I hate Christmas lights

dedtiredDecember 12, 2009

Yeah, yeah, they look so pretty on people's houses and on the tree. I love looking at them and decorating is my favorite part of Christmas.

But -- I just spent hours putting pine roping on my fence along with strings of little white lights and adorable candy cane striped bows on each fence post.

First, the roping was just a l-i-t-t-l-e too short, so I has to fill a gap with wire and a branch from the spruce tree.

Then I go in the house, flip the switch, walk out to admire my work -- and half of one string of lights doesn't friggin' work. I was tempted to tear down the whole mess.

Now that I have calmed down, I am just going to buy another string and replace the dud. Thank heavens it's on an end and not in the middle. And yes, I did test it before I out it out there. And no, I don't have enough patience to find the problem and fix it.

Jeez Louise.

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caliloo

LOL! I think I go through a similar situation every year. Seems when I test the lights they are fine, and by the time I get them on the tree, some bulb somwhere has decided to wiggle loose and now there is a dark area where the half strand is not lit.

And yes it drives me nuts too!

Alexa

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 5:09PM
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centralcacyclist

Christmas lights? What are those?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 5:16PM
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publickman

I don't use them, but I am happy to look at those that others display. We had almost none in Venice - we did get a few Hanukkah lights, but very few Christmas lights except along the canals, where they were particularly spectacular, since they were reflected in the waters of the canals. I used to be only three blocks from the canals and used to go there frequently. I do especially miss that part of Venice. Now if I want to go to the canals, it is a 12 minute drive. On my street here, a lot of people have done very elaborate Christmas lights, and I haven't seen any Hanukkah lights.

Lars

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 5:26PM
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lindac

My prelit tree has half of the pre lights out....so I added some....and more pooped out....
it is what it is...that's that....I'll shine a spot light on it!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 5:36PM
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trixietx

I'm with ya!
I have four 50 ft. light strings I put around the eaves of our house, the big lights, C9's, I think. I turn them on when I put them under the shingles so that if one goes out or is not tightened I can fix it right then and there. The next night there will be one out and then two nights later another.

I have four sets of mesh lights I put on my hedge in the back yard, it is kind of neat when seen through the fence, it looks like twinkies, but is not.

The twinkies are a whole other ballgame. They nearly drive me crazy. I haven't put them in my trees or on my front or back porch posts the last two years because we were going on vacation after the first of the year and I wanted to make sure I could get everything put up. I didn't put them up this year, just because. It seems like every year half of the string will go out and you can't find out which bulb it is, you just can't. I remember one year when I had a bunch of strands of twinkies on a little bush, but maybe only a fourth of each strand worked. In the daylight it looked like a web, at night a little bush with a few lights. I tossed all of those twinkies that year.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 6:03PM
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loagiehoagie

I too have a love/hate relationship with Christmas lights. I no longer decorate outside. Most of my neighbors have also given up on it. I really enjoy the people who do the big displays....very nice. Last year we didn't even put up a tree. With dogs at the house and nobody coming over for the holidays it just seemed like too much trouble. This year Laurie bought a small table top tree...pre-lit...not fancy but at least we have some holiday spirit in the house. My mom used to call me and say..."your dad wants to know if you will come over on saturday and put up the Christmas lights"...hmmmm....she did the dirty work for my dad. Inevitably it would always be about -20 degrees and we would freeze our keesters off, not to mention our fingers, toes and other pertinent appendages!

I remember one story growing up where my mom and dad fought over the Christmas tree and the $##($A(#*&(&*#A lights......my dad got so upset he grabbed the tree (a real one) and threw it out into the yard! Aren't the holidays wonderful!??

