Sunday, November 26, 2006

Keepin it simple

When it comes to Christmas decorations on the house, I'm all about simple.

Many moons ago I decorated my house in miles of mini lights, but the laws of "mini light malfunction" discouraged me from continuing that tradition. This, of course, is the law that says "no matter how well the lights worked the last year, only 50% of them will work this year."

So that's why I've gone simple. At least so I thought.

I've always liked the larger C9 style bulbs. They're clean, give off a bright distinct color and the whole string doesn't go dark if one of them burns out. We had them on our house when I was growing up, and they just plain old look like Christmas to me. So that's what I use now.

Last night I put them up and plugged them in - but one of them didn't work. Because I'm anal that way, I obviously couldn't just leave it alone - so I decided to climb back up the ladder and give it a good firm twist, to make sure it was snug in the socket.

But guess what? Because of my super-human strength, I managed to twist the bulb right out if its socket, short out the contact - AND BLOW THE FUSE TO THE WHOLE STRING!

Now, instead of ONE light not working, I had seventy five. Joy.

Anyway, only hour later, after unscrewing the damaged bulb from the socket with a potato and hunting down a spare miniature fuse, I finally had the string back on. However, the bad light was not due to the bulb in the first place, it was a bad socket - so that is still not working.

It's the 8th light from the right

As much as it's killing me, I ended up leaving it as is. Maybe next spring I'll take the time to figure out what's wrong with the socket and fix it for good. But for now, I'll just hope that everyone who drives by our house doesn't burst out in laughter over the missing bulb.

It's a good thing I've decided to keep it simple.


Anonymous said...

Charli? Are you really gonna let him get by like that?

This whole post reminds me that I need to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation again. Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like that movie and if you haven't seen it, you simply must.

The lights are beautiful, Jeff. Burl Ives would be proud.

Anonymous said...

Oh lord yes, Jeanine. What you may not know is Jeff is afraid of heights and I used to make fun of him. A couple of years ago he was struggling to do something on the roof due to his fear of heights and so I barreled up the ladder to mock, I mean help him - I got to the top and froze, started crying for help and he had to drag me across the roof to the safety of the window. Now I have fear of heights for HIM and can not wait for him to get down. The broken light can wait til spring, as long as I don't have to spend another moment listening for "CRASH"

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Are you an my husband related???

He's all about the C9s, and every time ONE bulb blows, he's back up on that roof. He is a very laid-back person, but when it comes to his lights, he is as anal as they come.

Nice job, by the way!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

jennine - Your comment about Burl Ives reminds ME that I need to watch Rudolph. Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like that one. Remember the old commercial where Santa rode down the hill on a Gillette electric razor? Ahh - the good old days.

charli - That's right - now we BOTH have "national fears." (to everyone else... I'll explain that one someday later)

sandy - I feel Kurt's pain. It's almost impossible to not fix the broken light. All anal light people know what I'm talking about.

Mom Thumb said...

Never did the outside lights thing. Jess decided a couple of years ago that we needed it, so she and a friend spent an entire day putting up the lights and then they didn't work, so they spent another hour 'fixing' them. Unfortunately, I ended up helping her get them down on a very frigid day. We got home from Minnesota last night and we are the only house on the block without lights. So I guess Jess will put them up after school. Talk about anal. I don't think too many people will notice your delinquent light, the rest are very pretty!

but Momma said...

Right on! I love the old fashioned lights! And share Charli's fear of my husband crashing off the top of the roof, leaving me to raise these four hooligans on my own. We decorate the shrubbery. :)

Anonymous said...

I, too, love the larger lights for outside decorating. Although I'm also partial to the icicle lights. We don't do lights here. :-( The Hermit isn't fond of them and we're so far back off the street with so much foliage in between you wouldn't see anything.

My uncle used to go nuts year after year... until someone did fall off the roof. Luckily it was a one story ranch and no one was hurt, but that was the end of the Christmas decor.

I will try very hard not to snicker at that black hole of darkness along your roof line.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for the old fashioned big bulb lights! It's what I grew up with too and I insist on them for our house. It makes our house stand out in a sea of little white twinkly lights. We use all the colors.

By the way, awesome tip about the potato. I never would have thought of it.

Anonymous said...

Looks great, well except for that one's the 8th one from the right isn't it?

Hahahahahahahahaha! Just kidding Jeff. It looks great. Would never have looked if you hadn't said so!

Waya said...

OMG! How can you put up the lights with one missing bulb?!!! You're too funny! Can you come by and help the hubbie with the lights then?

Jess Riley said...

You crack me up. And you know, just this morning I was reflecting upon how much I enjoy the large, old-fashiony big lights. Nothing says "Vince Guaraldi Trio" like old-school Christmas lights.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things I fuss over so I leave the lights to my husband. We have a hook issue...the hooks have to be just right, I don't care as long as they stay up and are lite. hooray for the c-9's, red and green for us.

Jenn said...

oh, the Griswold's would be proud!!!


yellojkt said...

I use ropelight. That way there are no bulbs to check. And my neighbor more than makes up for my lameness. He's added as row of candycanes down the driveway in addition to last year's reindeer drinking at the pond.

Bugwit said...

There is a lot of pressure in Minnesota regarding Christmas lights. You can't do a half-assed job. I understand your worry over the missing light.

We used to like to steal Christmas lights when I was a young juvenile delinquent. Some friends and I were walking down the street and saw hedge in front of a house decked out on lights. They dared me to steal one.

THe catch: They had a big picture window in front and there was a Christmas dinner party in progress. Eight or ten people sitting at the dining room table.

It was dusk, so I could be seen if I wasn't careful. I crawled on my belly from the side of the house through the snow. I made it to the bushes in front of the window and began to unscrew a bulb. I got about two turns in when the entire string went out. I peeked up to see the entire dinner party looking at me.

Then two of the men got up from the table in a hurry. I took off running one way and my friends went another. Only jumping fences and running down drainage ditches saved me.

I didn't even get the light.

Merry Christmas!