Tammy and I decided to do something this Christmas that we hadn’t done in at least three or four years, put up a tree. Even more shocking was that it was MY idea.
Last year we were in an apartment so we didn’t put up the tree. But since this was our first Christmas in our new house, I felt as if it was something we needed to do.
I brought the tree down from the attic, along with all of the lights, ornaments, and any other Christmas boxes. Visions of a nicely decorated tree in the corner of the living room danced in my head as I assembled the pieces.
Tammy has checked the lights, which were nearly 10 years old, and found that most of them didn’t work. She decided she wanted all-white lights — we had colored ones — and headed out to pick some up. She came back with two boxes of lights.
Tammy: I want the tree full of lights. I don’t want them just wrapped around it like we used to do.
I began weaving them into the branches and it didn’t take very long for me to realize there was going to be an issue.
Me: Ummmm, this is the first strand and I’ve only done less than a quarter of the tree. How many did you get again?
Tammy: Two boxes. One hundred lights in each box.
Me: Yeaaaaahhh, that’s not going to be enough.
She said she’d pick up some more since she had to go shopping again, so I continued my intermingling of lights and called it a day.
The next afternoon she came back with more white lights — four more boxes — and I noticed they were different than what we had previously. Little did I know that wasn’t the only thing that would be different.
I plugged in the first string of lights and they had a yellow shade to them. The next strand of lights had a blue shade, neither of which matched the lights already on the bottom quarter of our tree.
Frustration hit us at this point. She didn’t want to go back and spend more money on lights or take the time to return what she bought. Neither of us wanted to have mismatched lights on the tree.
We stood there looking at everything and noticed we had some old net lights that were white.
Tammy: What if we just wrapped those around the tree?
Tammy: Would that be bad?
Me: I don’t know, probably. That’s so white trash, but at this point we don’t have many other options.
We grabbed a set of net lights and began wrapping them around the tree.
The net lights on the bottom of the tree weren’t very noticeable, but as we worked our way to the top became very obvious. Wires were everywhere.
We laughed hysterically at the site of our tree, but figured we could live with it.
Me: Let’s leave it and just call this Christmas a wash. We can buy stuff when it goes on sale and be prepared for next year.
Tammy agreed, but wanted to add a few more touches before we put our ornaments on. She came back with some strings of holly and burlap that she wanted to use to make a bow for the top of the tree.
Just as with the lights, she miscalculated. We only had enough holly berries to wrap around the bottom half of the tree. She got burlap without metal inside, so it wouldn’t hold form to make a bow. We decided to just wrap it around the tree as well, but it only covered half.
So now our tree has net lights, holly berries on the bottom half and burlap on the top half. Still, we pressed on and dug through our ornaments.
There were a lot of them that had sentimental value to us in that the kids had made them, but it also dawned on us that most of them were from the late-90s or early-2000s.
Some of the ornaments brought out big laughs as we tried to recall how and why they made it into our collection.
There was a lot of frustration early on, but our 2014 Christmas tree experience ended up being fun times.
I don’t even see, or think about, the net lights now when I look at the tree, which when lit doesn’t look too bad. But I’m still hoping our 2015 experience will be a lot better.
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