Thursday, December 4, 2014

In Search of Christmas Spirit - Day 3

Day 3:

Buoyed up by an extra cup of coffee and inspired by the candles on the mini quilt I posted about yesterday, this afternoon I decided to put out our Christmas window candles.

Let me pause here for a moment to tell you about the extra cup of coffee.  Normally I drink a single cup of tea in the morning.  I love coffee, but as my family can attest, when I drink too much caffeine it's a problem.  I tend to get a little cranky and a lot paranoid.  So tea it is.  But occasionally, when there's a bit of coffee left in the pot and I'm feeling a little reckless, I'll pour myself a cup.

This morning was one of those mornings.  And when the coffee kicked in, I was a designing machine!  I couldn't sew a stitch because my hands were shaking so much, but the ideas, energy and optimism came fast and furious.  I can't do it every day -- I think eventually I'd develop a tolerance for the caffeine and the positive effects would wear off -- but it's an excellent ride every once in a while.

So anyway, the candles.  (Apparently lack of focus is another side effect of the coffee.)  I love the look of Christmas candles in the window -- so welcoming when you are coming home late, say after yet another hockey practice.  But the candles present a couple of major drawbacks.

First, our candles are light and tend to fall off the window sills from the weight of their cords.  Tired of replacing bulbs, I've tried using adhesive putty to hold the candle bases to the sills with minimal success.  I thought about duct tape, but it doesn't exactly say "Christmas."  So this year I had the brilliant idea (coffee, coffee, I love coffee!) of hot gluing the candles to the window sills.  I did a spot test by putting glue on my window sill and pulling it off after 30 minutes (30 minutes, 30 days, what's the difference) to see if it also removed the paint.  Didn't!  Genius!  So I committed and glued all of the candles to the window sills.

Which brings me to drawback #2.  Turning the candles on and off.  In our last house, we tried battery operated candles, but found them too dim.  So when we moved into this house we splurged on electric candles with in-line cord switches.  Lovely.  But two sides of our house are visible from the road, and those two sides of the house have 10 windows that need candles, and that means every day we have to turn on and turn off 10 candles.  My daughter is pretty great about turning the candles on when she gets home from school.  It's turning them off that is the problem.  The kids are in bed by then, so my husband and I have been crawling around on the floor and reaching behind furniture to turn off the 10 candles every night in December for 5 years.  Once in a while I pretend to be tired and sneak upstairs to read, leaving my husband to, as he calls it, "shut down the nuclear reactor." He gets wise to me pretty quickly.

But last year my mother-in-law came for a visit during the month of December.  And when it was time to shut down the nuclear reactor, Joan simply walked up to one of the window candles and turned the bulb in its socket just enough to turn it off.  My husband and I looked at each other in shock.  Ridiculously easy and yet it hadn't occurred to either of us in 5 years.  Needless to say, that moment was life changing.

So this year, the candles are glued down tight and thanks to Joan, the nightly shutdown should be a snap.  Christmas spirit?  Getting there.  And don't they look pretty...

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