Story Over a Cup: Deck the not so jolly halls

Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Michael Cole

I love decorating my house for Christmas.

Let me rephrase, I love my house decorated for Christmas, I hate doing it 

But yet every Saturday after Thanksgiving, here I am.

I have such fantastic plans, a Winter Wonderland in Texas. Setting up lights in a way where a story is told, a mood conveyed. 

In reality, every year, when I am finished the story told, is this house put up lights and the guy doing it survived the ordeal.

This year was no different.

It started with the icicle lights that go along the eaves of the house. I started there for one simple fact: I didn’t take them down last year.

I always wondered when decorations went from being up too late to up to early. It appears I have my answer.

I plugged them in. They worked still. Nice start.

So, next was pulling out the big box that held the decorations and of course, the tree.

Wait, I forgot the lawn ornaments. 

A few years ago, we acquired a wire sleigh, two reindeer and an angel.

They are the bane of my existence.

The first year we had them, I ended up needing to redo all the lights. Whoever put up Christmas lights on a series circuit so if one goes out, they all do, needs to be horsewhipped.

Or worse, stuck in line on a Black Friday for all eternity.

But, back to my tale of woe.

Of course, there would be a burnt-out bulb on one of the reindeers.

Picture Roswell outside in the yard and is very much curious as to what I am doing as I search the deer for the burnt-out bulb.

I am checking lights with one hand and holding back the dog with the other.

It didn’t take me long to find the problem bulb. Well, more like the problem bulb found me. It was not a burnt-out bulb, but a broken one. 

And my hand found it.

So, next, I am holding my hand from the shock, jumping up and down, while doing a bit of a dance. 

Roswell thought it was a game, so he is jumping up trying to play too. I trip over a box and land in a mud puddle. 

Looking up, I see the snout of a dog furiously licking my face 

Well, that reindeer isn’t being lit. Maybe I’ll just spray paint them with glow in the dark paint.

Well, let’s switch gears and work inside for a while. We have one of those 7-foot pre-lit trees. It’s great because you don’t have to string up lights. But if a strand goes out, then it’s even worse than a tree you have to string yourself. 

Luckily, the tree went up without a hitch.

Now, on to the decorations for the tree. If anyone knows me, they know that organization skills are not my strong point. 

Last year, I bought some Halloween decorations. Now, I bet you are wondering why I am mentioning them. 

Well, one they accidentally got put in a box of Christmas decorations. 

Two, I forgot about them.

Three, they were full-sized rats.


Did I mention I hate putting up decorations?


Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at