Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best Laid Plans

It bothers me a little to rip down all the Thanksgiving decorations so soon after I finished putting them out.  I would rather like to read a good book in such lovely surroundings and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  But Christmas is fast approaching and so is out-of-town company, so, off with barely enjoyed and on with the new.
A few weeks ago I spotted some Christmas lights at Big Lots.  I remembered getting very frustrated last year with strands of 200 lights where half the strand worked, and, other strands that worked 1/2 the time.  I reminded myself most of those lights were probably 20 years old or better.  So after that conversation with myself, I bought PINK lights for the tree.  As long as I was making the change, I thought it should be something obvious.
This, of course, starts a chain reaction.  I have ornaments from the years when the tree was red and gold, and the years it was white and silver, and even some from the years when it was pale pink and creamy white.  But, I had nothing that worked with these lights.
Bold and flashy struck me as the way to go and when I saw these at Michael’s I committed.
A few of these completed the purchase for that day.
I dug out my 25 year old tree that I swore I was going to throw out after Christmas last year.  Obviously I decided to think that over for another year while I considered the replacement. 
The hooks on the branches are getting a little worn as you can see here.
But, it all slipped into place and looks like it will be fine for another year…or two!  Of course, it is not quite as simple as the trees with the lights already in place. (I know some of you are thinking…What other kind of artificial trees are there?)  Let me just say, this is not an antique.  However, I believe if I hang onto it for another few years it would qualify.
I strung the new pink lights on the tree as far as 4 boxes would take me.  Then it was back to Big Lots for two more boxes.  I was thrilled to find the last two boxes of pink on the shelf.  I tested them before I left and raced home to finish my tree trimming.
g            h
Next came the ornaments.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I knew this when I bought them so I was prepared to remove the gold hooks.
i  j
A few squirts of silver spray paint and they looked like all the rest.
The tree looked a little sparse so I dug out some gold snowflakes from years past.
Yes, indeed, the life of the gold snowflake was over.
A spark of orange is what every psychedelic tree needs.
I found this star at Hobby Lobby.  It was perfect for the tree topper and at 1/2 price it fell into the reasonable category.  Does anyone buy anything at Hobby Lobby that is not at least 40% off?
In a little white bag stuffed inside the Christmas closet I found an after Christmas purchase from last year.  The deer would complete the tree top portion and the rest would fill some holes in the tree quite nicely.
Then I found these little snowflakes at Walmart.  I went in for dishwashing detergent but it always pays to browse a little.
Then on a scouting trip to Goodwill I found these.
Strands of beads in my color.  They were still in the original packaging and there were ten packages.  They were originally marked $3.99  but the Goodwill price said $1 each.  When I got to the counter they became $7.50 for the entire 150 feet because of the sale of the day.
FInally!  It is finished.  I plugged in the lights and it about blew me out of room.  In all honesty, I had plugged the lights in before I decorated the entire tree and I thought they were a bit overpowering.  But, I told myself they would be fine once all the other color was added.  WRONG!  So I stewed for a few days.  Not happy about leaving it this way and certainly not happy about changing it. 
Common sense prevailed and the pink lights came off.
I even thought about trying to get these back into the boxes so I could return them.  But since I was already a little crazy I decided not to push it. 
The next step was to buy white lights.  The first place I tried was completely out of mini white lights.  But my second stop was successful.  Gritting my teeth the entire time, I wound the new strings of lights in and around all the ornaments already on the tree.
And once again, I proclaimed this tree finished.  I’m not really satisfied because what would really make it look perfect would be a white tree. I will keep that in mind for next year.  I found some bags of artificial snow in with my wrapping paper and I tossed that on the branches. That did seem to add some life to it.
The saga of this tree trimming mimics the ups and downs and sometimes wrong turns of life.  And even though the end result is not what I pictured when I started, it’s still ok.  In fact I’m starting to like it.  It does make more sense to be happy with how things turn out.  Who wants to be miserable?
I am wrapping packages to complement the tree but that will have to be a later post.  And, in case you are wondering, I did find a use for the pink lights.
I’m not one to put up lights outdoors.  I doubt that I have to list the reasons as those are pretty obvious.  But, in addition to those, being 5’2” is the main one and balancing a stepladder on a slope is the other one.  May that rest as my explanation for the following picture.


  1. I like the pink lights. I think they're cute. My only regret; missing the look on your face when the brightness shocked you. Priceless.

  2. Love the color palette. A beautiful tree. And you know me, pink is good.