Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Memories...Restringing Lights

My mom worked for most of the years that I can remember while growing up (I’m not sure how old I was when she started work; I do have some memories from when she didn’t). Since my mom worked long hard hours at the office I would try my best to help out around the house. I took it upon myself to help with the cooking, cleaning and at Christmas time getting things decorated. I would haul out the decorations and force my little sister Megan to help me. Sometimes Megan would help of her own free will but I will admit to multiple times trying to guilt her into helping by telling her how much our mom would love and appreciate it. I would start by cleaning things up and picking out a spot for the tree to be. Our tree was a blue spruce that was my grandma’s (my dad’s mom). Now before anyone jumps on me about real trees I personally don’t care for them. Too much work to get a real tree home and into your house and you need to keep it watered to prevent a fire hazard. A fake tree is what I grew up on and what I personally like. I would organize the limbs by size into piles around the living room. Once they were ready I would start at the bottom and work my way up the tree. Once I got to the top I had to get a little help from my brothers or a chair to get the top of the tree in.

After the tree was up I would start the tedious task of stringing the lights on the tree. This was by far the worst task for setting up Christmas. I did not care for it one bit because I would get scratched, it took a long time, and truly what was the point. I knew that when my mom came home and looked it over she would redo it because I hadn’t done it right. I would watch her undo my work each year and get a little frustrated. I watched intently trying to figure out the secret to properly stringing the lights. Needless to say I don’t think I ever learned the secret but it made me realize how much I hate stringing lights. When I got my own first tree years down the road I got a pre-lit tree. It made my life so much easier.

Looking back I don’t mind that my mom re-did the lights year after year (actually I think once or twice she didn’t redo them). I did what I could to help my mom out and I learned that I did it out of love and service. I obviously never truly got offended by it otherwise I wouldn’t have tried again and again each year.


  1. Hi Emily!! Great minds think alike...again! :)

  2. We got the tree from Grandma the year we had 3 real trees before Christmas came when you were maybe three years old. We still lived on Cavalero Hill. Grandma had bought it when your Dad was young because of allergies and they had not used it for several years. Probably had gotten a pre-lit one. It was a plastic blue spruce from Sears (if I remember right) that wasn't very pretty in the box but when it was decorated it was gorgeous! People often thought that it was real and the prettiest tree they had seen. I did too!

    I always thought it was wonderful that you girls would start the decorating! I only wish I had never restrung the lights and just left them however you had done them. One to appreciate you efforts more and two it was such a difficult task!!!

    I went to work for ABC Supply probably a couple years before the divorce. We were living on 13th Street then. Started out part time to help our finances and then when they offered me a full time position I accepted it not knowing that that would be how I would support you children.

    Thanks for all you did then and all you do now! You are wonderful! And thanks for the memories! I can't wait to see what you post next!