Last weekend I decorated the Christmas tree; this weekend I decorated it again. It was the Christmas lights which caused the problem. Light of my Life thought the set of fifty lights looked rather paltry and returned home with a set of one hundred,. Before you could say, Santa Claus, The tree had been stripped of all its lights and decorations and Light of my Life said calmly’”The rest is up to you”
One hundred lights should go twice as far as fifty, so I thought that it would be easy. But the one hundred lights did not even go as far as the fifty lights had.
After three disastrous attempts, the happy Christmas mood was decidedly fragile. I glared across the room at Light of my Life imagining with some satisfaction the Christmas lights wrapped tightly around his neck.
Luckily, his survival instinct kicked in He calmly unwound the lights from the tree and laid them on the floor. Then laid the despised set of fifty lights parallel with them. The cable lengths were identical. So to fit the one hundred lights on the same length of cable the gaps were much smaller.
The fifty lights were then replaced on the tree and the redecorating completed, without the joyous mood of the previous occasion. A hundred lights were then replaced in their box and returned. Seasonal lessons learned? Decorating the Christmas tree can only be enjoyed once in any Christmas season. The second or third time around, it’s just a hard slog. When buying Christmas lights look at the cable length and NOT the number of lights.
Other seasonal lessons that I have learnt the hard way include keeping some spare Christmas cards, as well as the appropriate Christmas postage stamps. Someone that you have forgotten inevitably sends you a card. You can mask your forgetfulness because you are using the Christmas card postage rate, rather than a standard stamp¬ a dead give-away that you forgot. After Christmas, any spare card can be stored for next year and any leftover stamps can have additional postage added and be used for your normal correspondence.
Even worse than the unexpected card, is the unexpected visitor smilingly bearing gifts.Forward planning can have you cool and composed rather than fraught and frantic. Buy a couple of multi-purpose items that you could use later if they are not needed. A nice bottle or two of wine, whisky or sherry, maybe some imported beer. Or a biscuit selection, chocolates or even gift vouchers Have these items wrapped and tagged, ready to be written at a moment’s notice and no one will ever guess that they caught you out.
Next week The Gentle Art of Present Giving and Getting!