Christmas Lights and the Average Man

Honey, Did You Check the Lights?

Putting up Christmas lights is one of the biggest holiday customs for many families. Depending on how many lights and accessories you have can make it challenging and frustrating. This is a story about a not-so successful day of hanging Christmas lights.

Some men embrace the challenge, like the one depicted here. Energetically, he set out to conquer the Christmas lighting project. Although advice was not needed, he wife reminded him to make sure to lights still worked. Silly woman, did she think he's an amateur? He'd have the job done in an hour or two, probably before lunch!

He thought he stored the Christmas ornaments, lights, and yard decorations in the attic above the garage, so it might take more than one trip up the ladder to the crawlspace. Besides, this will be a good test to find out how well those leg muscle exercises worked. Or, was that one the resolutions he never got around to doing? Either way, he was pumped for the job.

After digging through crumbling insulation and resident spiderwebs, the 10 or 20 boxes were scattered on the garage floor, with some stacked on the hood of the car. Which box contained the Christmas lights? Darn, should have labeled the boxes with content information. Oh, well, he'd probably find the right box with the first try or two. An hour later, all the boxes are opened, and no lights! Now, he remembered stashing the lights in the upper level of the work shed, back of the house.

Success! He found the box of Christmas lights, and ripped it open. What the heck? Hundreds of lights lay twisted and knotted, tangled and tossed. There's been an orgy going on in this box! Grabbing the lump of lights, a three-foot square maze of lights swung before him. The Christmas spirit took a slight nose-dive, and he thought a glimpse of the ghosts of Christmas-past stared at him for just a moment. Don't forget to test the lights, echoed through his thoughts.

Two hours later, and almost half the lights had been separated. The frustration crept into into his neck area, back muscles straining, and his patience was getting thin. Okay, so this will take a bit longer than thought, but it's Christmas, and the house will soon be ablaze with brightly twinkling lights.

By mid-afternoon, the strings were untangled and he had one strand tacked around the front door. “Did you test the lights,” he heard once again. “Hey, I'm the man around here, I know how to do this!” All he had left to do was outline the roof top and perimeter walls, yard fence, 15 shrubs, and a 20-foot pine tree. Yes, in deed, we are making progress!

The sunlight started to fade, darn this daylight savings time! Feverishly he worked, noting he had only four black and blue fingers from hammer-hits. And, at the last count, he scratched and cut his hands just eleven times, ripped the knee of his jeans and tore a hole in his sweatshirt. But, he was close to the finish line!

The reward was about to be realized, and it was only 8 o'clock in the evening! The family gathered in front of the house, as he prepared to flip the switch, unequaled only by 'instant gratification.' Anticipation filled the air, everyone poised, ready to bask in the Christmas-light glow. The countdown begins, one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!

He flipped the switch! Ta-Da! His stomach flip-flopped, eyes bugged out, and his breathing became strained and ragged. Nothing happened! The house and yard remained drenched in darkness. And then he heard a screeching sound, “I told you to test the lights!”

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