When To Use The “F” Word…

Today Mom put our Christmas lights outside of the house

I watched her come in and out, and in and out, and in and out… for SIX hours! Perseverance is a characteristic that runs deep in our family.

Back down the basement began her endeavor…

I am not allowed down there because for some reason I can’t get back up the steps. (I think maybe the landing between the stair sets is too small to gather and contain my momentum? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) … Anyway, Mom has to carry my load back up, so we just decided the basement is off limits.

This year she set out to be organized. All the lights were brought up, tested and sorted (by color and temperature), and placed in piles. There were millions of piles of “light blobs” all over the foyer. Some blobs had 200 lights, some had 60. It was a rather nice assortment.

THEN came the problems… What a mess.

Despite her attempt last year to put the lights away in a formatted fashion, they were, nonetheless, all tangled. Light strands just get that way. The bulbs stick out in various directions and get intertwined with one another. It’s unavoidable if they aren’t wrapped around something.

I felt so bad. She started out so excited (singing Christmas tunes, humming…) and I watched her jovial demeanor gradually spiral into an intense frustration.

I heard some four letter words! (that I don’t think I was supposed to hear)

Up until this point, the vocalizing was mostly in song, but now I started hearing some “four letter words”

The one that started with an “F” was the most frequently used, and it came out with a sort of whining melody. Sometimes it escalated in volume and was accompanied by foot stomping. Fascinating to watch.

Mom would shake the living daylight out of the blob, freeing a few more inches at a time. Faster, faster, faster she would shake the blob with intense determination, and when some of the tangle got freed up, she would break into a celebratory exhale… I got to witness the full blown parasympathetic response in action… Again, just fascinating to watch.

As I observed (careful to stay far out of her way), I wondered why she would celebrate every time some of the blob untangled, when there was still billions of inches left to work out? I suppose the affirmation of accomplishment kept her going… Odd one she is.

Six hours later she crossed the front threshold for the final time, and looked pleased with herself. That made me feel so happy.

I finally got to see her completed masterpiece when we took our walk; Bazillions of twinkling lights adorning all the bushes and trees! And a snowman! It looks spectacular! Well, I think so anyway… I am and will always be Mom’s biggest fan ❤️


And guess what! By being an attentive observer, I have learned some very useful holiday outdoor lights “tips” that I am going to share with you!

First, (THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT FOR STRESS LEVEL MANAGEMENT) Take the time to wrap each strand around something (a piece of cardboard works great) when putting them away for following year. You will thank yourself. And write on the cardboard what they are (LED, cool, warm, multi, twinkle, etc.)

Next, (This is a biggie) buy those plastic covers that are used to baby-proof your outlets, and put them on each exposed plug at the end of your strands. This way, when it rains, your lights won’t go out (as easily). Also, if you have extension cords with multiple outlets, you can use a plastic takeout container (cut slits in sides for cords) This helps keep rain off the plugs.

And lastly, on the large bushes and trees… DON’T spiral completely around tree or bush… use a zig zag and create the effect of going around the tree. It makes it easier to take them down in January when it is freezing and snowy and you have had enough of all the holiday hub-a-baloo and just want everything put away.

Happy decorating!

Thanks for checking in! I would love to hear about your holiday lights! Comments always welcome!

If you would like to hear more Timber Tails, be sure to follow me!

One comment

  1. Tons of work, but worth it. It looks amazing when it’s done! Last January was brutally cold so I can understand being in a rush to get the lights down and packed quickly. Good tips on preventing a lot of frustration when it comes time to put them up again!


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