Bill Roper's Journal
Fiat Lux 
6th-Dec-2009 01:49 am
The Christmas tree has been sitting it its stand since Monday, so it was really getting to be time to start decorating it. Of course, the first step in this process is to put the lights on the tree.

As it happens, I managed to score four sets of LED sequencing Christmas lights from Sam's Club right after they went on display last month. They are, naturally, long gone now. (Along with the net LED lights that are on the dwarf Alberta spruce trees outside. I really need four more sets of those. Good luck!) But having found these means that I'm able to retire the venerable sequencers that I've been using for years while waiting for the LED sequencer lights to come along.

The angel has been on top of the tree since we put it up, since the eight foot ladder was already in the house for some curtain hanging. And the eight foot ladder was necessary, because this is easily the tallest tree that we've ever had. It's a good ten feet tall from floor to top of the angel. Fortunately, it is not ten feet wide, so it's still smaller than Treezilla in total bulk.

There were two problems with trying to put up the lights: Katie and Julie.

Katie wanted to help, but she wasn't really able to help string lights yet. She was able to dump the big Ziploc bag full of spare bulbs everywhere. Oh, well. That's what brooms and dustpans are for.

Julie, on the other hand, wanted to climb the ladder. And when I caught her on the fifth rung -- having turned my back -- with Katie right behind her, we decided that it was time to take the girls upstairs, put them to bed, and finish putting the lights on the tree afterwards.

Yeah, sure. Neither girl went to bed easily tonight. Julie fussed and fussed before finally falling asleep. Katie went through three bottles of formula (mixed at the usual 1/5 strength for her), half of Chapter Three in the new Winnie-the-Pooh book, and a diaper change (which was no surprise after 30 ounces of liquid) and finally fell asleep a bit after midnight.

The lights are on the tree now. The older strings have now been wrapped up for the Amvets collection on Monday, along with a number of never-unwrapped sets of lights that we'll now never use due to the great LED revolution.

But it's a very pretty tree. It'll be even prettier tomorrow once the ornaments are on it.

And since we bought a lot of unbreakable ornaments both before and after Christmas last year, that'll be something that Katie and Julie can help with. :)
6th-Dec-2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
I've been through a few sets of LED lights myself. I found sets that, if you catch them out the corner of the eye, I see them flickering. Another set, with just the little bare globe bulb were too intense to look at when they were put on the tree and I had to take them down. Need type with some sort of plastic disfusion. The bare bulb LED strings are now on the garage gutter, replacing C5 (3 watts each) sets that replaced real C7 (7 watts each)strings years ago. I like warm white LEDs much more that the bright/blue white lights.
6th-Dec-2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
:) I'm putting up my tree today -- just a tabletop thing, about three feet high, but with fiber optics built in so it's always glowing and changing colors. And a bunch of small but very pretty bulbs, and one li'l Xmas teddy bear to sit at the base.
6th-Dec-2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
We discovered the hard way yesterday that Unbreakable ornaments... not so much in the unbreakable department.
6th-Dec-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Bill, I have a two-word solution for next year. Or for later this year, when you take down the tree:

Duct Tape.
7th-Dec-2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
My dad would use string or twine to secure the top of the tree to points on each side to guard against tugging kids. The string also served as a place to put Christmas cards over.
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