree. Yipee!

I unwrapped, opened new lights, connected the plugs, and re wrapped the tree. Then, I pushed the tree back into position, connected all the trees together again and called in the kids for the Griswald-esque reveal of the working lights. And, in true Griswald fashion (drum roll, please), this was the result (notice the dark area in the middle of the tree)...

The middle portion of Tree 1 was, for some unknown reason, repelling working Christmas lights. Turns out only half of the new strand of lights was working. Half? I thought if one light goes out, they all go out. So, I grabbed one more strand of lights and decided to just layer this strand over the non-working half and call it good. Separate all the trees again. Wrap lights around and around. Push trees back into position. Connect all plugs. And this was the result...
Now, I had lost the lights on Tree 2. At this point I invented some new, especially festive curse words and considered turning the trees into mulch.

Some time later, I unwrapped Tree 1 again, completely removing all of the lights on the tree. I decided to just use the one strand of clear lights that were working and re wrap the entire tree with just the one strand. Surprisingly, it worked! And Christmas is not cancelled. The Christmas tree forest is slightly less bright than it was originally, but so is my Christmas spirit. (Hopefully it will recharge after I start wrapping tonight. Ha!)

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