Festive pause – that’s what it felt like today. Christmas carols a-playing, gingerbread a-baking, christmas tree a-lighting. Nope – that’s what threw a wrench into to the flow. We have a pre-lit tree. Massive, with many many lights. We splurged a few years ago and spent more than we ever thought we would on an artificial tree – even during the half price sell-off sale. But considering I had always spent upwards of two hours stringing the lights on the tree, a pre-lit one sounded like heaven.
I know some of you have done a re-read of that last bit. What? More than two hours stringing lights? How is that possible? That’s what my husband said, and maybe some of you are saying it too. But I know there are just as many of you out there agreeing with me. The difference between those who string lights for two hours, and those who take 5-minutes is all in the placement. I could have done a job parallel to my hubby and just ran around the tree stringing the lights like a ribbon on a maypole, but that’s not the right way. Or at least that’s not my way. It’s not my mother’s or sister’s way either, and anyone who knows any of us can attest – our trees look like something out of a magazine, and it all starts with the lights. You have to wind them, place some deep in the branches, some on the end. That gives the tree depth. You have to make them even top to bottom, and plentiful – no skimping. It’s a thank-less job, because everyone notices the decorations, but few will say – the lights look fantastic!
Decorations do make a difference – I have no two alike on my tree. It helps that my parents have been giving me a decoration every year since the time I was ten – yes – they still do. I have kept up the tradition with my own three children, and my oldest Heather, decorated her own tree in her own home this year with her collection we have been building for her from the year she was born. It tickled my heartstrings. Giving the yearly decorations is one of my favourite family traditions and one my kids all love too. Our tree is a history of hobbies, favourites, and personal styles. My son loves nutcrackers and frogs – so he has lots of those, thrown in with some snowboards, Star Wars and Scooby Doo ones. All of the ones my youngest daughter has are either frilly, fuzzy, sparkly, pink, or with some kind of animal doing something festive and adorable. I always buy one for myself (usually something that looks like it’s sugar-coated) and my hubby too. Merry Christmas to me.
But I digress – back to the Christmas lights. A few hours after the tree went up, the tree was still only half lit. I assumed it would be no biggy for my husband – after all, his previous career was an electrician, so how could tree lights be a challenge. Because he was working on a heat pump downstairs he wasn’t thrilled to be rerouted to tree duty – but hey, we were on a decorating mission. He told me before he could start, I had to count how many lights were on one strand so he could tell which volt it was. It was a daunting task, and I had a sneaky suspicion it was one of his tactics to get out of work. After all – if I didn’t complete my task, how could even start his? Sometimes he can be a sneaky bastard that way. So I counted the damn lights on one of the lit strings – but of course the answer didn’t make sence to him (which I found out later was because the 22 per/string I counted was off by 13 – it was actually 35 lights per string). I guess I can be a sneaky bastard that way too.
“I’ll do dinner while you go to Canadian Tire.” (Will work for food. That is a language he does understand.)
So supper waited for the reluctant handy man to come home and light our tree so our holiday season could begin. Because who can be jolly without a giant faux-fir dazzling in the centre of your home?