This is a blast from the past (December 21, 2015) that seems appropriate to share again for the start of the holiday shopping season.
If I had a Hammer
I know you’ve been there, this isn’t my first time in this position myself. The fight began when I pulled the lights from the basement. Not only were they tangled (it took an hour and a half to unwind the strands). But when I plugged them in to check them, half the blasted things didn’t light up.
My wife mentioned that they were the kind that only the bulbs that didn’t work wouldn’t light up. The broken ones wouldn’t kill off the whole strand. So after I replaced all the burned out bulbs why did half the strand not light up again? In frustration, I threw that strand aside. The next one would work right? Don’t answer that, let me maintain the hope to carry on.
So it’s time to hang the lights. The hooks from last year came down when we painted the front porch. Really? We discover this now? Really? Not a big deal right? Well, not a big deal for someone who has the hooks in their toolbox. Apparently, I never was much of a Boy Scout.
After I rummaged through my toolboxes I managed to find some nails. Nails, I could work with. Wouldn’t you know, my hammer was missing. Ever have the urge to yell at the sky and shake your fist? Yeah, me neither…
It’s Christmas Eve and the lights still aren’t up. Who does that? Well, aside from me? I can hear the ghost of my father, “If you had done that weeks ago you wouldn’t have this problem.” This is a little surreal when you consider that my dad isn’t dead and he never troubled himself over my Christmas lights.
Seriously, what would you do? Christmas Eve is the shopping moment of the desperate and deranged. A sane man would never find himself in any store at any point after Thanksgiving, let alone the very Eve of Christmas. Who am I kidding, I was one of the desperate and destitute, maybe even a little deranged. Those damn lights weren’t going to win.
There I was ready for the gladiatorial combat of the ages, otherwise known as a trip to the store in hectic shopping season. Wait, back up, did I mention the snow? I can see where I might have forgotten it considering the near white out conditions.
I feel a need right now to explain what white out conditions are to those of you who might never have experienced life in the arctic north. White out conditions happen when the snow blows so hard that all you see in front of you is a white cloud. So yeah, a trip to the store on Christmas Eve is a suicide mission. To think I volunteered…
Where were we? Oh yeah, snow, store, crowds of the hopeless and deranged. The crowds might have been the real scary part. Men gone feral as they hunt for last minute gifts for their significant others. You would think they would have picked up these gifts when they picked up their lover’s gifts weeks ago. But really, I couldn’t judge, I needed a hammer.
No time to waste playing around, straight back to the tools I went. Did you know that even on Christmas Eve you can find decoration stuff? I found some of the coolest lights in a main aisle. Have you ever seen those lights that look like icicles? They do this thing where the light, kinda like, drips down to the bottom. The strands are slightly different than normal lights. Instead of one long strand they have these detour strands. So yeah, I picked up three sets. I could just throw out the old lights when I got home. They were outdated and hardly worked anyway.
The sale on the lights was great too. These lights were going to look so cool when I put them up. I felt great, the cashier didn’t even grate my nerves with her peppy Happy Christmas. Not sure what she was so happy about, she was the one working on Christmas Eve. Really, it wasn’t at all like that.
She was great, making the most of the crappy situation. As much as I hate to admit it her cheer was a bit contagious. I even hummed the piped Christmas Carol on my way to my car.
The drive through the parking lot changed. The battle was over, people were darn close to cordial as they allowed people to merge and gave up the right away. Honestly, it was a little strange to see it. The snow let up for the trip home. Nature gave her blessing for the lights I was about to hang.
My wife thought the lights were as amazing as I did. She helped me remove them from their packages and get them ready to hang outside. I went to the garage to get my hammer and some nails to hang the lights. Oh yeah, the store…
Merry Christmas or holiday of your choice…
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.