I love the twinkling white lights on my fresh Christmas tree. Once I decorate the tree, early in December, I plug the lights in and they stay on until I undecorate the tree in early January. One of my quiet pleasures during this time of year is sitting reflectively at night in the soft glow of the tree lights and the tiny flames of 6o plus candles lit throughout my house.
One thing I don’t like, is how quickly a string of twinkling white lights can become untwinkling. As a rule, I simply buy new lights every year so I don’t have the frustration and hassle of a string, or worse yet, half a string of lights going out. I am a recovering perfectionist, but I still can’t abide having lights on the tree that don’t shine.
This year, I tested the strings of lights that I had left over from last year, and going against my inclination to buy new ones, I used the lights anyway. Ironically, last Thursday, I was in the midst of a Facebook conversation with daughter Elissa, who was experiencing a light failure on her tree, when I cast a glance at my own tree. I couldn’t believe it! Mid conversation with her, about the frailty of Christmas tree lights, and I lose half a string.
It’s been a busy weekend, with Adriel’s graduation and family in. I left the situation alone. Every time I looked at my tree, I hoped that the lights would all be lit. But no. I normally remove a faulty string of lights and just buy a new set. Today, for the first time, I used a handy gadget to test the string of lights, find the burned out bulb, and replace it.
My year of first experiences has boosted my confidence in tackling projects I never would have bothered with before. If I couldn’t do it, I’d ask Greg or someone else to take care of the situation. And if there wasn’t a readily available solution, I’d replace the item. Not only have I fixed more things this year, and learned to use power tools, I have enjoyed recycling and repurposing what I have, rather than purchasing something new. Doing so has brought a great sense of accomplishment and it feels like I’m being kind to the earth and to myself.
Today, with Greg’s supervision, I used the Lightkeeper Pro, a gun that detects current in the line and beeps when an interruption is found. It was a little difficult to test the strand while it was wound around the tree. I carefully unwound the defective string without disturbing the rest of the tree’s decorations and with the line stretched out, ran the beeping gun along its length. Greg said I didn’t need to mention him in my post, however, he was a great encouragement and offered suggestions as I needed them. After a bit of searching, the burned out bulb was located, by the lack of beeping, and I replaced it. Success! The whole string lit up again. I restrung the lights and felt that wonderful sense of doing something good. I didn’t have to toss the light string and buy another one. And the whole process only took a few minutes.
I am sitting this evening, as I type my blog, near the Christmas tree, which is lit up entirely, the glass beads and glass and silver ornaments sparkling in the glow. Throughout the house, candle flames flicker, adding to the magic. Outside, a rare December thunderstorm adds flickering lights of its own, accompanied by the rolling rumble of thunder. I am cozy and snug in the house, and extremely grateful and content. I love the Light. I am basking in the Light. I am being Light.