Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Tree Tip

For all you special ones out there who are SO blessed to have a PRE-LIT tree that comes in only two pieces... Go on with your bad self. Just DON'T tell me about how EASY you have it or I'll be on you like a crow on roadkill. You can just SKIP this blog.

This is for those of you, LIKE ME, who STILL have an archaic fake Christmas tree... and must insert EVERY, SINGLE, STINKIN' branch into the 'tree trunk'... doing that ONLY after you shape EVERY limb and needle into the proper place.

Then... AFTER 3 days of putting the 7.5 foot tall... 5 foot in circumference... fake pine up... THEN... oh... THEN comes the fun part...

PUTTING ON THE LIGHTS... can I get a witness!

I have had this tree for 17 Christmas seasons. After about 7 years of watching me put lights on EVERY BRANCH... weaving them in and out, reaching my hands back deep into the tree... getting cuts and scrapes... back and forth, from trunk to edge ( that is for the depth perception look) ... 1000's of lights... my wonderful hubby who has such a practical mind said to me...

"Sweet thang... Why don't you put the lights on when you put on each layer of branches! Bottom row of branches... lights. Next row... lights... yada yada.. That way you just LAY THEM ON TOP and don't have to reach in and out."

BRILLIANT! Why didn't you think of this years ago.

I have shared this little tip with some friends... AFTER I have let them struggle for a few years so they could truly appreciate the full impact of this idea... and feel my pain.

NOW... some of you have your own practically brilliant... I mean practical and brilliant minds who have done this from day one! Whoppee for you.

ME... not so brilliant.

SO... there you have it. Bottom row... lights... next row... lights... third layer... more lights...

NOTE FROM LIGHT MANUFACTURER: Wash hands thoroughly after handling as coating on the power cord of this product may cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

(This is really on box. honest. Of course, you pre-lit people don't NEED to read this little warning, now do ya?)

FYI...Just so ya'll know... my hunka hunka burning love hubby has offered to purchase a new tree for me... but old habits die hard... AND I can think of other things I would like buy with that cash.


24 comments:

redheadrev said...

Let the habit die! We got a new Christmas tree on clearance last year. Then I felt stupid because someone gave us one and someone else offered one. So we have two new Christmas trees. Want one? All you have to do is come get it.

Kelly A. said...

I admit it - I'm a pre-lit person and I hate it! I had lights go out the first year I had it and couldn't figure out which one was bad. I only bought the pre-lit because I can never get my hunka hunka burning love hubby to help me with the tree. The kids do it now and they add lights to the pre-lit tree since so many have gone out! I like your idea though!

Kelly

redheadrev said...

Oops, one isn't pre-lit. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Does the layering option really work? Isn't it a logistical headache trying to keep the lights and branches from getting tangled? Let me know!!!

Michelle gets real crazy around Christmas. She even suggested putting up our outdoor Christmas lights this weekend when the temp will be 32 degrees. Silly woman!!! This Alabama Boy doesn't do ANYTHING outside unless it is at least 42 degrees with sunshine out there!!! LOL

JDay

Anne said...

What Kelly A. said is exactly the reason I haven't bought a pre-lit tree. I'm afraid a light will go out and I won't be able to figure out which one it was, yet half the tree will not be lit. I threw out about 4 or 5 long strands of lights last year because they wouldn't work and I couldn't find the defective light bulb. At least they seem to work for about three or four years, so I don't have to replace them too often. Lights certainly are the worse part of Christmas decorating....but also the prettiest part.

Anonymous said...

I am snickering as I read this blog. I have been set free! Darwin bought a prelit tree for "us" or (ME). The lights should not go out no matter how many bulbs burn out and we also received some replacement bulbs. I can relate as we had a tree like yours several years ago when the kids helped me with the lights.
Marg

Gwen said...

I'm really old fashioned because I insist we go out every year, in the cold, to the tree farm. It's the only time you will find me out in the cold/snow for more than 5 minutes. We must search for the perfect tree and then after all 4 of us agree on which one is perfect (this could take an hour), we get out the measuring tape to make sure it will fit into our house. Matt and the boys get out the saw, lay on the snow and start cutting (the boys insist they need to help cut too). I take lots of pictures and let me tell you, it's not easy to get the right angle and get Matt to smile while cutting down a tree, trying not to cut the boys with the saw, and being so careful that the tree doesn't fall on any of us. After that, have a snow ball fight, warm up with hot cocoa, and then visit the reindeer. I have gotten smarter and less cheap through the years and now I'll pay extra to get a tree that doesn't poke me while putting on ornaments and lights. I realized this is the more expensive way to have a tree and there's a lot more mess (we bought a Dyson vacuum 2 years ago and love it), but I love the tradition.

Darlene said...

I have been blessed for the last few years by using your hint. It sure makes putting up the 9 ft tree (with each branch we have carefullly shaped and put into the fake trunk) easier to decorate. It looks so beautiful after that. Jordan hates this task but he still helps me anyways. What a blessing Jordan is to us.

Thank Steve for us.

Love, Auntie Dar

Anonymous said...

You sound angry! LOL

Anna and I laughed through the whole blog!!!

Get a new tree or go out in the cold and cut one down with the fun Obers! :-D

peggy

Mary Beth said...

