Saturday, November 28, 2015

I Fought the Tree

and the tree won. At least for today. I'll get a rematch in the morning.

I have an artificial tree, because dragging a real tree to a 2nd floor condo simply ain't happening. It's a big fake tree, 7.5 feet tall. The ceiling at that end of the room is around 10 feet, and that's the low ceiling part of the room. This room is tall, and I hunted for a tall, narrow fake tree to do it justice. I like my fake tree just fine, but it sure isn't "easier" than a real tree. Dragging the artificial tree box upstairs is sweaty enough work, and work began this morning at 8:30 a.m. I hauled the tree and tubs of ornaments up from the garage, took inventory, and remembered that yes, this year I needed to replace the lights.

Off to Target. Four boxes of lights, $5 each, mission accomplished. Came home, assembled the tree, spent a good half hour unfolding the branches just so. Opened the first box of lights.

W.T.F. The wire was WHITE. I didn't even know that was an option! I looked at the other boxes and sure as shit, I'd accidentally bought two boxes of green wire lights as God intended, and two strings with these freaky white wires. The boxes are virtually identical, even the same style number, and they were mixed together on the shelf. It's a good thing there is no Elf on the Shelf snitching on ME, because the air was fairly blue with profanity. I did NOT want to go back to Target on a holiday weekend, I could return the white lights another day. I went to Joann's instead, it's closer.

Joann's lights cost twice as much as Target's and were some off brand. No thanks. I did find a new garland for the mantel at 70% off and paid $8 for it, which truly was all it was worth. I had to pass Publix on the way home, and they had lights for $5. Second trip accomplished. Home again.

Put lights on the tree - all were brand new lights, fresh from the box, mind you. Plug in, stand back to admire...and...FUCK!!! The very first strand of the name brand (Phillips) lights, near the top of the tree, was HALF OUT! Shame on me for not testing them first, but you know, when you buy a brand new string of lights, it seems reasonable to assume that they will work, you know? More profanity. Unwind lights, shove defective string and the white cords of abomination into a Target bag, find receipt, back to store I go. Get refund for failed lights, buy more of the right kind.

Home Again. It's now 3 in the afternoon and I'm hot and tired. Wrestled lights onto tree a second time, after testing each strand. Plugged in. We have lights. Time for ornaments. Only broke one, found others in such bad shape it's time to say goodbye. I got tired of the whole experience right about then. The tree is half decorated. I'll finish in the morning. So far it's a very Sweary Christmas.


Anonymous said...

We spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with son's family, and their tree and the whole house is beautifully decorated (no outside light trimmings). On Boxing Day we travel (10 hours driving) to daughter's family, and their place is decorated to the max. Again no outdoor lighting. Our contribution to the decorations is a gingerbread house for each family. The long distance gingerbread house travels in 'flat-pack' and is assembled and decorated the morning after we arrive. With a lot of very sticky help from the youngsters.

Since our own home is a child-free zone, we simply DO NOT BOTHER. No tree, very little extra cooking, no decorations other than Christmas cards. Very liberating. And the sky has not fallen in.......

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

My house isn't a child free zone, Delaney comes over to open presents here on Christmas Day, so there has to be a tree. I admit i'm a little over the top with my BIG tree but I normally enjoy decorating it. This year was just the year of bad lights.

wednesday said...

The year my nephews were two and three, my sister decided she would host a proper, magical Christmas for them. I helped with the (REAL! by God!) tree, and we had an epic struggle, very similar to yours.

After hours of frustration we finished with the tree and went out for dinner and a well-deserved drink. We came back to discover that her cat had used the tree for a jungle gym and completely wrecked it, and my dog had chewed the wrapping off the kid's presents and was wearing a bow as evidence.

As we were surveying the disaster our other sister called to announce she was taking triple holiday pay to work on Christmas, and would be staying home with the small nephews who were the reason for the tree in the first place.

Sister #1 then had a full blown Chevy Chase level Holiday Meltdown complete with chucking the whole tree into the front yard while I stood on the porch, laughing til I peed my pants.

Catherine said...

OMG, I'm laughing so hard, though at the time I would have had a meltdown like your sister!