I do have those memories to cling to. My mom and dad always loved Christmas and even in one particularly rough year my dad took out a loan to make sure us kids had a good Christmas. Both of them loved the holidays and even though my mom is gone and I went through a few years of less than holiday spirit I'm slowly coming around to appreciate the reason for the season.

p.s. - yes those damn lights are aggravating!!!!!! arrrrgh
Duane

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 6:16PM
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dlynn2

Yep. DH rants about it every year. He says with everything they can do these days with technology, you'd think someone would be able to invent Christmas lights that would at least work properly!!! This year we (he) decided to scale way back on the yard lights and only do a few trees. It looked pretty pathetic to start with, but about 3 days after he put them out there half of one of the trees went dark. Every couple of days it suddenly lights back up for a few days and then goes dark again. It's too cold to even deal with it. So we are just leaving it. We've got some really extravagent neighbors that make us look like Scrooges, though. They all hire companies to come out and hang their lights. The companies supply the lights, too, so theirs always work. Most of the lights on our street look fabulous, and then there is ours :(

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 7:21PM
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annie1971

I am with you there! I have done window candles since living in the south and migrating West. I have battery pre-lit wreaths on our outdoor windows and front door and gates. The house window wreaths are on a timer with indoor candles. We get compliments every year on the simplicity of our seasonal display. Sometimes we put our Charlie Brown Christmas tree on our front porch because we have rambunctious Labs in the house and the UPS and Postal employees love putting our delivery packages under the porch tree. It works for us and it keeps the spirit going! Keep it simple and personal. You'll outdo your neighbors on taste and style!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 8:31PM
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dedtired

There are plenty of huge expensive houses around here and the people hire decorators to come out and put the lights up. Some of them are very beautiful, if somewhat over the top. I need to go take a ride around to see more of them.

I think I have Christmas decorating in my blood. My dad went crazy with the decorating. Every inch of our house was edged with lights, every bush covered with them, big wreath on the door and an electric Santa face on the chimney. This was back in the 50's when strings of lights really sucked. If one went out, they all went out.

We won a poinsettia from the local civic assocition for best decorated house. Or maybe it was most decorated house. Those were good times.

Oh and the other thing I hate about lights is untangling them. I always wrap them neatly, but somehow they get all wound up anyway.

I bought a new 50' set tonight, so the dud goes on the trash tomorrow. I still have to put more on the bushes out front. I am a lunatic, but I think we all are around the holidays.

I like reading about your decorations. I admire people who climb trees to put up lights. That is a lot of work!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 8:53PM
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mustangs81

Wait, wait, wait...you mean the DH in the family is suppose to put up the lights on the outside of the house? Damn, all these years I thought that was my job.

This year I did hire someone to put up and decorate my Christmas tree. It takes me 3 to 6 days and 2 years ago I ended up in the ER with back spasms. Yes, I am very picky with the placement of each light and ornament. I only paid $50, got about what I paid for, trying to live with it, but keep adding or moving stuff every time I walk by.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 9:18PM
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lindac

LOL!! No way could anyone ever decorate my tree but me...2 years ago a friend took pity on me and came over and helped..."Now just take it easy...we'll ahve it done in no time and then we'll go out for a bite...you'll be so glad to have it done" I spent the next week tweaking it... LOL!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 9:35PM
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dedtired

Ha -- my XH never put up a light outside or in. I do think I got him to put up the tree-- I mean stand it up -- but that was it.

Cathy it sounds like your tree is like your pantry and fridge -- everything in it's place! I bet it is beautiful. Mine is just a hodgepodge. Every year I think I will start fresh and have a lovely sophisticated tree, but then I think -- nah.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 9:37PM
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readinglady

We don't do outside lights. I think if I insisted it would be the end of the marriage.

For years just putting the lights on the tree, dealing with the tangled strings (I still don't understand how they can be put away all carefully arranged and get tied in knots during the off-season.), the inevitable unlit bulbs, turned my DH into a grouchy scrooge. He just hated it.

Worst was stringing the lights down the hall and around the living room, getting everything checked and lit up then putting them on the tree, only to discover suddenly that one string no longer lit.

So now it's one tree, pre-lit, and so far thank goodness, everything's working. I take about 4 days off-and-on to decorate the tree and my DH ignores the entire process. He does like it once it's done but is happy to have no connection with the event.

Carol

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 10:39PM
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pkramer60

Yup, every year I do the effin' lights and I have a love/hate relationship with them. The same goes for the tree.

Boxes up, check lights, install, boxes down again. Carp, box up again for more lights to replace dead ones. (They weren't dead 5 minutes ago.)

But darn it, it looks so pretty when they are done.And i love to drive around the area and look at other displays.Ans when they go on sale, I buy more for next year.

