Yesterday I almost turned into one of those parents whose children grow up to lament them. For a moment the future flashed before my eyes (if such a thing can really happen, although I assure you I saw it vividly) as I imagined my children telling the story about the time their mother ruined Christmas by taking a chainsaw to the tree.
I didn't intend to spoil things. We were all happily gathering in the living room to decorate the tree. My oldest daughter was in the kitchen fixing hot chocolate and my husband was picking out Christmas music on the stereo (well, really ipod, but that sounds less romantic).
And everything was going fine. I'd been put in charge of stringing the lights on the tree, which I suppose we all should have had the foresight to know might not end well, but... there I was anyway, untangling lights and checking to make sure that they worked before I put them up.
It seemed like everything was going well. I'd asked my husband to find an extension cord so that I could plug all the lights together and turn them on while I put them on the tree so that it would be easier to see where I was placing them, but for some reason (maybe the music selection was distracting him), he didn't get me one.
Well, by the time I got to the bottom of the tree I'd royally messed things up. Somewhere along the line I'd plugged in the wrong end of a strand so when I got to the bottom we were left with the socket end instead of the prong end. Of course my initial reaction was to roll my eyes and blame the person who was supposed to have gotten me an extension cord. Said person then became angry at being blamed and stormed out of the room for a "time out".
After much cursing underneath my breath (and maybe over top my breath too), I finally stormed out too and went to lay on my bed to contemplate divorce during the holidays. Luckily, when I came back my twelve year old son had fixed all the lights and the happy evening that we'd been imagining commenced along with some cups of hot chocolate and a heaping helping of apologies from me.
The moral of the story is: don't attempt to put up the lights. Some things are better left to more competent people.