’Tis the season for Christmas decorations

The Christmas season is fast approaching and I joined hundreds of other Fort Frances residents who were putting up their outdoor Christmas decorations this past Saturday.
For several years, I have looked to put up the outdoor lights on the first Saturday following Remembrance Day. It is always touch and go as to whether or not there will be snow on the ground.
It was a good Saturday this year. It was warm, and I worked in shirt sleeves.
I will admit that I am lazy. I fill two flowering crabs with miniature white lights, and the shrubbery that circles my home also is lit with those same miniature white lights.
This was a really good year. You see, when the lights go up in the trees, they don’t come off following Christmas. Instead, I disconnect the extension cords to the trees and leave the lights in place.
Once in a while, the majority of the stings of lights in the trees will not work. Most years it amounts to three or four strings of lights. A good year occurs when only one string fails to illuminate.
That happened this past Saturday.
It still remains an all-day job lighting the outdoors for Christmas. The shrubbery lighting is always removed—it’s a matter of necessity when it comes to shearing the Alpine currant in the spring.
And the floodlights that sit in the grass and light up the white spruce also are removed. So, too, are the floodlights that beam up from the centre of the white birch.
To put everything back in place for the Christmas season takes a full day. I have listed my set of rules for putting up lights:
•Rule #1—Miniature lights stored for any length of time will not work again when plugged in again.
•Rule #2—If a miniature light is about to go out and turn off the string of lights, it only will happen when you are resting the final light on the branch.
•Rule #3—You have a greater chance of finding a needle in a haystack than finding the light that caused all the others to go out.
•Rule #4—The cost of buying replacement miniature light bulbs is greater than the cost of a new string of lights.
•Rule #5—Even though you had enough extension cords last winter, you don’t have enough this year.
•Rule #6—You can’t make just one trip to the store for lights, extension cords, and supplies for Christmas lights.
•Rule #7—When they are finally all lit, it is worth it.

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