New Christmas Tree, Part Deux: The Lights

By Karen

I’ll admit I didn’t thoroughly think through the logistics of putting lights on an 8’ tree — nor foresee that all the lights would be on one continuous string.

I gave away my seven strings of 700 lights with the old tree because they had green cords that simply wouldn’t do with a white tree.

I replaced them with this newfangled 500-light LED string from Amazon because I fell madly in love with the spool and the price was right…

Photo: Amazon

Over the decades, it never mattered how painstakingly I wrapped and stored my lights. Next time, they’d always end up tangled. The spool concept is so DUH!, I’d like to see a federal law mandating Christmas lights on spools forevermore.

But I did have misgivings. Coming down from 700 lights to 500 seemed like a lot of dimming. However, Amazon reviews assured me that 500 LEDs would be plenty on an 8’ tree. Once that quantity was decided, it was final because these strings can’t be plugged together.

In hindsight, I’m thankful I didn’t go for 1,000 because that would have killed me.

When the lights arrived, I thought there had been a screw-up because they all looked white. But it turns out there’s a control button on the plug that makes them glow white, multicolored, blue and green or yellow and red, blinking or solid on demand.

My next surprise was realizing that they were spooled exactly backward. I hang lights from top to bottom with the plug last so it’s near the outlet. But this spool started with the plug. So, I had to unwind and rewind all 165’ by doing laps in the living room…

For less tangling on the rewind, I should have dragged them around the entire house, but then cats would have tried to help and that wouldn’t have ended well for anybody.

The next thing I realized is that having all the lights on one heavy spool really makes it a two-person job. One circles the tree hanging lights and the other follows, feeding more lights.

What to do, what to do? I’ve never had Christmas help in my life. Boyfriends always tended to evaporate around holidays.

(Wait, I take that back. I must have done once. When I was 23, I lived briefly with this guy who gave me a cheap, out-of-season ruffled cotton dress for Christmas, a style he’d never seen on my body. He accessorized it with maroon boots — both left. His mistake meant Santa probably left another lucky woman somewhere in Richmond two right boots. We parted ways soon after.)

The solution to my solitude popped into my head during my morning Calm meditation.

First, I removed the tree top and hung lights on it. Then I hung the spool around my neck with a long scarf. I had to take this photo to show you after I was finished, because once I put the tree top back on, the tree had me on a leash of lights…

I’m letting my hair go gray. Not loving it, but it’s cheaper.

This idea was PERFECT. I was able to climb around and control the flow of lights as needed. When I got near the end and the weight was less, I transferred the spool to my left wrist.

By the bottom, I felt like I didn’t have enough to do the job, but there was no turning back. Redistribution would have been a nightmare.

I waited until nightfall to see the results. Tony seemed happy…

What do you think?…

The tree definitely leans left, which in this house is appropriate.

Max came downstairs to check out my handwork and gave it four paws up…

Next up, the cat ornament collection meets its new home.

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7 Responses to New Christmas Tree, Part Deux: The Lights

  1. Judy says:

    Beautiful 🤩 Perfect for a new tree!

  2. Very pretty, and he’s posed so nicely in front of the tree!

  3. Mary Hunter says:

    Beautiful tree! Tony looks so regal in front of it!!

  4. catsworking says:

    Thanks, everybody. I was trying to get the photo of just the tree when Tony turned up. Usually, as soon as he sees the phone in my hand, he stops doing whatever I wanted to catch him doing. This time he stayed put for a second.

    I’ve got two cat beds under the tree now. So far, Roc is the only one who’s been using them.

  5. MorganLF says:

    Not usually a fan of white trees but that’s a beauty! Must look gorgeous in the house, so retro good on you Karen for the effort.

  6. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I always thought anything but a green tree was heresy, but I’m really liking this white tree. It’s like an angel of a tree. Climbing up and down to decorate has been a good workout. Finally got it finished and working on a post.

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