Insane.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 11:40PM
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dlynn2

Oh, wait, the indoor tree is a whole nuther story. That baby is mine!! I'm a real witch when it comes to that thing -- it has to be perfect and exactly the way I want it. Several years ago I had an emergency surgery just before we put the tree up, and I had amnesia during the entire Christmas holidays. My family put the tree up without me and they still say that was the most pleasant time they've ever had!! I don't understand why they hate me over this tree since I even have a second tree that I put upstairs in the loft for them to decorate any way they want -- I just have to have my big tree perfect. They get so disgusted with me that this year my 14 year old even told me he doesn't care if we just skip the whole tree thing completely. I, too, put the tree up and decorate it, then continue to rearrange the ornaments until it's time to take the whole thing down. Everytime I look at it I see something that would look better in another spot. I'm just so anal about that tree. DH says I take all of the fun out of it, but I just can't help it. I love pretty Christmas trees.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 1:07AM
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weed30

I have a solution for the tangled mini lights issue that I came up with about 10 years ago. I buy new every year :) They are usually 75% off after Xmas, and are all neatly wrapped on their little holder. I buy them for the following year. After the holidays, I wrap the current year's lights as nicely as I can around an empty wrapping paper tube, take them to work, and put them in the employee lounge with a "free" sign on them. They're always gone within the hour. I tape the tiny baggie of replacement bulbs to the tube too.

I haven't put up a tree in a few years though, since I don't trust my current dogs around one!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 7:11AM
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centralcacyclist

I threw mine away when I cleaned out the garage.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 11:48AM
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dedtired

I am tempted to throw them away but I really do like decorations.

Hi Weed. My old cat loved to climb the tree. I'd see it shaking and then her little face would pop out of the top. It was okay when she climbed back down, but not when she took a flying leap from the top, generally dragging a few ornaments with her.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 12:55PM
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publickman

We have a Kinara this year, but that doesn't start until December 26. It goes better with our decor in the living room. I'll post pictures later, but first I have to recharge my camera battery. I have a special surprise to show with the Kinara.

Lars

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 2:19PM
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mustangs81

Kitties haven't bothered the tree in years; I think they are too old to care about such things.

Dedtired, Thank you. It's not what I would like but I am forcing myself to let it be and get on with other things that need to be done before Christmas.

Dlynn, We must be soul sisters on this point. I'm just as bad taking it down as putting it up. My personal worst was when the tree didn't come down until Valentines Day--it was a live tree too. I am compelled to take it down and organize by color. Here are a few of many boxes for the tree.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 3:36PM
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dlynn2

My tree is decorated in red, green, gold and purple. After Christmas I just remove the red and add a few other decorations and it becomes a Mardi Gras tree that gives me an excuse to leave it up for a few more months. However, last year our lights outside stayed up until the yard guy took the down to start mowing the lawn in April!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:09PM
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dedtired

How did I know?

Cathy, your tree is gorgeous. Perfect. Now leave it alone! ;)

What is a Kinara, Lars? I am waiting to see.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:11PM
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dlynn2

Cathy, I love your tree, too. I made DH take a look at it and told him that's what I want my tree topper to look exactly like. I can't reach the top of mine and he has to do it for me. We always argue over that part and sometimes I end up with nothing on the top because he get so sick of me telling him it's not quite right. Now he knows exactly what he has to do. Thanks for the picture.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 7:29PM
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mustangs81

Dedtired, I lost my comment on your hatred of lights; I'm with you. I feel obliged especially when a lot of the neighbors have outdoor lights. I have boxes of them but just not the fortitude to put them up.

Putting up exterior lights has become a booming business here to the point where it is pretty inexpensive. Perhaps that's the route I will take next year.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:03PM
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dedtired

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!! I went out tonight and when I was driving back onto my street, all the lights on my fence were lit! The half dead string was resurrected! I wonder if all the rain we had today made a difference?

I still have to throw lights on the bushes out front. Maybe tomorrow night. I like decorating outside better than inside because almost no one sees my indoor decorations. Still, if I could hire someone to make them look all perfect, I would.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:46PM
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mustangs81

"Miracle on Dedtired's Street", Cool!

