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On the Sunny Side of the Street: O Christmas Tree

Dan attempts to get all the lights working on the ten-year-old house tree,reflects on the history of Christmas trees in the household, and sees a brighter future, Christmas tree-wise.

This past weekend, I got our Christmas tree out of storage, set it up in its appointed place, plugged it in, and...some of the lights didn't come on.

I experienced a pang of mild despair, because if the mini-lights don't work, the Tree Technician is generally in a for a boatload of aggravation. I had first to determine if an entire strand was out, which is harder than it sounds since the strands of lights weave like a giant killer anaconda in a Sy-Fy Channel movie through the Nordic equivalent of a rain forest. After about an hour of tracing strands and puncturing my hands and wrists on plastic pine needles, I determined that two of the strands were half broken. That is to say that half the lights worked and half didn't. It would have been better if none of them worked (or if ALL of them worked but I knew that was too much to wish for) because I could have replaced the whole strand. Instead, I left the dead lights lie and plugged in a couple of strings of substitute lights which glowed merrily since they were not ten years old like the tree.

So, the tree had about 100 burned out lights on it, along with 100 new gleaming lights. In the dark, it didn't look too bad and in fact it looked pretty good driving past our house in the dark at about 50 miles an hour. Not that i'm advising anyone to do that. You can walk by, but don't look too closely.

I reported my fortunes (or lack of them) to Becky, and she allowed as how we needed a new prelighted tree, for next year. I was very happy at this turn of events because it meant I didn't have to take the old lights (dead and alive) off and put new ones one. As I wrote earlier, we've had this tree for about ten years. It's about the fourth or fifth one we've had since we set up housekeeping 39 years ago. Our firs indoor light display consisted of multi-colored minilights on my ten-speed bicycle in our little townhouse. It was upward and onward from there.

At various points, we've had as many as eight trees set up. Some were full size and some were small, but they were all Christmas trees. This year we have the one "big" tree and about three smaller ones. Empty nesters, you know you don't decorate as much when the kids leave home. *Sniff*

So, we'll see what's left on sale after the holidays. Because if there's anything I like better than Christmas decorations, it's a bargain. Hold me back! And a Merry Christmas to everyone out there On the Sunny Side of the Street!

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