Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ohhhhh.... Christmas Tree!

Countdown to Christmas 10 days

I always measure before we go to the tree lot. I double check to make certain I know how high my ceiling is. The house we are in now, is 10 feet 6 inches from floor to ceiling in the living room. And we went out and found an 11 foot tree, and told them it HAD to be trimmed to fit 10 feet, 6 inches, Including tree stand.

They delivered it two hours later and as they went to stand it up in the living room it was... close... close... maybe not... maybe yes... WHEW! It just made it by 2 inches from the ceiling!
The 10 ft ladder needed to come in from the garage.

Lyle left just after to go skiing and left me alone to light and decorate the tree. I took that night to light the tree. 3 and half hours to get 3000 twinkle lights on the tree. But I also wanted to add some bubble lights and they take a different kind of light string. So added 4 strings of 25 lights each, C7 bulbs. C7's are the old fashioned indoor lights (C9 are the old fashioned outdoor lights). I stood back and admired the tree... nope. It needed more C7 lights. So Added 4 more strings.

There I was with 3000 twinkle lights, and 200 C7 lights. I was cautious and only plugged 5 strings at time to the twinkle lights. The C7 lights got two strings together then brought back to an extension cord or power strip. I know the fuses in the light strings can blow. I do not want to go in search of those after the tree is decorated!

I utilized extension cords and power strips throughout the tree and brought all the power down to the outlet beneath the tree. This outlet (and one other) had been specially installed in the house on their own circuit just to light the tree. The first year we were in this house, I had to run and extension cord from the garage to light the tree because we couldn't pull that much power from the house AND watch TV.

No more fears, I have my own circuit just for Christmas. After the tree was all set, I plugged the final power strip into the remote clicker switch so I wouldn't have to dive under the tree to turn it on and off. Then I sat back and enjoyed the glow.
I'm all lit up!

Until 2 hours later when the tree turned itself off.

Huh? So I got under the tree, checked the power strip, plugged the lights in direct to the outlet, everything seemed to be working. I put it all back together, extension cords to power strip, power strip to remote clicker, clicker to outlet. All working again... then an hour later, OUT.

I unplugged it all and gave up. Lyle is my electrical guy and he was skiing.

The next day I went out and bought a new remote clicker that had TWO outlets on it and was made for outdoors. I figured that HAD to be okay. And if not, I bought another set of THREE separate clickers as a fall back plan.

I divided the tree electrical into two sets, all the twinkle and all the C7's. I plugged the separate sets one into each of the two new remote clicker outlets. Pretty tree, pretty tree, pretty... tree went out.

I took another break. An hour later I came back to the tree and plugged in all the twinkle into one remote clicker outlet. Then I plugged half the C7's into another remote outlet, and the other half into ANOTHER remote clicker outlet. At last I have the tree lit and able to run without burning out all the remote clickers!
It's impossible to show you the whole tree. My theme this year is "Uptown Country Chic, silver/gold/glitter". The inspiration is that little wreath made of old fashioned looking silver pipe cleaners.As you may be aware, everyone gets a new ornament each year. Mine is the snowy cabin, Lyle's is Mickey on skis.
On the right side, is Mr Cooper's ornament for this year.What's a Christmas tree at my house without an Eiffel Tower ornament?

And if that's not enough, you can try and watch this video I made of the entire tree. It's a little shaky.
video

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