This is a cruddy photo because I took it on my phone. My digital camera is AWOL. It was behaving very strangely anyway and I have asked Santa for a new one. Bill's cameras are intimidating and so all I have right now is the camera on my blackberry and I am pretty darn thankful to have it!
We cut down the tree last weekend and that was great fun! But then the kids naturally wanted to put it up and decorate it right away. We really didn't have a big enough chunk of time to do it during the week so we managed to stave the task off until this weekend. Yesterday morning, I took a day off from running and started putting the lights on instead. Last year, I got all the lights on the tree and a bunch of them didn't work so I had to take them all down, get new lights and do it again. This year, Will tested all the lights first and I got the "all clear!" I thought I was set, but still it was a debacle, just like last year.
I hauled the big ladder out of the greenhouse. You can see the tree is in the doorway between the living room and library which means I have to walk down the hallway and into the library from the other side to get to the other side of the tree. The tree is so tall I had to move the ladder into the other room a couple of times as I put the lights around the top of the tree. I finally got to use a chair in the other room instead of using the ladder but going up and down and around, I still worked up a sweat (so I felt totally justified in not running that morning!). I ran out of lights pretty close to the bottom but figured it would be easy enough to buy and add one more strand. I plugged them in and......half of the lights on two of the strands would not come on!!!!! It was difficult to refrain from cussing in front of the kids but I managed, mostly because the kids were not really around. I fixed one strand but could not fix the other one. In disgust, I told Bill he had to finish the lights.
This morning, Bill tried to figure what was wrong with the top strand (because OF COURSE that was where the problem was). Next thing I know, Eva comes running into the kitchen, "Daddy said the f-word!" All the the kids were Very Excited about this unprecedented (at least unprecedented as far as they were concerned) event. Poor Bill! Lyra is probably going to tell her preschool class that "Daddy said the f-word" although of course she does not know what the f-word is. I went to the drugstore and bought more lights and finally we got the tree lit and decorated without anymore swearing. We sure could have used some egg nog and next year, we will prepare accordingly.
Everyone says we should get a pre-lit tree and it certainly is tempting. But I bet there would be some cussing involved in figuring how to get it in and out of some storage area that we don't have and then trying to assemble it. Next year, I am going to advertise on my local listserv for someone to come over and put the lights on the tree. This is definitely a job worth outsourcing!