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Christmas decorating is dangerous and even TLC says so

December 13, 2011

For real, Christmas decorating is dangerous. The CDC reports more than 17,000 emergency room visits due to decorating falls every year. Somehow, I’ve never been one of those numbers. In fact, the CDC is so concerned about holiday health, they have a song sung to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas.” I really wanted to insert the video here but that seems to be out of my skill set.

Like most things that are awesome, electricity is both a wonderful and a dangerous thing. That’s why J is in charge of it for Christmas. One year I blew everything and was out in a sleet storm messing with fuses and plugs and this past Halloween I electrocuted myself, mildly, while checking bulbs in the rain. That were plugged in. And on.

Sunday, I set a snowman on fire. Damn Frosty was out to get me.

This Frosty has been around as long as I can remember-my Mom will be along shortly I am sure and can tell you how long-but it never occurred to me that there might be an issue with his wiring. I noticed the other day that two of his bulbs were out-he has several and they flash and make different colors-so I chose to ignore the ones that were cracked and whatnot and bought more.

I screwed in the first replacement bulb (while he was still plugged in and merrily blinking) and was astonished when there was a snap, crackle, POP, a small flame leaping in the air and the smell of smoke. Huh, that’s weird. Not to be deterred, I proceeded to the next bulb and as I screwed it in there were significantly louder snap, crackle, pops, a larger flame and a nice little cloud of smoke. I’d like to say I made the decision to quit while things were still standing and not on fire but in reality I was out of bulbs.

I unplugged it and went out to chat with J who was on a ladder with a super long pole tossing lights up in a tree and asked him if something made flames and/or smoke and/or sounds that was bad, right? His eyes widened as he calmly replied “yes.”

I moved on to outlining the yard in lights and didn’t give it another thought until J was trying to turn on lights in the room of Frosty’s explosion, errr demise. After watching him change bulbs and check plugs and shake his head, I wondered alound if maybe the lamps were out because of the small tiny fire. And yes, Frosty had blown the fuse.

We did finish up the outside lights and it fills me with all kinds of sadness to say they are bordering on tasteful this year. J, on the other hand, is tickled pink-well as tickled and as pink as he gets. (The man has the exact same expression whether things are on fire or whether he’s having the time of his life.)

I spent Saturday watching TLC shows on Christmas light invasions, extreme lights and whatever else they showed and was amazed at these people that measure out lights to the inch, spend hours programming them to music and have had to add a million outlets and wires and stuff to power them. One couple had almost 700,00 lights. I was jealous.

Sunday, I am explaining this to J:
Me: These people had 700,000 lights. And a cherry picker and more outlets than I’ve ever seen!
J: You’re going to need another husband for that.
Me: (In my head wondering if he just okayed brother husbands) But it looks amazing. And then they said that extreme Christmas decorating is the third most dangerous occupation behind ice road trucking and crab catching. But I don’t get paid so it can’t count as an occupation.
J: I’d like to see their data on that. You know we don’t need to be extreme or hoarders or crazy anything. Unless…how about you become an extreme laundry putter awayer?
Me: I would like to have at least 50,000 lights.

I made some sort of noise and wandered off to lament my lack of gaudiness. And I’m sure J is putting a parental block on TLC as we speak, errr type.

Here is the finished result:

A very merry Christmas from Mayfield Manor and our 15 foot tall Santa:

If you need me, I’ll be calculating how many more lights we need to get to 50,000…(Christmas is 11 days away!)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 10:11 AM

    I share your affliction of ‘tiny’ fires and blue sparks at Xmas. All our outside lights go out every single night. WHY GOD, WHY?!?

  2. December 13, 2011 1:18 PM

    What are you talking about? Your decorations are extreme! Well… compared to mine.

  3. Pamela Lloyd permalink
    December 13, 2011 3:00 PM

    Amyyyyyyy! I made that snowman in my young bride stage when we were transferred to Carlisle Pennsylvania and it was the first Christmas without my dear Grandparents. (They came to us cause I was so despondent.) The year before Daddy drove from Pittsburgh North to Tionesta in a driving snow storm and I had to hang out the window to guess where the end of the road was. The snow plow was following us – and when we finally arrived, Pappy had to dig us out of the car cause the doors would not open, honest. I digress, anyway, I was all Christmassy and made a bunch of ceramic trees, snowmen, Halloween pumpkins. I do believe you and your Sweet sister have most of these? And, now you blew up Frosty. He must be what, 41 years old? Shame on you. J can probably put one bulb in him and throw away the wiring….

  4. December 13, 2011 8:06 PM

    Love your Yard!!! It looks GREAT!!!!!!! I laughed at a few things throughout this blog, but I really laughed at the extreme laundry putter awayer comment!!!! That is EXACTLY something my husband would say!!!!

  5. December 15, 2011 1:13 PM

    Your lights (and arrangement!) look great! I’m sorry that Frosty blew a fuse though. But your conversations with your hubby have me in stitches. Actually, pretty much every post you ever write has me LOL’ing at work.

    And I’m still not done with the shopping. Where does the time go? I’m online begging people to send me their goods in time. It ain’t pretty.

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