Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

So, my daughters are now 23 and 18. Neither live at home. My boy is 15 and a very good kid. Level headed. Doesn't really need me much anymore.

I bought a 6 ft pre-lit Christmas tree on clearance a few days before what would be the last Christmas the whole family would spend under the same roof. We took it out of the box and decorated it together that year. That was 5 years ago. I took it out of the box and set it up yesterday. One of the wires snapped and the middle portion of lights went out. We couldn't repair it.

5 years old, super inexpensive, we got more than our money's worth, just chuck it and get a new one, right?

Nope. I spent 2 hours with wire snips removing the wires so I could light it with a regular strand of lights.


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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 07:45 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

Oh yeah! Love it. It's a new tradition.

"I'm significant!! Screamed the dust speck." - Bill Watterson
"Youth is wasted on the young". - George Bernard Shaw

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 08:56 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

There's something to be said for sentimentality. I had to fix a 27 year old string this year.





There is a lot of memories in the older decorations for sure.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

@meson I am glad you could fix yours! Our wires were very, very, thin and covered in fiber, so they weren't good candidates for the same repair. I've never seen wire so thin! I could barely even see it. There was a 400 bulb strand at a local store the exact same type as the original lights that came on the tree, so at least the change isn't obvious, lol.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 04:30 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

Brilliant. I would have totally done the same.

It reminds me of a fond story my husband tells of an ancient Christmas tree they would get out each year and as children they would spend hours wrapping tinsel around the stems to cover up the bald patches - it became a traditional holiday project. They still have it apparently.

Our church has a competition each year for the best homemade Christmas tree, which they exhibit in the main hall. People never cease to amaze me at how creative they can be with stuff most of us just chuck away (a lady collected unwanted costume jewellery from family and friends to decorate hers, which I thought was wonderful).
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 05:07 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

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Originally Posted by meson View Post
There's something to be said for sentimentality. I had to fix a 27 year old string this year.





There is a lot of memories in the older decorations for sure.
I noticed you have some bare wires exposed, and some with just some electrical tape wrapped around them.

Best bet is to take a small piece of the wire to any home improvement store, find out the wire's gauge, and buy the appropriate wire nuts to attach the wires. Once attached, wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the wire nut and wires.

Wouldn't want to hear your house caught fire over the holidays. Better to be safe, rather than sorry.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 05:27 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

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Originally Posted by MJJEAN View Post
@meson I am glad you could fix yours! Our wires were very, very, thin and covered in fiber, so they weren't good candidates for the same repair. I've never seen wire so thin! I could barely even see it. There was a 400 bulb strand at a local store the exact same type as the original lights that came on the tree, so at least the change isn't obvious, lol.
Get a cigarette lighter and burn off the insulation on each end of the wire about half an inch.Then twist it together or else use a small piece of bare wire to join them.Strings of lights like this actually have very low voltage passing between bulbs and you probably wouldn't even feel the shock if you got one.Remember to tape up the joint though.

Last edited by Andy1001; 12-18-2016 at 06:03 PM.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 07:42 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

I'm sure there are plenty of stories of old ornaments and things. I have a few from WWII. I have a few other things that my parents saved and reused forever.

I can remember my dad saving the silver string icicles every year. He'd carefully place the on the branches and then remove them on three kings day and put them back in their package. They were heavy and he told me not to mess with them. He said they were old. I have no idea how old. When was the last time they made lead icicles?

Yep, you read it. Lead! Pure heavy and gray strips about 1/8 to 3/16 inch wide and about 18 to 20 inches long. Hang one on the tree. Eat a cookie and lick the icing off your fingers. Hang a few more....NO! I'm just kidding about the hanging and eating with finger licking goodness. The rest is true. Don't know where those are. I suppose they are gone now. Yikes!!

The things we remember. Oh, and to clean the three rail track for the old 1930's lionel tinplate train we used carbontetracholoride....OMG!!!

No wonder I have a hgoia adaotiemmmme spelling and stuogvffff.....spllllllllttttt.........ugh......

"I'm significant!! Screamed the dust speck." - Bill Watterson
"Youth is wasted on the young". - George Bernard Shaw

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 07:48 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

Meson: Good job on that electrical tape!

choose happiness
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 08:12 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

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Originally Posted by MJJEAN View Post
@meson I am glad you could fix yours! Our wires were very, very, thin and covered in fiber, so they weren't good candidates for the same repair. I've never seen wire so thin! I could barely even see it. There was a 400 bulb strand at a local store the exact same type as the original lights that came on the tree, so at least the change isn't obvious, lol.
Not everything can be fixed and sometimes we named to do exactly what you did and address it another way. My repair was super simple compared to yours.

The point is you invested in a legacy which makes it more meaningful in the long run.


I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 08:24 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

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Originally Posted by BradWesley2 View Post
I noticed you have some bare wires exposed, and some with just some electrical tape wrapped around them.

Best bet is to take a small piece of the wire to any home improvement store, find out the wire's gauge, and buy the appropriate wire nuts to attach the wires. Once attached, wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the wire nut and wires.

Wouldn't want to hear your house caught fire over the holidays. Better to be safe, rather than sorry.
Thanks forthe advice, wire nuts are up to code and the safer way to go. Those were consecutive pictures with 7 mil tape rated at 700 W. I use two strings of C7.25 bulbs that run at most 377 W with fuses. So while not professional quality, it is within spec.

Actually in my opinion my patch is safer than the way the bulbs are connected to the wire. These strings use two sharp metal points stuck into and through the insulation of the wire pair. Over time with manipulation the sharp edge can cut the wire and cause a short or worse. That's the real concern for me.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 05:18 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

When my grandmother died going on 13 years ago (we were very close) my cousins who could rarely be bothered to stop by fought over what little she had. Bedroom set, small dining room table, TV.

I quietly took her Christmas things. There was a village that I helped her set up each year. Now it's a tradition here in my family, each year we add a piece.

I also have a box of the tackiest Christmas ornaments from the 70s and 80s. I only sneak one or two onto our tree each year but dammit if those ornaments don't flash me back to being 5 years old sitting under her tree in footie pajamas. Wouldn't trade any one of them for a bedroom set.

My story: After a night on the town with him, wife exchanged inappropriate texts with her former boss.


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

My kids all went to the same school, all had the same teacher 5th grade, and they all made an ornament for Christmas in her class. They'd give your '80's ornaments a run for their money, @PhillyGuy13! I hang them every year.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 09:55 AM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

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So, my daughters are now 23 and 18. Neither live at home. My boy is 15 and a very good kid. Level headed. Doesn't really need me much anymore.

I bought a 6 ft pre-lit Christmas tree on clearance a few days before what would be the last Christmas the whole family would spend under the same roof. We took it out of the box and decorated it together that year. That was 5 years ago. I took it out of the box and set it up yesterday. One of the wires snapped and the middle portion of lights went out. We couldn't repair it.

5 years old, super inexpensive, we got more than our money's worth, just chuck it and get a new one, right?

Nope. I spent 2 hours with wire snips removing the wires so I could light it with a regular strand of lights.
Well... of course you did!

No question about doing anything else, really.


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 01:23 PM
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Re: Insane Holiday Season Sentimentality

MJ has mad skills. Given a couple extra days she could have created an entire Christmas tree out of twine and pipe cleaners.
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