Friday, November 9, 2007

The Art and Science of Christmas Lights

There's an art & science to Christmas lights? No. It's just a big mess no matter how you try to make it easier.

I'm not the most logical person in the world manifested in all of the small and simple tasks that I somehow re-create into the most complex task it can possibly Christmas lights.

I have a complicated history with Christmas lights, and should avoid them at all costs. But they're so darn pretty. They're like the flowers of winter and I hate it when I have to take them down. One of world's best inventions is the Christmas light's timer which powers those little buggers up even before you get home so when you pull into your driveway, you're greeted with all those little bulbs blinking your own personal "Welcome Home!" I love it!

Lights Timer (i love this thing!)

A few years ago, I decided that rather than buy a super expensive pre-lit Christmas tree, I would "pre-light" my own. I have a beautiful artificial tree, and I don't care what the argument...real trees at Christmas (although beautiful and scent-fully delicious), real trees are not necessary. They are an insult to the environment and just another way that we Americans look only at the here-and-now. ***Down off the soapbox***. Anyhoo, about that pre-lit business. This ties into my sheer lack of logical...ness. I wrap that sucker with about 4,000 strands of beautiul little white lights (i like the simple but elegant look) and go to plug it in *drum roll* with the female end. The necessary male end is - clear at the top, about a million miles from where it should be. I won't go into how I had to remedy THAT situation but let it be said that Home Depot does not sell an adapter, !@#$%.

DH is not a Christmas lights fellow. For 5 of our 7 years, I've not enjoyed lights on our house at all. Last year I decided I'd do it and when he got home, he said, "Who'd you hire to do those lights?" That pleased me. It was like thirty below and snowing when I did them. It was a total fiasco. These little plastic dealies you hang the lights with, well I couldn't figure 'em out. I rigged them as best as I could while freezing my hinnie off. They worked.

I recommend this kind of hanger (they're made by OMNI)

This year I decided I'd figure those dealies out if it killed me. And I did. But they way I had to orient the male end (see, I'm learning!), it ended up orienting the light upside down! I didn't care...I just kept going. Until I ran out of those dealies. I had to go to ACE Hardware and they didn't have the same brand. So I got some other kind which when I got home and got them up, actually oriented the light the right way. So.....half my lights pointed up, half pointed down. Absolutely unacceptable. I took down the first half, re-oriented them and re-hung them. This took me two days. I'm OVER lights!

Wrong vs.right

Except that I've only done the rim of my house. This year I'd like to take it a step further and do the ridgeline, you know - sort of outline my roof. Create a ...runway! Sweet! But with my luck & logic, I'll fall off the roof. At least there's no snow up there right now! In fact, it's like 65 degrees outside - perfect weather for scaling your house to affix totally useless devices that suck up energy and escalate my power bill! Maybe I'll do that tomorrow!

6 backward glances:

Rachel said...

I loved the "flowers in winter" description. So true. You know, you really could hire someone (although I know how you are about do it yourself projects).
It's inspired me to begin the discussion of lights here... I'm sure people hang lights only to make it look like Christmas while we stand around in our t-shirts and shorts.
Hang in there with the lights, and please have someone come hold the ladder for you in case you do fall off, they can call 911!

Amy said...

Rachel - I remember that you were the first person I showed off my wonderful lights to last year - at 6 AM after our run! I was thinking of it as I hung them this year! It was so cold last year!

Rachel said...

oh my gosh I do remember, and I had to hang my own lights last year too. Only I was pissed about having to do it, and you loved the triumph of having done it yourself...
I still miss running with you in the dark :)

Mad goat lady said...

Wow you are an organized girl!

I have *thought* about Christmas and all it entails...lets just say I have a little more thinking to do!

Can't wait to see a pic of it when its all finished and lit up like a ...well like a Christmas Tree :P

Jessica said...

Can't wait to see the house when you finish it!!

josey said...

yes i agree with jessica! you definitely have to send us a pix of your "gingerbread house" when you're done :D hehe!!

(btw, i LOVE your meez for this post!!)

im really bad. last year i got some really pretty light blue and white icicle lights for the wooden scallops bordering the roof of our front porch. (which can be seen from the road, but we live far enough off the road that you cant see the lights when they're not lit.) well we never use that porch, tho, as we always come in thru the garage! so im sure you can put 2 and 2 together...*giggle* and well...let's just say, as long as the lights still work i wont be freezing my fingers or hiney off putting any up!! HAHA!!

AND because i wanted to hang them from the scallops so they looked prettier, i used a staple gun. ROTFL!! i know, im sucha redneck!!! ;) prolly another reason why they are still there, completely intact ;)