I set up the freakin’ Christmas tree on Tuesday night. By myself.
This year since we have a big ‘ol wood burning fireplace (nice feature for a house in a state that never gets snow) I thought I’d jazz it up with my Santa and some evergreen boughs and some little white lights. So I went to the box to retrieve the little white lights. I opened it and nearly passed out.
Every year when it’s time to take the lights down, I take a square of cardboard and tape one end of the light strand to the cardboard. Then I very neatly wind the strand around the cardboard and when the strand is completely wound, I tuck the plug into the wires to store them for next year.
Last year right before Christmas, I was in a car wreck. Right before said wreck, I had helped my husband unpack all of the lights to string in the tree in our front yard. I neatly laid them out on the lawn, changing out burned out bulbs, and testing each strand. I walked around and around the tree holding the lights while he stood on a ladder and wound the tree. It went fantastically well as the lights had been kept so nice and tidy.
After my wreck, I was heavily medicated for a couple of months. I have at best, a sketchy memory of Christmas and its goings on. I have NO memory of the lights coming out of the tree. Apparently, I was not involved in this task because I discovered those lights on Tuesday when I opened the box they’d been stored in since last year.
The lights had been rolled up into a coil like you would wind up an extension cord. You know…using your hand and your elbow so you could make a loop. This method is not a good one for little white Christmas lights. One must wrap each strand separately, ensuring that the wires do not get tangled. Ergo, the cardboard squares.
Upon finding this massive rolled up mess of lights, I very calmly walked into the house and inquired of my dear husband as to why the lights were stored in such a fashion.
His rather terse response was that he didn’t remember and that he must have been busy. Then he asked in an even more terse voice, “What do you want from me?!”
Oh my freaking hell. I want you to use the goddamn cardboard squares!!
I sat in front of him on the floor and spent the next fifteen minutes unsnarling a strand of lights from the green wiry mass. Then I went and lit up stupid Santa and the stupid evergreen boughs and made the stupid fireplace look like a stupid winter wonderland.
I’m throwing away the rest of the lights and buying new ones the day after Christmas when they go on sale for a dollar a box. And so help him, if my husband ever puts away the lights like that again, he’ll have to be heavily medicated for a couple of months.