Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Great Bunch, and Electrocution by Christmas Lights

I've known, from the moment I met W's family, that they are amazing. They are respectful, kind, funny.  Smart, musical. Refined. More importantly, they are tight knit, which I love more than words can say. Without giving the details of their fabulousness away, I have to say that I feel blessed to be part of his family.

We are doing Secret Santa's this year, each pulling a name from a hat to see which person we will be buying for this Christmas. We pulled the names on Thanksgiving, and W's sister suggested that we each write our wish list and email it out to our group, to help the person out who is buying for us do their shopping. The "Dear Santa" letters began with mine. It was a basic letter that said perhaps I hadn't been good all year, but really, no one is perfect. The letters kept rolling in, one funnier than the next.

And then his sister raised the bar.

Awesome, awesome M did a music video. She wrote a song, sang, and played along on the banjo. Her voice is beautiful, and the lyrics were really funny. Her ending was priceless. Oh how I wish you could see it. When I saw the video, my heart warmed. I love her like a sister, and seeing her on this video almost made me cry at my good fortune of being close to her. Following her video, W sent one back. Another music video, of a very different variety. I was behind the camera. I laughed silently while taping him once, and then again. His self-effacing hilarity still manages to sneak up on me like a ninja.

Reading the letters and seeing the videos are gifts themselves. I feel so fortunate to love them. They are a blessing in both my life, and my son's.

In keeping with our Christmas theme, we went to get our Christmas trees today. We went to our local farm to pick our trees. The kids made themselves cups of hot chocolate, and ate some cookies that the farm leaves out for shoppers, then began running around looking for trees. We've gone there for three of the past four years now, and it's quickly becoming our little family tradition.

We came home, W put the tree in it's stand, and then everyone went about their day.  I took out last year's string lights and plugged them in to make sure the worked. After testing successfully, I began wrapping the colored lights (still plugged in) around the tree. Strand one went around effortlessly, and then I plugged in strand two. Around and around I went, and when I was nearly done, a section of the strand blew out. I know that sometimes I need to wiggle the string or tighten it up around the tree to get the lights to stay lit. I began shaking it, gently, and then ZAP! I felt the power snap into my wrist. It was like nothing I've ever felt before. Incredibly, shockingly painful and fast. I dropped the lights and looked at my wrist. Two tiny black dots, the size of freckles, remained. Entry points, that's my guess.

I called W to tell him what had happened, and he suggested that I unplug and take the lights down right away. I thought, perhaps, I wouldn't light my tree up this year. The kids put most of the ornaments on the tree, and then went back to playing. Ornaments are enough, right? Er...

Hours later, I decided to try again with new lights. A tree without lights just isn't a Christmas tree. In the process of hanging them on the already decorated tree caused more than a few ornaments to come down, and one, my chocolate covered doughnut ornament, shattered to pieces.

Regardless, I sit here typing in my cushy chair, fire ablaze in the fireplace, my Christmas tree is lit and decorated behind me. I feel satisfied that everything is done, and we are sitting quietly in our cozy little house. All is well that ends well, after all.


  1. Wow ZAP! Glad you are OK! We go to Hamilton Farms every year because we just love the atmosphere there and how they hang the trees so you can see them fully. We still have to get our tree this week. As I mentioned in my post in your last blog this cold is kickn my arse! But I will fight thru it because I love Christmas too much to let it pass me by!
    Sniffle, cough, sneeze ~Tray

  2. Tray, That's where we go. They have the hot cocoa, coffee, and cookies out. I love that place.

    Please take care of yourself, and get better soon! Lots of rest and vitamin C!

  3. Ya took one for the team. Wouldn't want that string of lights on the tree. Fire Hazard City. Sounds like you got a good shock.

  4. I was working on the well pump just last week trying to figure out why it kept going on and off. It was a short. Sparks and a loud pop no ZAP. Glad you are okay.

  5. Tiffany ,
    I am so glad you were okay! And extra happy that tree did get some proper lights on it:) Sounds like you have an extra special family.

  6. Yes, I got very lucky with W's family. I will have to give you the whole story privately. They are funny, smart, talented, creative, caring... You would appreciate it.

    And the tree -- bless the tree -- is perfectly lit. One ornament down, two point injuries from the shock, but otherwise very Christmassy!