Family Guide to Putting Up Christmas Lights

1. Spend an hour (or two) hunting through the basement for the lights. Resolve to label the boxes this year, even though last year you were convinced you would remember which boxes you would need.

2. Untangle strings of lights. Yell for assistance when you become so hopelessly entangled yourself that you cannot get free without wire cutters.

3. Plug in lights to make sure all bulbs are lit. Discover several dead bulbs. Spend an hour hunting for box containing replacement bulbs. Wish you were lit.

4. Replace bulbs. Haul lights outside. Wonder where the rest of your family has disappeared to. Wish you had found a good hiding place, too.

5. Contemplate tree in front yard. Wonder why it seems so much taller this year. Get step-ladder. Not tall enough. Get taller step-ladder. Try to decide is it would be better to fall onto the frozen ground or into the tree itself. If ground is not frozen, try to aim for mud, which will cushion the fall.

6. Stomp inside and bellow for family. When they creep out of hiding, place them in strategic positions around the tree: one to hold the light strings, one to climb the ladder, and one to run madly between the light holder and the ladder climber, shouting directions.

7. Argue about the best way to string lights. Husbands: Always take the manly approach. If it is harder, higher, more complicated, always try to convince your spouse it is the one and only correct way to do it. Wives: Always take the aesthetic approach. If a few minor adjustments will make the entire display breathtaking, always advocate for it. Afterwards, if you do not like it, you can make him change it back. Children: Get bored and then run around trying to lasso each other with the light strings.

8. After all the lights are on the tree, haul out extension cords. Spend an h0ur crawling under shrubs and artistically arranging rocks to hide the cord so that it seems that your electric lights are magically working without electricity.

9. Plug extension cord into socket. Start swearing when it doesn’t work. Spend an hour trying to determine why. Husbands:Unplug everything, including all the lights strings already on the tree. Plug it all back in and swear again when it doesn’t magically work this time. Wives: Offer helpful advice, such as “Did you unplug everything and plug it all back in again?”. Children: Get bored and then run around singing the same Christmas song over and over until your parents join in the fun by chasing you around the tree.

10. Finally discover the circuit breaker that popped and reset it. All say “ooh” and “aah” when the lights come on. Marvel at the magic of Christmas.

About jmdattilo

J.M. Dattilo is our pen name. We are the authors of the Time's Edge sci-fi/fantasy series.

Posted on November 25, 2012, in Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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