Christmas is a time of stress for a lot of people, so finding something to laugh about is always good. This year we are having a National Lampoon Christmas and this is too good a story to remain untold. It all started with the lighting of the tree…
Several years ago, we bought an artificial tree. Nice and simple. I’m not a big artificial tree fan. I like the smell of a real tree, but the townhouse we’re in won’t allow them. So thinking to kill two birds with one stone, I not only bought an artificial tree but made sure it was pre-lit. No tangle of wires to worry about. We didn’t count on the added weight that all that attached lighting would add when carting the tree pieces up and downstairs. But it was only once a year and we figured it was worth it not to have to untangle strings of lights. We also figured the bulbs would last for a long time. Not so much. A bunch of them burned out this year as soon as we plugged the tree in.
Luckily, the manufacturer had included spare bulbs and the tiniest fuses I’ve ever seen for such an occasion. The sheer number of replacements that were included probably should have been a warning sign, but I was oblivious at the time. After trying to replace several of the now burned-out bulbs, I figured out why the manufacturer had provided so many. They were nearly impossible to replace. Pulling them out wasn’t too bad, but I can’t count how many of the baby-hair-sized contact wires I broke just trying to get the first bulb in. I struggled with it for about fifteen minutes before giving up and covering the unlighted area with lots and lots of ornaments and icicles so you hardly even notice the lack of lights.
That problem solved (or at least shelved for another Christmas), it was time to put the angel on top of the tree. The old lighted one I’d had since the kids were little had seen better days and nearly set fire to the house the last year we had used her, so a few years back I replaced her with another. This one was dressed in a golden robe over her white dress and held candles in both hands that would light up just like her skirts. Or at least, she was supposed to. Plugged her in, no lights. Of course, none of the replacement bulbs for the tree would fit, being made of a proprietary design.
We got the bright idea of scavenging the bulbs from a string of white lights we wouldn’t be using this year. At first we replaced one bulb at a time and plugged her in to see if we’d found the broken one, but then we eventually got the idea to just replace them all. Five minutes later and we were done. The bright white flash that appeared when we plugged her in this time had all the earmarks of a heavenly sign. The angel now rests atop our tree, lights removed. She looks rather pretty up there, and you can barely see the singed area on the bottom of her skirts.
I’m thinking that maybe next year I’ll get a nice silver star, the glittery kind that doesn’t require electricity…
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