Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree...

...Oh Christmas Tree, how faithful are thy branches.

I put up my Christmas tree Monday. It is an artificial tree that was purchased on a bargain about 5 years ago. For whatever reason, I continue to put myself through the agony of putting this monstrosity together every year all in an effort to save money. Well, of course, it is a beautiful tree and I truly enjoy it all once it's done. But, I love real trees too. And I say every year, "next year I am going to retire this thing and get a real tree."

So, Monday morning at 8am I head up to attic and take down the bare center pole that look much like the erected center pole of the Aggie bonfire. Then I managed to lug down 4 big plastic tubs full of branches for the tree. No, I do not have one of those artificial trees in three parts that slips together nicely with the lights strung ever so perfectly. Can you start to feel my pain yet?

About 9am, I begin the process of putting the branches on the tree. Each row of branches requires the necessary fluffing and stringing of lights before going to the next row of branches. The years have taught me that this is the best strategy for tackling this thing. At noon, I put the last top of the tree on and string the 12th and final strand of lights.

I also added these new little red things that I purchased this year at a great little discount Christmas warehouse treasure in Dallas. Once applied to my tree, I just kept thinking of ballet tutus. Not the image I saw in the store that screamed "buy me!" Your thoughts are welcome on these, because I'm still not so sure about them.

Later in the evening, Griffin helped me add the rest of the decorations and we basked in the glory of our beautifully decorated tree, admiring our handiwork and reminiscing about all of the special ornaments and storied behind each one.

Now for the kicker. On Tuesday afternoon, I turned the lights on to show a friend and enjoy the ambiance for a little while as I was preparing to entertain a multitude of ladies with dinner and an ornament exchange. I left the room for a brief period and then walked back and noticed the entire tree was dark, no lights. Zip. Zero. Not a single strand was working.
Immediately I fall to my knees and crawl behind the tree to fiddle with the switch and plug at the outlet. Contemplating how this could have happened. It is quite a feat to manage plugging in so many lights each year without overdoing it and burning out a fuse or something. But, after several years I just thought I knew all of the tricks to prevent any issues from occurring.

Needless to say, my tree was dark for the ornament exchange. And as I sit here and type this and stare at it, I am severely bummed about the lack of brilliance that only comes with the twinkling little lights.

No lights. Bummer. My dilemma now is do I attempt to fix it? Undertaking that endeavor just exhausts me to think about it, but I can't imagine no lights for the next three weeks!

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