Why is it that when you finally locate the box labelled ‘Christmas Decorations’ buried behind suitcases and various other items stored in the loft, and lift it down carefully and place the box by the tree ready for the annual job of decorating the tree, the lights are always tangled up? You could swear blind that you packed them away neatly after last Christmas. So, the first job is to unravel the tangled mess. This done, the tree lights are suitably distributed around the tree, plugged in and switched on. But the lights don’t work. The lights were working when you took them off the tree at the end of last Christmas, so why aren’t they working now? What’s been rummaging around in the ‘Dec’s box’ during the year to cause such havoc with the lights? You go around the lights, tighten each connection one by one to ensure that the circuit has not broken, sometimes this is enough and the lights come on, sometimes it shows a bulb which has blown (mysteriously in the box during the year). Dread fills you at the thought of going out to search for a replacement bulb, or worse still having to buy a new set of tree lights. Thankfully you find a spare bulb in the box and replace the broken one and the tree is lit up with brightly, fast flashing lights, turning your sitting room into a nightclub. You turn the dial to the next setting whereby some of the lights come on and some don’t, the sequence then changes with the alternate lights coming on and the others fading, giving the effect of twinkling lights. Nice, but not the effect you wanted.Turning the dial again, the lights come on and stay on, brilliant this is what was wanted. However, gradually the lights fade to off, and then gradually re light again, then fade again etc. after lulling you into false sense of success. A few more turns of the control dial, which moves through various other light shows, before you finally arrive at the setting you want. Just the lights on, no flashing please! No light shows, just on. Now you can decorate your tree with baubles and trimmings and one can stand back and admire your tree.
Remembering of course to turn off your tree lights before you go out or to bed is advisable. The next time you switch on the tree lights the room is immediately turned into a 1970’s disco, complete with disco baubles. This is not the light setting you left it on.You turn the knob to the next setting, in fact you have to go through the whole sequence again, and each time you switch on the lights. How does the switch change settings without being touched? To avoid the long process of the light displays you try counting how many turns on the dial you need to get to your chosen setting fairly quickly.With all the technology available today, surely it is possible to obtain lights with a switch which stays on the setting you want instead of going through the whole rig-moral each time the lights are switched on. Generally speaking, it is men who like flashing, bright lights, and women who prefer a gentler light. Many an argument is caused by the flashing! Then there is the issue of tinsel to contend with.