Strung out

I’ve had my Christmas tree up for a couple of weeks already. That’s unusual for me, but with Mom going in for surgery and all that entailed, I decided to plan ahead and put it up earlier than normal.

But of course, when you put your tree up earlier than normal, that just gives your tree lights more chances to burn out. The strings of mini-lights that I have are the type where if a bulb burns out, only half the string will not light, so that you don’t have to try replacing all 100 bulbs till you find the culprit, only 50 bulbs. Such a time saver.

background_of_colorful_christmas_lights_decorative_garlandThat is exactly what happened. But although I tried two separate times, I just couldn’t find the burnt-out bulb. I was so frustrated! I mean, how hard can it be to take each bulb out and try a new bulb in each socket until the dark half of the string lights up??? And as I stood there, pissed off, the other half of the string went out! That’s it, I thought. I need to buy a new string of lights. I am NOT going to waste more time trying to find the burnt out bulbs (plural now), I am just going to replace the whole damn string.

I went to disconnect the wonky string. I only just touched it and the NEXT attached string of lights went dark! What the hell?!? (Not exactly a Christmassy-type emotion, granted, but I was VERY perturbed by this time.)

I jiggled the newly-dark strand, thinking that maybe there was just a loose connection, seeing as how I hadn’t even touched the strand at all. Nothing happened. Okay, now I needed to buy TWO new strands of mini-lights.

Have you ever tried to buy mini-lights for your Christmas tree the week before Christmas? Well, it’s pretty much impossible. I went to a couple of stores, but their shelves were almost bare. I spoke to an employee in one of the stores, and she said that all they had were strings of outdoor mini-lights, all in green. We opened the box and I thought they looked almost exactly like what I already had. I prefer multi-coloured lights and didn’t particularly want all green, but hey, it was working strings that I was after and I had lots of replacement bulbs in my two non-functioning strings of lights. So I bought the last two boxes.

I thought I’d have to spend about an hour to replace some of the green bulbs with the coloured ones that I would take out of the non-functioning strings. Ha! Nice dream!

It turned out that the actual bulb bases on my new strings, seeing as how they were actually outdoor lights, were slightly bigger than the bases on my old strings. That meant that I had to take the green bulbs and bases from the sockets, remove those green bulbs from the bases, put new red, yellow or blue bulbs into those bases, and then put the whole thing back into the sockets. To do about 75 lights on one string took me all evening – almost 4 hours. I did the second string the next night, and was finally able to festoon my Christmas tree with lights again.

And when I told this story to my mom last night, she said, “Did you say mini-lights? Oh, I have two big strings of those that I’m not using any more. Do you want them?”

Uh – yeah. Thanks, Mom.

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4 responses to “Strung out

  1. But at least you proved to yourself how persevering you can be and that can be a trait tat can come in handy one day. You do have to admit that is a skill to admire.

  2. Ah yes, the wonky lights. Love the cartoon because that’s so true. We had to bite the bullet and renew this year, finally and they all lit up beautifully the first time out. Yay.

    • Just you wait till next year, though. These lights that crapped out on me were purchased just last year! (I am starting to believe that the manufacturers do that on purpose so you have to buy new lights every year. Planned obsolescence, just like cars and electronics.)