We have all had “that moment” when doing the Christmas decorations.

You know the one I’m talking about.

Get everything all hooked up, all pre-set-up lighting tests work fine. Then you get it all hooked up and hung up just the way you like it?

And, nothing.

The frustration of every male in the world–getting those darn Christmas lights to work. My husband is no exception to this. Every year, we face something. Most of the time, we’re fairly lucky, and it winds up being no big dead.

However, a couple of years ago, we had a heckuva mess with our lights.

We have several strings of outside lights that we put out on our porch, including little snowmen in the yard around the entrance to our house. The kids like to help Hubby decide exactly how to arrange the outside lights (they’re the kind on the pole, you just shove in the ground). It’s always a lot of fun, the kids like it, hubby likes it (most of the time).

In the process of all of this, my oh-so-particular hubby checks all the lights inside, to make sure they all work before taking them out to plug in.

Everything checks out.

So out he goes to arrange everything. He takes the one long orange extension cord with him, and like he does every year, plugs the cord inn on the one set of outdoor plugs we have, wraps it around the house, tucking and concealing as much of the orange cord as possible, and hooks it into the “switch” we have near the front door. (It’s basically a surge protector on a stick for your yard.)

Then the moment of truth. He plugs in the lights.


He flips the switch, just in case it was in the wrong position.


Checks all the plugs and the lights.


We try hooking the lights up from a different cord from inside the house (after at least an hour of my husband fiddling with them outside, cursing the whole time). The lights work. So, we assume there’s something wrong with the extension cord we’d used.

I promise hubby I’ll go get a new one, though I’m terribly miffed about this. After all, it’s one of those long, orange super rugged cords that should last for thirty years. What could have happened to it, laying in a coil in the laundry room? There were no holes/nicks/punctures in it, or anything to indicate it had been damaged.

So I got nothing, other than being irritated at current manufacturers quality control.

The next day, Hubby comes home, and has this radical idea. Evidently someone at work told him to check all the CGI switches in the house. So I tell him I’ll hit them, if he’ll go outside and check.

On the third switch (in our rear bathroom, no less), I hear Hubby screaming.

They’d come on.

We all probably sounded like the Griswalds on Christmas Vacation. But we didn’t care. THe lights worked. That was all that mattered.

And you know what? We check that switch every year now…

What about you, any weird switches you have to check in your house for the lights? (Comment for a chance to win a copy of Mission of Christmas on November 12th)

Also Mission of Christmas is still available for pre-order on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or the Samhain website.

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