It’s that time of year again, Eggnog, hot Toddies, seasonal songs, red nosed reindeers, and the war with Christmas lights. I don’t know about you, but this is a pure love/hate relationship for me. I am a sucker for lots of twinkle, I just love Christmas lights. The problem…they hate my guts. Every year it’s the same dance. Me, full of excitement to have our house and yard a glow, counteracted by spine chilling anticipatory anxiety.
Dance step 1: Limber back before attempting to lift the numerous storage bins, large enough to smuggle a dozen elves, into my car.
Dance step 2: After dragging said bins inside, along with every fallen leaf, immediately check supply of ice packs and Motrin.
Dance step 3: Before opening bins, bow head and pray to the Christmas Light Gods that you will be happy and grateful with however many light strings are working, no matter what.
Dance step 4: Toss back a shot of scotch, just in case the Christmas Light Gods are vacationing in Aruba.
Dance step 5: After realizing only a third out of a million strings are working, immediately forget promises to be thankful, throw self to the floor in full tantrum kicking, screaming, and telling those vacationing schmucks exactly what you think of them. Ice back.
Dance Step #6: Head to the damn store with promises to NOT spend your entire savings on lights because that would just be ridiculously irresponsible while checking to make sure you have back-up credit cards.
The war on lights takes me at least a week and being OCD me, it is important to be able to turn on the brilliance the day after Thanksgiving. Having this timeline, it’s important to begin around November 10th as we live in the State of Rain, dry days few and far between. This year was no exception. A week of solid rain threw my anxiety level to a code red.
Armed and ready I finally headed out with visions of finishing in record time with all supplies at the ready; ladders tall and small, 2000 electrical cords, electrical tape, I-Pod set to soothing music, scotch.
If my neighbors had any love of entertainment, they would be sitting out on their porches in rockers, bundled against the cold with drink in hand and freshly popped corn, waiting for the show to begin, as this year’s show was especially captivating. Rated R for language.
My finishing early visions slapped senseless, I encountered brand new lights that didn’t work, the usual tangled mess, once untangled, became tangled again because the Christmas Light Gods have a sick sense of humor. I tripped, got face whipped at least a dozen times, accidentally stepped on and killed perfectly good lights, fell off ladders, and had tree crap in my eyes so many times I had to set up an eye wash station. I endured tripped breakers, re-stringing already done trees because the lights in the middle decided not to work anymore, two electrocutions, and a partridge in a pear tree, well…that one might have been the booze talking.
I especially love this little prank. I always keep dead strings to connect from one area to the next which aren’t supposed to be lit. Strings I am 100% certain won’t work, miraculously begin working after I have gone inside for the evening. This is discovered later after taking a darkened stroll to view my handy work only to discover colorful snakes all along the ground.
Switching to LED lights was a must as I insist on stringing above the recommended amount of lights together. I feel certain LED is initialism for Little Evil Demons for their extreme glow makes me thankful I am not an epileptic.
A final note: Keep the air popcorn popper warm, neighbors, for this show hasn’t ended yet. It is December 2nd, six days after Thanksgiving and I still have more lights to untangle and hang (myself with). Many more chances of slapstick entertainment and shocks…literally. But first, I think I’ll go ice my back.
All I want for Christmas is an electrician…and more scotch.