The Battle of the Pre-Lit Tree

Remember that beautiful artificial pre-lit Christmas tree and how easy and quick it was with only a few steps to set it up?  Flash forward seven years, when most of the lights have given it up — what do you do with it?

1209141656aWell, I am a bit stubborn.  I hate the idea of throwing a tree into the landfill, not to mention shelling out the money for a new one.  I have been supplementing the burned out sections with extra strings of lights for two or three years, but this year there was only one small section still shining.  It is hard enough to make sure I’ve located and connected all the hidden plugs on the tree, it is way beyond me to try a fresh bulb in every socket to find the ones that have burnt out.

So, I went to war.  Armed with kitchen shears, I pulled the tree down into my lap on the sofa and began unraveling wires.  My first discovery was that the end of each branch had a tough plastic clamp to hold the outermost bulb in place.  The only way to get it loose was to cut off the light and slide the wires out of the clamp.  Then came the laborious task of winding backwards down each individual rubber twig, following the path in and out and around.  It is amazing how securely these wires are hidden along the branches.  I can’t imagine it was done by a machine, and it had to be accomplished after the entire tree was constructed.  Some poor soul must spend all day in a tree factory laboriously binding shackles onto fake tree branches.

I almost gave up in exasperation several times, but after seven hours of determined effort, I stuffed all the snippets of wire and light bulbs into a bag and stepped back to examine the nude tree.  My husband thinks I am nuts.  I feel like the victor in a long, hard-won battle. When I hang newly-purchased replacement lights on the tree today, the star on top will be my victory flag and I will feel a thrill of accomplishment every time I stop to admire it.

I do have surprising battle scars.  Handling real evergreens always gives me a rash where the needles poke me, but I was quite surprised to find that this plastic tree also left me with burning red spots up and down my arms.  They are still present the morning after, but I feel I earned them and they make the victory all the more sweet.

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About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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3 Responses to The Battle of the Pre-Lit Tree

  1. Lynda says:

    Hahaha! I would have done the very same thing. You are not the first of my friends to lament the prelit tree lighting this year. It will look fabulous when you are done decorating it. 😀

  2. michiganme says:

    Ohmygosh, I laughed so hard during this. I’ve often wondered what folks do when the lights fail on those trees. Now I know…

    But It get it: one year I put new lights on one of those outdoor deer that you put it your yard. What was I thinking? It also had lots of those plastic clamps to hold the strings of lites in place. You had to go up & down and left & right without overlapping. It was like a frickin’ maze. Turned out to be a monument to stupidity cause it looked terrible when I finished.

  3. bluestempond says:

    Yep, maybe foolhardy but it’s done and worling fine.

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