I had Tom bring the Christmas tree upstairs last night. The box was in the living room when the kids woke up this morning. I heard the C-man say “Whoa!” and then he asked me if I was really going to put the tree up already. At this point Princess O helpfully chimed in with “you know if you put the tree up now daddy will be mad”. So I explained that I was merely going to put the tree up and try to figure out the lighting Situation, then I was going to put it away again.
Frankly, putting it away again seems pointless to me since I will be getting it out next weekend anyway, but I think that might be a hard sell with The Man.
Anyway, I put it together and plugged it in. And there was no Christmas Miracle. The busted lights did not magically fix themselves. Bummer. I got out some masking tape and marked where the lights went from “on” to “off” and made my first discovery. I realized all the busted lights are on the top section of the tree. Hooray. Now I am starting to narrow this down.
Next step, remove the tree top, plug it in elsewhere and see what happens. Still no miraculous recovery. Upon further investigation I discovered there are two strands of lights on the top section. I plugged both in separately and learned only one strand was busted, the other was fine.
Once I had a diagnosis it was pretty easy to unwind the bad light string. It was a lot like trying to untangle a skein of yarn that has gone horribly wrong. You just have to be patient. It is also helpful if the children are not home to hear you swearing. (They were at school).
Now, I have to decide what to do next. It will be nearly impossible to recreate the way the lights have been wrapped around the other bits of the tree with new lights. The question is should I even try? My other options are to remove all the lights from just the top section, and try to restring just that bit. Or, take all the lights off the whole thing and just pretend it was never a pre-lit tree in the first place.
Really, this is all getting just a bit ridiculous. If I didn’t like this tree so much I would take it to the local Charity shop and get a new one. But this one is a good shape. It’s only six and a half feet tall but it’s not too fat around the bottom. Fat around the bottom is bad because our living room is a bit on the smallish side.
I would really like to have a 7 or even an 8 foot tree but I’m afraid it would be so fat it would take up the entire room.