Christmas Decorating Series - Part 1: Lights

It's that time of year again!  Time to deck the halls!  So I climbed up into the attic to retrieve my boxes of Christmas decorations. There they are . . . right where I left them last year (I think). Well, I better get busy, because there aren't any elves who are going to come and do it while I'm sleeping (are there?). 

I've had a lot of experience decorating Christmas trees.  For one thing, I've been around for quite a while, and for another thing, I've been decorating a dozen or more trees in my home for many years.  Yes, I tend to go overboard, but I can't help it; I have a Christmas tree fetish.  Each tree has a theme and a name. I thought I'd write a series of posts about my Christmas trees, sharing a few tips I picked up along the way and giving a tour of them.  This is Part 1 in the series- The Lights!

Tree lights can be one of the most frustrating things about Christmas decorating.  You plug them in (you do plug them in to test them before you start hanging them on trees or garland, don't you?). Often they don't work, or only half the string lights.  You test the bulbs one at a time, starting at one end and not finding the culprit until you get to the other end. Or even worse, you don't ever find the problem.

When you put your lights away this year, try this little trick.  Better yet, do this with your lights before you decorate your tree this year. Take the end of the string with the outlet and wrap it several times  around the four fingers of one hand.

Then slip it off your hand and start wrapping the wire around the little bundle.  Keep wrapping the wire, turning it in your hand and shaping it into a ball the way you would wrap a ball of yarn or twine.

Wrap all of your strings of lights this way.  When you put them away to store them,  pile the balls of lights on top of each other in a box or storage container. The lights are held in place, and the strings won't get tangled.

The next time you go to decorate a tree, you'll find how easy it is to handle the ball of lights.  You can unwind it with one hand as you position the lights with the other.  You can also pass the ball around the tree to another person or set the ball of wire on a branch and then walk around the tree to get it.  My guess is that this is the way you will store your lights from now on. I've been doing it this way for years.

Tomorrow, in Part 2,  I'm going to share some tips for assembling artificial trees and adding the lights.

Christmas Decorating Series
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