Wrestling With The Tree

Last year we had a dilemma. We had a small artificial tree and wanted a large artificial tree, but didn’t want to pay lots of bucks to get one. Enter the family trade. My MIL gave us her artifical (pre-lit) tree, we gave our smaller artifical (non-pre-lit) tree to our son, and MIL bought a new, smaller tree. Everyone was happy. Except, apparently, the tree.

(Note to artifical tree haters: I do artifical for a couple of reasons. One, I would rather have the live trees in my yard, not in my house. Two, I don’t like pine needles all over – they hurt very badly when you are barefoot and ram one into your foot as you walk through the house. Three, I was told pine needles were the one thing that could really clog up my vacuum. Four, I like to have the tree up before my son’s birthday (coming up this week) and I don’t like to take it down until after New Years. That leaves a lot of dead time for a real tree. If you still are dissatisfied with this, then I’m sorry and I hope you enjoy your real tree – remember, keep it watered well so you don’t burn the house down. Oh, and I do envy you the smell. All the air freshner and candles in the world aren’t the same as the real thing.)

Last year, it had a dark spot. You know, one little patch that no matter how much you changed or checked or tightened the bulbs, or changed the fuses, it wouldn’t light. No biggie. MIL said it was that way for her and she turned that part toward the wall. We did that. No problemo.

Until now. Now, it seems, our tree is going on strike. We not only have the original little dark spot, but the top chunk is dark, as well as about four other ‘spots’ throughout the tree. I’ve done all the shaking, changing, tightening and cursing that is required in these situations and it has done no good. Not one dark spot has lit up and said ‘thank you’.

So, I tossed the idea out to the kids: last years’ tree was white lights with silver and white decorations. This was their chance to have input on what I did with the tree. I figure I can’t just buy lights to ‘fill in’ the dark places, I’m going to buy strings and start from the ground up. This means if they want I can go with colored lights or even the old-fashioned ones. Try something new. Three of the four have responded and the fourth is outnumbered – the overwhelming choice was to have it as last year. I was kind of surprised, actually. Guess the old fashioned stuff is out.

Now I just have to go buy some more lights.

Oh, did I mention the swag lights I put on the front porch have a couple of strands that have evidently talked to the tree? Yeah… they’re on strike, too. Damnit. Now Hubby’s talking about stringing this all around the back deck, too. That sounds like…um…fun…yeah…fun… (rolling eyes). I suppose it would look cool. I just remember how friggin’ cold it was the day I put the front ones on. It hasn’t gotten any warmer out.

So, how’s your decorating going??

(The picture is last years tree – just after decorating, before gifts)