I have a loose tradition of putting up Christmas decor the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if I've done it every year, or for how long, but it makes sense and I usually have some free time over that weekend, so it's convenient. This year the hubs had to work but The Cupcake was being semi-accomodating so I was able to sneak downstairs and wrestle the medium sized tree up the stairs from storage. It's a partially collapsable 6 footer or so, and usually we just leave it set up in the laundry room during the off season. I take off the decorations but not the lights, since that seems like a waste of time just to put them back on again and it they don't fall off like ornaments do.
Last year I used a new set of lights for the first time, some fancy-schmancy LED ones I scored at Target on clearance the day after the prior Xmas. Red & white. I was happy to see that the tree would fit perfectly on top of a desk we have in front of the window right now, keeping more of it up and away from TC and showing off the lights out the window very nicely. I set up a sparkly tablecloth, plugged in the tree and...nothing. Well, 3 of the 4 strings were nothing. Dead.
Guess these weren't the kind that stay lit when one goes out. Sigh.
Next step: unwrap all the stupid lights, and try to keep them untangled.
Worst step: pretend that in jiggling and removing all the bulbs and putting them back in that I will somehow know what is wrong and make them work again. Ha. Ha Ha. Repeat for all 3 strings. Ha.
Actual worst step that I hadn't even anticipated: flinging TC into quarantine in the hallway when she whips one of the dead strings off the table and smashes one of the (apparently glass) bulbs on the floor, sending glass shards everywhere. 20 minutes sweeping and vacuuming ensue. Possible obscenities muttered. All lights end up in the trash anways. Lose 1 day + a few dollars. Spin again.
And the story concludes with a trip to Target for new lights, a pondering of the LED ("greener" but expensive) vs. traditional lights, hubby requesting they blink, and an eventual decision to get the cheap Earth-killing lights (in multi-colored "twinkle" variety) because the rest of the string will stay lit when one goes out, and thus in theory shouldn't need to be replaced for a few years. The LED ones could last longer, but if one goes I'd have to figure out which one or end up in the same place as this year. Also, after winding them on, I found I only needed 2 sets instead of the 4 I used last year, so the whole tree is done for less than the cost of replacing one of the broken LED strings. Works for me. I even found the adaptor so I can use a remote to turn them on and off instead of digging behind the furniture. Super productivity points.
Yet to come: deciding which ornaments to risk with the cupcake...