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Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Hang Holiday Lights in 50 Easy Steps

1. Bring up all the boxes of holiday decorations from the basement.

2. So THAT's where those strings of lights were hiding that you couldn't find last year! Right there in the open-topped box next to all the other decorations you were bringing up. No wonder you couldn't see them. Bring them up too.

3. [enormous

4. pause

5. for

6. detangling

7. strings

8. of

9. lights]

10. Dog runs through, scattering carefully aligned strings of light. Crate dog. Resume.

11. Plug strings of lights into outlet, one at a time.

12. Two strings will light. (Hurray!)

13. Two strings will not. (Of course.)

14. One string will light up halfway, while the remainder stays dark. (Obviously.)

15. Jiggle all the strings of lights that aren't working properly.

16. Unplug them. Jiggle them some more. Plug each string back in for confirmation.

17. One of the ones that was working 5 minutes ago will stop working.

18. One of the ones that was dark 5 minutes ago will alight!

19. The one that was half lit 5 minutes ago will flicker hopefully along its entire length and suddenly burst into a lovely glow.

20. You will cheer silently and feel a leap of gladness in your heart, and the string will sense your burst of happiness, flicker accusingly at you, and resume its former grumpy half-lit mode.

21. With a smirk.

22. Conclude that two-and-a-half strings is probably enough for your tree, and you can always buy a new string for outside tomorrow.

23. Carefully thread the lights around your tree, wadding up the dark half-string in the back corner of the tree that no one will see anyway.

24. Step back.

25. Tilt head thoughtfully.

26. Rearrange slightly.

27. Step across the room.

28. Return and reposition tree slightly.

29. Relocate one-foot section of lights to the perfect spot.

30. Smile.

31. Four-foot section of lights will go dark.

32. Summon inner reserves of patience normally allocated for dealing with no-nap toddler in grocery store.

33. Move slowly, jiggle string gently.

34. As soon as lights come back on (which they will) IMMEDIATELY. STOP. TOUCHING. THEM.

35. You have reached an uneasy truce.

36. Resume all other decorating activities with an attitude of utter calm: the lights will stay lit, obviously. They are just lights. Their circuitry is intact. They are plugged in. You can turn them off. You can turn them on. They will obey the laws of electricity.

37. Your attitude about this must be completely blase. This is not surprising. This is not cause for jubilation. This just is. Best not to disturb The Force with your emotions.

38. Find, upon your return to the basement to retrieve the ornaments/stockings/wreath/garland/all other decorative items that are not vindictive, two brand-new boxes of lights that you bought last year and could have used without any drama.

39. (Their first year, all lights behave.)

40. Make your peace with owning lights that have teenage-hormonal properties.

41. Head outside with the newfound strings to decorate the front porch.

42. Have no trouble at all with anything except your completely numb fingers.

43. Go to plug them in and realize you've put them up with the female end of the string adjacent to the only outlet.

44. Consider stretching the extension cord the entire length of the porch.

45. Reject the plan for all the obvious reasons.

46. Redo all the outdoor lights.


48. !!! The house looks so pretty from the outside, especially with the tree in the window !!!

49. Store the belligerent lights that refused to light this year in an obvious place in the basement, so you will be able to find them next year. They will likely learn their lesson and behave better if given one more chance.

50. Drink.


Tara R. said...

I have a sinking feeling that our holiday decorating efforts will closely follow this list. I think we'll repeat step #50 several times before it's over.

Fawn said...

I'll try to follow your steps exactly. Is it okay to do them backwards, though?

MommyTime said...

Fawn, yes. In fact, I highly recommend doing them backwards. (So does Tara, apparently. ;)

Suburban Kamikaze said...

I lost my motivation at detangling. And now I am laughing too hard to drink.


kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...


Times 50

Ann Imig said...

I saw this all as acted out by Chevy Chase and/or John Candy.

The Empress said...

Oh how I wish I would have seen this a month ago. My husband was too busy to do lights this year, and it fell to me. I made his previous years of swearing look like a boy scout exercise.


Jeanie B said...

Forgotten I'd read this before Xmas, before I'd tackled my own decs.
Re-reading now in Jan.
Too funny.


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