The tree is up!
A great gaggle of dancing and prancing elves carried it into the house last night as they magically strung the lights and hung their small balls on the tree, which, I have to admit, always makes me a bit uncomfortable.
Z made some hot chocolate…I made a fire… put on all our favorite Christmas tunes, and partied hearty with the elves.
It was such a magical time!
Okay…well, it’s mostly up…and there weren’t any elves...or hot chocolate…fire…or Christmas tunes, at all.
I helped Z drag the tree in from the garage, wrestled it in to its handy LL Bean adjustable tree stand, which really is “magic” in a way, since it cuts down on the amount of cursing, threats and various other unsociable spousal behaviors by half .
Afterward, I returned to my usual La Z Boy spot—the recliner…not me—and proceeded to supervise Z’s handy work, with one eye on the tree and one eye on some version of CSI; not sure which one.
First, Z tested all the lights before she started stringing them from branch to branch. I’m always amazed at the patience she shows and the meticulous attention to detail she gives each and every branch as she works her way down from the top.
Once three or four strings were up and shining, one of them—or worse, half of one of them—suddenly stopped shining, in any sort of fashion, for no apparent reason...and then the cursing, threats and various other unsociable spousal behaviors began all over again.
Z got a little angry too.
My first thought is to check each bulb for damage since, even though these are what you call your “Constant On” lights, that, apparently, is only the case if they are constantly working, which these are constantly not.
With the care of a proctologist, I study and probe each teeny tiny bulb, looking for obvious damage or loose connections.
Then I pry any suspect bulbs from their sockets—which I have to tell you is a torture similar to certain interrogation techniques used by various clandestine organizations—and replace them.
Once I determine that this tactic isn't working, I locate the thumb nail that's been ripped from my thumb, then methodically turn to the fuses and attempt to open the little fuse cover, which was designed by the same clandestine organization that devised the bulbs and sockets.
What can I say...I have big dreams. Luckily, I also have another thumb and several back up fingers to sacrifice.
After several hours, I am sometimes actually able to slide the little cover down only to reveal two little glass like tubes, with two tiny little metal tips at each end, which have been designed so it’s virtually impossible to remove them with human fingers…not without a tiny little glass like tube remover.
Are you getting the ideas that we’re talking small here?
Unfortunately, or fortunately, not many of us have this tiny little glass like tube remover in our big “Tim The Tool Man” tool box, which is just as well, because if you were able to actually remove them and replace them with the new tiny little glass like tubes provided, they wouldn’t work anyway.
Believe me…they won’t.
We were smart enough to plan ahead this year and purchased a couple of boxes of replacement lights.
Fortunately, instead of making the same mistake with the “Constant On” lights, I bought the “Sometimes On-Sometimes Not” lights, which despite their inherent flaws, at least don’t raise your expectations, which inevitably, always lead to disappointment.
Just like in life.
Once the lights are set and sparkly, I return to my La Z Boy supervisory position and Z then begins to place each of our four thousand, yet tasteful, ornaments, which we have collected and received as gifts throughout the past millennium, onto the tree.
I don’t know how she does it, but Z has a knack for seamlessly inserting each ornament in exactly the right spot, all without making the tree look like something found on an episode of “Hoarders”.
To be honest, since up to now I haven’t been, I think she studies a schematic starting in September, and has it committed to memory. But, as I’ve said before, never underestimate the power of Z.
Last but not least, the angel is inserted onto the very tip of the tree, a practice that would make even the aforementioned proctologist wince.
Then Z and I raise our Hot Chocolate, spiked with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream for texture and recreate the iconic scene from a Charlie Brown’s Christmas, singing “Hark the Herald”.
The elves are nowhere to be found.