Today we were supposed to decorate our Christmas tree, which for some reason the kids have named "Hector." All three kids are learning Spanish so when they say "Hector," they roll their R's beautifully and as a former French student who was never able to master the R-roll, I'm wracked with jealousy. Not sure why we couldn't have named the tree Ted.
Anyway, the plan was to decorate the tree this afternoon, but my daughter has "hell week" -- the week leading up to a play ("Cyrano de BurgerShack," you read that right, "BurgerShack") during which, with no let up of homework, she goes directly to the theater from school every day and we don't see her until 10:30 pm. When she left the house at 6:45 this morning, she was very clear that we were not to decorate the tree without her. Tricky.
But the dark tree looks a little sad, so I decided to compromise by putting on only the Christmas lights. And given the weather forecast, I'm betting that tomorrow will be a snow day -- otherwise the tree will probably remain ornament-free until Sunday night.
After my last illuminating experience, I decided to warm up for lighting the tree with something simple: lights and garland around the inside of our front door. And lo and behold, the lights all lit on the first try, the nails were still in the trim from last year (not sure what that says about my housekeeping), and I finished the job in five minutes.
"Perfect!" I thought, and since it was going so well, I decided to wrap the banisters with lights and garland. The upstairs railing went off without a hitch so I moved on to the downstairs railing. I wound the garland and lights through the balusters and around the railing, plugged in the string of lights and my heart sank. Another half lit string of lights -- just like outside. Argh.
I debated starting over with another string of lights (if I could find one) and came close to giving up, but I still had the tree to do and the inside of our house is much warmer than the outside, so I forged on. First I tried replacing the fuses. No luck. Big surprise. My temper began to flare, but I took a deep breath and started the painful process of checking each bulb. After testing 34 bulbs to the accompaniment of a lot of internal grumbling and a few choice words that I will not repeat here, I replaced the 35th bulb and. . .
H A L L E L U J A H ! ! !
"Yes!" I exclaimed and I jumped up and started to do a happy dance and the dog came running and the boys were laughing (at me, as it turns out -- I guess they weren't too impressed with my moves) and for a moment my Christmas spirit soared!
Until I realized I still had to do the tree.
But no worries. The tree lights worked and I experienced only minimal distress as I worked my way around our diminutive, but surprisingly full Hector. ("Little full, lotta sap.") And as I sit here at the hockey rink at 9:45 pm writing this post and pulling pine, excuse me, "Fraser Fir" needles out of my hair, I'm feeling a deep sense of, if not accomplishment, then definitely relief.
Fingers crossed for a snow day!
|The front door and Casey.|
|The upstairs landing.|
|Hector. I put the lights on evenly, but Hector|
has some very, very full spots that block the light.