Oh Christmas Tree, Mine Enemy
See it glowing, so lovely, so welcoming? It's all a ruse to lull you into a sense of calm.
It all started a week ago.
Yetch and I brought the tree upstairs. Since I'm a light fanatic when it comes to Christmas trees (thank you Mom), I tend to have more lights than most people. In fact, I have so many lights my tree looks as though it's decorated before I hang the first ornament.
Because of this, I don't take the lights off each year. Instead, we carry it into the storage room every January, throw a large orange jack o'lantern plastic bag over top, and leave it alone.
What follows is a mundane, boring tale of how Christmas has an evil side lurking beneath it, and how it all started with a string of lights.
Go to plug in the tree. Discover we are out of power bars. Decide to use a regular extension cord for now.
Plug the tree in. A string of lights near the middle-right side is burnt out.
Looks like a string of 100. I go to the store to get a power bar and lights.
I look at both LED lights and regular bulbs, knowing I had planned to start buying LEDs but could not recall if I'd started the process. Decided I didn't want to risk the LEDs looking different from the regular lights and grab a string of 100 regular lights. Head home.
Turns out I have started to buy LED lights and they blend in. Swear a little at my mistake.
Get to the end of the dead string...or what should have been the end. Discover it's a string of 200 - half of which are out, and half of which are lit. I swear a little more since I didn't buy enough lights, and debate my next step.
Remove bad string, rearrange other strings to compensate. Leave room for 10 minutes.
Return to find a string at the top of the tree is burnt out. Swear loudly with accusations towards said tree.
Wait for Yetch to get home and ask him to contribute to the light fund. Will resume tomorrow.
Go back to the store. Buy 2 strings of LED lights.
Come home and start unwinding dead lights from tree.
Begin task of adding new lights.
Realize the lights have a different hue (does not have pink bulbs like other LED/normal lights on tree). Swear.
Decide to push forward regardless. Maybe it won't be too noticeable.
Hours later, it's a glaring difference.
Ponder alternatives. Decide to sleep on it.
Can't live with glaring difference in lights. Best course of action is to buy LEDs to replace most of the old lights. Maybe if tree is 3/4 blue-dominant new LED, I won't mind it so much. Will mix in the new string of regular lights and the old LEDs with pink lights in them to compensate for slight difference between the 2 hues.
While it's fun to spend entire days winding and unwinding lights on trees, I realize I have to work too.
Buy several boxes of overpriced LED lights.
Start the task of unwinding old lights off tree and adding new LED lights to top 3/4 of tree.
Look at tree. Realize initial plan is faulty. Swear a lot. Take allergy pill to fight againt all the dust that has been directly inserted under my skin by scratchy tree branches, causing hives to appear on my face.
Lick my wounds and retire for the night.
Think "*#$! it" and bite the bullet, buying 5 more boxes of overpriced LEDs I can't afford (Yetch can get candy for his birthday this year).
Take off remaining lights.
Add new lights.
Put 3 strings of old lights (2x100s & 1x200) back on tree, this time spread out to balance blue colour.
Hands look like stray cats have attacked me.
Do the math in my head over morning coffee. There are now 975 lights on the tree. Which means not only did I put 975 lights on, I took about the same amount off. And put some on. And took some off. And moved others around.
Look at my still swollen hands, decorated with fine red scratches.
Christmas is carnage.
Decide if anything else happens with lights, I will carry the tree out to the backyard and set it on fire.