Well... we would go and cut down a tree with all you fun family folk, however because of allergies and asthma my family would be sick the whole month if we did.

SO just go and frolic in the snow, drink hot cocoa... chop your fingers... I mean your tree down...

THEN come home and try and put up your lights. YOU can't put them on layer by layer. LOL

LOVE and WARM GREETINGS TO YOU ALL.

Traci said...

Well, we used to be pre lit tree people, BUT, one year our pre lit tree went out. We noticed that the cord was bad and our home could have burned down. So my wonderful hubby said we'll take all the lights off the tree. GREAT IDEA..it was even better because as we started pulling the lights off he decided he had other stuff to do and left me hanging. SO now I put the lights on every year, and I must say it is my favorite part of putting the tree up. This year I am definitely doing it your way...what a great idea. The Bendele Fam.

Mary Beth said...

And JEFF... you're thinking a 'little too much' about this idea. JUST DO IT and then you'll see. I promise... it is WAAAYYY easier and less tangly.

AND you should have put up your outside Christmas lights a couple of weeks ago while it was an unseasonable 60 degrees! THAT would have been a brilliant idea too.

DID I???? Ummmm.... I'll be dressing in a parka to hang my mine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sweetie,

You forgot to tell them that when you get older the prelit tree is too heavy for us feeble seniors to haul out of the basement. So, guess who gets to do a prelit tree as well...you, Steve, Weston and Brianna. We really do appreciate the help!! Mom

Hubby Steve - with brilliant ideas said...

Christmas decorations?!? Augggghhhhhh.

I'm so thankful my wife doesn't make me participate in this part of Christmas. I'm all about manger scenes. Trees? God made them for the great outdoors and to build the great indoors.

As for something beautiful to look at during the Yuletide season--I've got a beautiful wife to light up the room. Who needs a Christmas tree?

And she can write too!

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! I wish you would have written this sooner! We actually put up our tree 2 weeks ago....just the lights and no decorations yet. We had a smaller fake one for a few years...when I was single. Anyways have always wanted a new one...even looked after Christmas for the great sales..but still so....expensive! This summer I actually bought a 7 foot tree at a garage sale for $5!!! It is so beautiful and full!! Yes it is branch by branch ...but the closest thing to real! I wish I had your advice sooner too...my arms were all scratched up and I even got hives!! So next year I will try your trick!!

Hope you are doing great!!
Carmel

Betty Sue said...

That is a great idea! Why didn’t I think of it after all these years too! Thanks for the tip. I may try it this year. Thanks to Steve!!!!!!!

Here is my tip…I always wear gloves when I put on the lights J I got tired of the little cuts and pricks as I worked. Wow, and never saw that cancer warning before! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

I loved your post! LOL! I am one of those spoiled ones who caved and bought a pre-lit tree a few years ago! It was well worth the money after having strung my entire tree with lights only to have one row go out that had worked before I put them on the tree, but not after.

I loved your blog about the youth conference as well... our son was in attendance at that conference and came back without a voice! After reading your blog and the impact that conference has had on your son, I'm so glad we were intentional to send him!

Thanks for your encouragement!
Laurie

Kathy said...

I dread putting our tree up. So much work. I think I'll opt for a tiny little one foot tall tree!

How about some more pics. Just go around with your camera and take lots and lots of pics. Maybe it will inspire me to do ours!

Katie said...

We have a one foot tall tree! It's called the Charlie Brown Tree! I was the only one who saw it's true beauty! Of course we still have to have a "real" tree which is a four footer, but I think the Charlie Brown Tree is the "real" tree! And MaryBeth, you go girl, I still do the weaving and inserting of the branches, too!

MattieK said...

Can't you just leave the lights on the fake tree and just put it up again the next year as-is? Oh, wait, nevermind - I guess you'd want to store it with it taken apart. Well I guess you could store it with it already put together? C'mon! You got room in your basement/attic! ;-)

But regarding the real-tree method - we just wear gloves 8-D Brilliant! (Gwen also forgot to mention the free, horse-driven sleigh ride around the tree farm! Complete with sleigh bells!)

Jaime said...

Reproductive harm?!?! What in the world. Maybe that's why I had such a hard getting pregnant with my kids! Ha! Stinking Christmas tree lights!

You know what my MIL does? She decorated her tree ONCE--5 years ago, put a big bag over it and slides it into a storage room in her basement. So each year, she pulls out her already fully DECORATED tree and calls it a day!

MattieK said...

For anyone interested in where we go for fresh-trees and sleighrides: Vander Sy's Tree Farm
1350 N Coldwater Rd in Weidman, MI (call ahead to see if the sleighrides are running - I think they only run the horses when there's a certain number of people)

Mary Beth said...

I would LOVE to store my tree together with lights strung in my basement. I have actually done that 3 times... and everytime I do, we sell our house and move... and THEN I have to take it apart anyway.

The last time we didn't move... but 2 little mice entered our home during remodeling and died in the tree. SO... we had to TAKE IT APART and disinfect EVERY BRANCH!

It must a life lesson I have to learn every year....

Beth in NC said...

LOL!!!! Too funny! We sell trees -- so I use a real one. I do have a couple of artificial that I put in other areas of the house, but the branches are attached (thank goodness). You definitely need a newer model. :o)

Beth