Monday, December 1, 2014

D'Oh Christmas Tree

Happier times with the tree
By Kevin Hunsperger 
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Each year for the last several years we have set up a big, beautiful pre-lit Christmas tree.  It is quite convenient in that you don't have to spend time stringing up lights, then unraveling them and storing them at the end of the season.  But as you can see from the title of this post, something has gone wrong.

A few years ago I noticed some of the lights at the top of the tree were burned out.  I tried changing bulbs and fuses, but to no avail.  So I did what anyone out of ideas would do, I spun the burned out side to face the wall.  No harm, no foul.  Then last year, when I plugged in the three sections, I noticed more burned out bulbs.  

Light Keeper Pro: $20
This meant a trip to the nearby Walgreens for one of those bulb guns.  It's called the Light Keeper Pro and for the most part the device did the trick.  There were still a few lights that didn't shine, but again, I put those against the wall and called it a day.

This year, however, when my wife plugged the sections in, nothing came on.  Everything was dark.  We zapped a few spots with the trusty "gun" but nothing happened.  Obviously, we couldn't do the old "face the wall" routine this time, so we did the next best thing.  The five of us started removing the lights from the tree.  It's a painstaking task.

Snip, snip
We snipped wires with scissors and started the unraveling process Sunday evening.  It's almost like a new family tradition, instead of trimming the tree, we're taking it apart.  My family worked on this for a couple of hours and as I write this (taking a break from it again) there are still lights to be removed.  The kids complained often and my wife and I reminded them that at least they didn't have to sit there and add the lights to the pre-lit trees in the factory.

Hard at work
It is the most wonderful time of year.  But between last year's Toy Soldier incident, me nearly falling off the roof to fix lights that were wiped out by ice, and this latest episode with the tree, it's easy to see why some folks say "Bah humbug!"  But we're keeping a positive attitude and looking forward to "ooohing and awwwing" our tree in the coming days.

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