ACK! Yes, I did just say, "ack"! This time of year is my all time favorite. From Halloween to New Years Day, I love every bit of the holiday season. I started off this season way back in October, listening to Christmas music and burning fall candles...and now...more Christmas music (its easier to find now), cinnamon and holly scented candles, lights, lights and more lights...and decorating the house for Christmas...Cue the music....dun dun dun...
A few years back, we bought a pre-lit Christmas tree. It was perfect in the store. It looked so real...it was full, had tons of beautiful white lights on it and it even had the pine cones to make it look even more real. It was love at first sight. I mean...how much better could it be? I would never again have to string lights on a tree. It was all done so I could spend more time with other, more important things....it was perfect for us.
That is...until the following year when the whole middle section of lights went out. I called the place I got the tree from, and after a long day of fighting on the phone, I ended up having them replace the tree for me. Score 1 for Michele!
That is....until the following year....
Yes, last year was another headache from heck with the tree. Again, there was a whole section of lights out. Somehow, I got it working...and the areas that I couldn't get lit, I added my own lights. It was more hassle than I bargained for. Who has time to mess with burned out lights or fuses when you have 7 kids...especially one who has special needs...not me.
So then we come to this year...Like years past, I get so excited to put the tree up that I made Tony drag up the monster of a box, that looked like its been through war after war....it was a pain, but a good pain. As we were struggling with the box on the basement steps, we noticed that it didn't escape the mold and mildew that took over our basement from the long wet spring and summer we had. It stunk so bad that we had to unload the tree from the box right on the steps. I thought to myself that it was going to be alright...praying all the while that the smell didn't get to the tree itself. So we finally got the last of the tree into the living room where I was going to perform my Christmas magic on it....it was going to be easy this year.
As I got the first layer up I was getting excited that maybe his year...just maybe...the tree would go up without a hitch...
First layer, up. Now for layer number 2. Put it on top of the first layer...plugged it in...aaaand...all but one section lit. OK...looking at the problem....the bulbs were all burnt out. So off to the specialty store where I bought the tree from...because, of course you can only use THEIR replacement bulbs in THEIR trees. When it was said and done, we spent $30 on bulbs. Because of the stress from the kids screaming and the stupid tree, I had one heck of a headache by the time we left the store. So putting the rest of the tree up would have to wait overnight til Saturday so I had time to get rid of the headache that was taking over my brain.
Saturday morning came and I was feeling much better. Nothing better than a good nights sleep to clear the mind! I started right away with the exchange of bad bulbs to good on the strand that was darkening my Christmas spirit! With each bulb change, my outlook started to grow bleaker...it wasn't going on! Finally, the last new bulb in place and still nothing! GRRRR! OK...think, think....maybe the fuse was blown. So I put new fuses in...and still nothing. I got so upset that I took scissors to that one line of lights, I mean, It was only three branches and did have an extra strand of white lights from last year that I never used on the garlands for the outside. It would work...I was going to make it work! Took some time unraveling the branches, but I did it...and it looked good with the new lights on. Finally! I can start to get excited again. I reached down and grabbed the third layer of the tree, placed it on the restrung layer, and plugged it in.
At this point, I just walked away from the whole mess. I didn't want to do something that I would regret one day. Then, after looking around and listening to all the chaos that was my home (the kids fighting, Kenny screaming, toys thrown everywhere, pillows and blankets from the kids sleepover on the couch and floor), I took matters into my own hands...
The scissors came out once more and I made a phone call to Tony (hoping he'd talk me out of the irrational move I was about to make)....the phone call went something like this: Me: Hi ,Tony. The lights don't work and I'm cutting all of them out of the whole tree. OK. Love you. Bye!
And the stress relief was in progress! I cut, and unraveled...unraveled and cut. And finally....on Sunday morning, It was done!
Never EVER buy a pre-lit tree...ever! What a waste of time, but I do feel wonderful for taking matters into my own hands. I may just have to give the store their lights back in a garbage bag with a note that thanks them for showing me that buying a pre-lit tree and spending a lot of money on a tree (that is supposed to last years and years)...isn't worth it! They suck you into thinking that pre-lit is the way to go...yeah...down the toilet!
Think of this as a small public service announcement ;)
Now to get to the store and buy colored lights and twinkle ones for a multi-colored tree this year! Oh, and the moldy/mildew smell? Yes, the tree is a little stinky, but nothing that ScentSicles won't take care of.