For years I have dreaded putting up the Christmas lights this time of year. This year I had an epiphany! For some odd reason I embraced, not the spirit of Christmas, but the agony, the misery and the sense of duty in doing this job. Even the family remarked that I didn't seem as suicidal as usual during the job. So I'd like to share some of my wisdom and experience with you.

  1. Set aside the whole day to get it done. It may only take two hours, but if you set the entire day aside to do it, it reduces some of the stress.
  2. Be prepared to spend more money. You may have labeled the lights and packed them away as neatly as you can, but s*** still happens, so expect to buy at least one more string of lights.
  3. Really read the label of boxes of lights. Don't mix LED lights with the older incandescent type. It looks horrible. Make sure you get the right color wire to match the other lights. A string of lights the same color will still not look right if one wire is white and the other is green! Don't mix twinkle lights with regular, unless that's what you want!
  4. If your wife wants to add more than last year, come up with a technical-sounding electrical issue that will scare her. Mention terms like fire code, volts, amperage and "#1 cause of house fires this time of year".
  5. Plan some kind of dinner/drinks/activity with kids for the end of the day. It gives you something to look forward to as you're hanging from that ladder hoping you die.

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