|Ghost of Christmas Past|
Christmas Lights 2005
Click images to see larger pictures.
|Before we look at the Christmas lights, I thought I'd show a little more about Christmas light installation. If you missed my installation tips in 2004, please be sure to review them too.|
|I store my lights in large plastic boxes. Each box or set of boxes contains a related set of lights: mixed colors for the house, single colors for bushes, and clear lights for bushes.||I put each string into its own plastic bag and label each bag. This keeps the strings from getting too tangled, and makes it easier to install the following year knowing exactly where each string goes.|
Here is a new toy I got in 2005 - a Christmas light tester aka buzz box. On top of it is my now-retired Radio Shack continuity tester. The SF-102 buzz box makes finding dead bulbs trivial. Just plug the problematic string of lights into the box, push the red button, and use your ears to find the bad bulb. It will buzz loudly. For a Christmas light nut like me, the light tester is worth its weight in gold.
|I also diagram the basic layout and all connections. In 2005 I split my lights across four 15 amp circuits and tested each one with an amp meter to make sure I wasn't exceeding the current limit. The last thing I want to do is burn my house down with Christmas lights! FYI, my electric bill was about 25% higher in December.|
|I found that with using my reach stick, I was able to minimize the number of times I had to move my big ladder. Moving the small ladder is easy. I can barely move the big one by myself.||Notice that the lights are on as I am installing them so I know immediately if any strings or bulbs are not working while I still have the ladders up on the house. Having to drag the ladders out again for repairs is to be avoided.|
|It would be tough to get any ladder up on the garage roof, and I'd rather not hang over the top roof. This is another place where my reach stick comes in handy.||My big helper. He likes climbing the ladder and going on the roof. I am more nervous about him being on the roof than he is.|
|Here I am demonstrating how to use my reach stick. Its just an old piece of wood trim that I cut a notch in one end. I use it to hook the lights over cup hooks that I previously (over the summer in warm weather) screwed into the wood facing.||Nobody will notice if you replace an occasional burned out colored bulb with a clear one. However, the reverse is not true.|
|Just like in 2001, there was a fantastic sunset on the day I put up my Christmas lights. Enough installation, time to see the lights!|
|What a job! I hung every single light myself.|
|My house looked even nicer after a late December snowstorm.|
|The picture above is my favorite from
At some point I put colored lights on the small trees near the curb. I said I would not repeat my "candy cane trees" from 2002 and I didn't. I think these look better.
|Day and night, from the left...||and from the right.|
|Merry Christmas 2005! And as always, please remember that Christmas Spirit is not what you drink.|
|Ghost of Christmas Past|