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Ba Humbug...Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

Who has a pre-lit Christmas tree?  Who invented this instrument of supposedly cheerful holiday torture?  I know the idea sounds good, but in practice, I am not so sure.  Now, before anyone gets upset, I am not saying that ALL pre-lit trees are bad.  Just the ones that suck monkey balls like the one I happen to have.

We have a 9 ft pre-lit Christmas tree with about 3,000 light bulbs on it.  Ours is huge, massive, and heavy as hell, with more wires and lights than an airport runway in a major city.  It's a nice looking tree.  It was VERY nice to have a huge tree that we didn't have to string lights on.  You plug in all the strands, turn them all on and enjoy your Christmas.  Yeah, that happened only the FIRST year we owned that tree.  Ever since that honeymoon Christmas, it has never been the same around here.  Nope, now it is an annoying, tedious, and mind numbing battle in search of the dreaded dead bulb.  Our tree is seven years old now and once one bulb goes out, the entire strand goes out.  So, you need to find the dead bulb.  With over 3,000 light bulbs on a tree, that is a lot to go through.  

Yes, there are tools to help, in fact I have to give a HUGE thumbs up to the makers of LIGHT KEEPER PRO.  Never heard of the magical, super duper, ass kicking, most awesome device ever??  It's a life changer.  Truly.  It was probably invented by Christmas nerds, to save the common man hours of Christmas misery.  What this time saving device does is it basically lights up your strand and shows you where you have a dead bulb.  It really works.  The first time I used it, I thought it was magic.  So simple, so incredible, it was like hitting the lottery.  No more following the string to find the burned out bulb.  The Light Keeper Pro lights up the entire strand showing you where the dead bulb is.  Awesome.  Just one thing, sometimes the strands are so messed up that it will not light up, but most of the time it will work and let you fix the strand.  When I get my "gun" out I feel like Clark Griswold on steroids.  Give me a partially burned out strand of lights and I'll fix it for you - no problem! 

If you love Christmas lights and your sanity, you MUST OWN THIS!!!
 Now that I have the power of this gadget, you would think it would take no time to get the tree back to its former glowing glory days.  WRONG.  I got most of the lights on the tree to come up, but had to hunt down each individual burned out bulb.  It was easier to find them with my gun, but in a tree of 3,000 lights, it was still a good game of "find that damn fried bulb".  Gomer was helping me and thought this was the start of a GREAT Christmas tradition.  Yeah, I guess it was kinda fun - for the first 30 minutes.  After three and a half hours of finding the bulbs and replacing each one, it wasn't so much fun anymore.  Gomer, of course, abandoned me after about 20 minutes into our new "tradition".  He was tired and bored.  That kid would never make it in a sweat shop. 

The other thing that sucked about my job was that each dead bulb had to be identified, then pulled out from the wiring, removed from the socket and another bulb had to be threaded into the socket.  My God, I'm just exhausted writing all that - imagine trying to actually DO it over 150 times.  Now I understand why those Foxcomm people in China jump off the roofs.   

This job sucks balls.
I will admit, some of this pain and time was partly my fault because I'm such a cheap bastard and a bit of a masochist.  You can buy 10 replacement bulbs alone without the socket base for a buck.  BUT, if you buy a strand of 100 lights for $3, you get 100 bulbs for $3.  Yeah, you have to pull all the lights off of the strand and remove them from the socket bases, but that's just time and energy - and I've got nothing but time and energy.

I'm all about saving money, I have even taken old strands that barely work and pulled the light bulbs out of those.  Anything to save a buck.  Now, on an hourly basis with the time involved, I am sure I was working for pennies an hour.  But I saved those pennies.  

So, after over four hours of "hunting and replacing", the tree finally went up, with most of the lights coming on.  Looked pretty good too, if I do say so myself.  I told my wife we should think about buying a NEW tree with LED lights.  I have looked, and they are about $600 for the size of tree we have.  So, guess what?  I think Gomer and I have a great new Christmas tradition next year of "hunting and replacing bulbs" - quality time together.  Priceless.  I even got an extra gun today so Gomer can have his own next year.

Don't look too close, there are some dead bulb in there.
I am super proud of my wife. She has been nominated for Top 25 Author/blogger moms over at Circle of Moms. Could you guys help and vote for her?? People I Want to Punch in the Throat is her blog. I could use the brownie points with my wife and maybe I will get some sexy time for my efforts.  Thanks so much and wish me luck.

Jen's Note:  I was more than willing to take new strands of three dollar lights and wrap the damn tree in them, but oh no, the Hubs got all OAM on my ass and spent an entire day hunting and pecking to make the tree "perfect."  I don't know if I should punch him or love him for all his effort. 


  1. you should WRITE more. the pictures are funny, but you are a great writer, too.

  2. Damn, Jen was right,you are a cheap SOB...hahaha....I just love you 2!!

  3. Damn, Jen was right,you are a cheap SOB...hahaha....I just love you 2!!

  4. We had FOUR strands of lights out when we took out our tree this year. After listening to him rant and rave and threaten to throw the d*** tree out the window, I went and bought him this tool. IT ROCKS!

    I agree, you should write more often, you are hilarious!

  5. FYI, my hubs told me those guns don't work for LED lights after I bought him one. I promptly returned it.

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