December 12, 2008

Christmas and the Mini-Light Phenomenon

I love Christmas! I finally finished getting what Christmas decorations I could up. Don't you just love mini-lights? It seems every year I pack away those little buggers as neatly as I can. Then at some time through the year some gremlin goes into the box, tangles them up, and ensures many of the strings won't work when you plug them in.

This year I threw away about 20 strings of lights. I am so tired of trying to go through them light by light to see if I can get them to work. It all began with the wreath I mentioned last post...

As you can see, it looked really shabby. The ribbon was faded, ornaments had fallen off or broke, and, of course, the mini-lights didn't work when I plugged it in. So, I stripped it and replaced everything.

Then we started working on the house. Every year we do pretty much the same thing. This year there's a lot less. I bought some new lights to make it look complete, but this is not near what we're used to.

When it came to the tree star, I had another incident with mini-lights. Actually, it all started a few years ago. We had this beautiful golden filigree star. We loved how this star looked and how it made our tree complete. Well, the little mini-lights quit working. We ended up replacing our beautiful star with this one.

We kept the golden star hoping one day we would be able to fix it or find a set of lights for it. Time went by and the golden star was forgotten. The other day I was helping my husband in the garage. He needed a tool so I rummaged through the tool box and found the golden star stored neatly in a zip-lock.

I had a brainstorm. Why not take the lights from the Christmas red mini-light star and put them in here? Brilliance!

I went into the house and pulled the working star down. I carefully disassembled the star and pulled the lights out. Then with utmost care, I reassembled the golden filigree star...

It didn't work! Thinking it had to be the outlet, I tried a different one. Nothing. I pulled out the fuses and put new ones in. It flashed and went out again. I thought one of the mini-lights had to be bad. Nope.

I worked on this for at least an hour. I changed the fuses and lights until, miraculously, it worked save one little mini-light. I got a new light to replace it. I pulled out the dead light and gently plugged in the new one.

I thought, "this is it! We are finally going to have our beautiful golden star back!"

It didn't work. I gave up.

Now we have two stars stored in the zip-lock.

I hate mini-lights.
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  1. Pretty, pretty. And yes, Christmas decor can be frustrating. I've always loved real trees with real (glass)decorations. I'm allergic to the fire retardant they spray on trees and have 2 active animals that play with the tree.

    So now it's fake with plastic ornaments.

    Still pretty.

  2. Wow, such creativity, and so much work. But well worth it. I admire people who take the time and energy to make their homes look nice at Christmas time. As we drive down our block it looks almost the same as the pictures in your post. Some folks really go all out.

    I never hang up outside lights, I'm too lazy. But we do hang stuff on the door. And, of course, we decorate our tree.

    Beautiful images. Loved the write up.

    Happy trails.

  3. Muse!

    I was worried about you when you didn't post in so long. Guess you were tangled in mini-lights. :)

    Our foxhound has taken to removing ornaments from the tree and delivering them to my wife in exchange for a treat. It's driving her nuts. He didn't do that last year.

  4. Muse:

    I haven't seen you at my place lately. Is everything okay in your neck of the woods?

    Merry Christmas.

    PS: Stop by and read about A Christmas Mystery.

    Happy trails.

  5. Hey all!

    This time of year is super busy for me indeed. I've really got a lot on my plate. I'm thinking next year I'll tone it down a bit.

  6. Hi! House Christmas Lights? Not for us; cheap aren't I? But we did have the same problem as you with our Christmas Tree lights. Got over that problem by just buying new ones for the following year. Cheap and wasteful am I!

    Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Take Care,

  7. I love your photos, Muse! And I love Christmas, too.
    You have tenacity, I admire that.
    I remember the old lights, where if one went out, the whole string went out. This year our tree, real, with those mini-lights we all hate looked a bit "holey." I went to replace one or two little lights and my husband threatened not to replace it if the whole string died.
    So we finished with that holey tree. It was lovely.


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