Question for folks in snow country--how does the snow impact your outside decorating?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:05PM
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annie1992

Cathy, snow does not impact my outside decorating. I don't do any. Other people have it done by Thanksgiving or the snow is too deep.

I wasn't going to put up a Christmas tree this year, but Ashley really wanted one so I caved in. I had given Amanda the angel for the top of the tree and all the tree lights because her lights quit working (that seems to be a recurring theme here, LOL) and the star that had been at the top of her tree quit lighting up. Surprise.

So, I have no lights and no tree topper, but I'm creative. I found some green and orange halloween lights and when Ashley was in 2nd grade she made me an angel out of a toilet paper roll with doily wings. That now sits happily atop my 25 year old artificial tree with the Halloween lights.

Can you tell that I don't care, I don't arrange by color and I don't pay anyone to decorate? Bah Humbug.

I am kind of thinking that I ought to go drag up some more ornaments. I have about 20 on the tree now, I figured it was enough but Ashley thinks a 6 foot tree with 20 ornaments looks kind of bare. Elery says it's a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree, LOL, it looks fine to me.

Maybe I'll just buy a box of candy canes and use those and I won't have to go back into the basement until the day after Christmas when the blasted thing is coming down...

Annie

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:59PM
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mustangs81

Annie, I was thinking about Chase's thread on "Why is it hard for me easy for others and....." and it came to me that what's hard for me is MAILING PACKAGES but I didn't post that as it just didn't fit in that thread. With that on my mind I thought about the decorative Bah Humbug sign that I bought for you 4 years ago and never sent it! So it's funny that with in an hour of that thought I read your Bah Humbug statement. I also have something for Ducanoe, VacuumFreak, and LindaC. Now how horrible is that???

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 11:16PM
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dlynn2

I totally understand. I still have wedding gifts for 3 of my cousins (all siblings). Between them they now have six children ranging in age from 5 years old to twin 2 week olds. Now I have the 6 baby gifts in the closet with the wedding gifts (4 of the baby gifts have been outgrown). I'm debating on whether I should even bother with the wedding gifts now. I'm really good at buying gifts, but never manage to get them in the mail. That's why I don't participate in the swaps.

I still have two years worth of Christmas cards unmailed also. This year I just decided not to even bother.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 3:28PM
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centralcacyclist

Annie, you and I are Christmas soul mates. A friend brought me a bucket of pyracantha branches. They now are in a large vase on my breakfast room table. Voila, Christmas tree! Hey, it's red and green...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Gina_W

I love the lighted neighborhoods and trees. This year I haven't done anything as I will be away from home. But I finally found a water founrain for a spot in my living room - been looking for the right one for years and I found it - a sitting Buddha holding a lotus flower. There is a light in the flower and that's where the water flows from.

I did buy fresh bromeliads to keep the house festive - they last about 6 months or more.

Keep posting your trees and house lights. I would love to see them.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 2:48AM
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gardengrl

Cathy, someone needs to talk with our husbands! Every year, I'M the one who gets up on the friggin ladder up to the roof, with the wasp nest's and mosquitos. BAH HUMBUG!

Not this year though. Every year, with exception of last year, DH and I would have a HUGE fight about the stupid Christmas lights. The only reason why we didn't fight last year was because I had a big glass of wine before climbing up that ladder to the roof. Yeah, pretty smart.

But, since God protects fools and drunks, I managed to hang those lights without breaking my neck, or my DH's! :-)

This year, meh. No lights, no Christmas tree. I work full-time in a very stressful job and I just don't have the energy or desire. It just feels like the minute I get everything up, it's time to take it down and it's sooooooooo much work.

Ok, I think I'll have some cheese to go with my whine! LOL! I still have my fall/Thanksgiving decorations up!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 3:45PM
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publickman

Pam, a Kinara is a candle holder (much like a Menorah) that holds seven candles and is used in African-American rituals at Kwanzaa. You can see a picture of mine on the thread I started about Annie's Surcie, if you can find it. Unfortunately, it's not showing up on the meager two pages in the Discussion part of this forum!

Lars

Here is a link that might be useful: Kwanzaa Kinara

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 5:07PM
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dedtired

Thanks, Lars. I am surprised I didn't know that.

Yeah, what is going on around here? The whole place is disappearing.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 8:32PM
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