Must Know Pre-lit Tree Facts + Thor in Finland

Ever feel like you simply can’t find a spare moment? That’s been me since the week began. With each passing year the schedule seems to get more and more insane.  Life is all hustle and bustle now days.  A week and a half ago I’d just come off a family vacation that hadn’t allowed for any down time, including tweeting and social status updating. No time―none! Upon my return I got so sick that bed was the only option for almost a week.

When I finally peek out from under the covers a multitude of delicious items awaited me (kids with stories, family desperately wanting Christmas decorations, school issues need resolution, out-of-state visitors, masses of packages in need of mailing, and THOR! …to name a few).


Thor runs across the amazing landscape that is backdrop of Reetta’s blog

Yes, Thor was waiting to check in when I pulled myself out of my debilitated state. During his missing time he managed to travel all the way to Finland where he “graced” the industrious Reetta Raitanen with his glorified presence. Since Monday she has been patiently waiting for me to come through as a proper hostess.

*Drops head shamefully*

Better late than never, as my father always said.

Without further ado…

Thor de Finland: Channeling the God of Thunder

Swing by Reetta’s breathtaking blog and see what out mini sized Norse god has been up to this time.

Finding ten minutes to sit still and write was not easy. Sorry it took me so long, Reetta.

The rest of my week has merged into a blur. My theory on time is this…if you move at too quickly a pace and don’t slow down to enjoy the moments they are less likely to make a long-lasting impression. Such are my days, hours, and minutes, all of them blending into the next as I rush from one place to the next taking care of the “family” business…doing my “Mom” job.

Wisdom of the per-lit Christmas tree

old tree

So sad

Yet, despite all that our tree has experienced massive black outs. By that I mean large portions of the tree no longer light. This has happened to many people I know and the frustration is beyond irritating. Rather funny when you think about it. After all, when we were kids there was no such thing as per-lit and we always had to string the lights on the tree.

For the last year or so I had been do just that, filling in the blank spaces with extra strings of lights. I also tuck twinkle or sparkle lights in-between everything. I like a lot of lights and a lot of sparkle. This year when we rolled the tree in and plugged her in the entire top half was black. That included all the added lights from the previous year. There were large dark holes along the bottom and mid-section, as well.  The undertaking was a holiday nightmare.

Ultimately, the decision was to replace…AGAIN.

Except, before I spent the money to change my tree once more I wanted to up my knowledge on the subject. Turns out there are two very important things they often neglect to tell you when you purchase your per-lit Christmas tree. Things essential to maintaining its longevity.

SurgeProtect1.   Do not plug your tree directly into the wall.

Your tree is an investment and you should treat it as such.  Take precautions with all the sensitive strings of lights weaving in and out, up and down, and around your tree. Always use a surge protector.

Bulbs2.   Replace all burnt out and browned bulbs immediately.

Leaving a burnt out bulb, especially one that has begun to brown can lead to the entire string blacking out. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Inspect your tree regularly for bad bulbs and switch them out as needed. If you don’t have bulbs that fit you may need to thread a new light bulb into the existing base. It’s tedious, but easy to do.

Two simple steps to insure the life or your tree…and yet they are two steps often overlook, as their importance is not generally realized. Having learned these two points I feel better about making the investment and starting anew with another tree.

As for fluffing the whole thing from the start—I think we can all agree that wasn’t included in the “fun” part of decorating.

new tree

Our new Christmas tree

Have you ever owned a per-lit tree? If so, did you ever have issues with the tree lights?

Fun Holiday comments from Sleepy Hollow‘s Ichabod Crane 


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14 thoughts on “Must Know Pre-lit Tree Facts + Thor in Finland

  1. Patricia

    I think we finally have a television show we can agree on – Sleepy Hollow. I wasn’t a fan at first, but it’s growing on me. Mostly because Ichabod is so danged cute, but hey, I’m watching.

    Glad you had a nice vacay, sorry you were sick, welcome home, Happy Christmas and nice job Reeta and Thor.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Debra Post author

      I wasn’t a fan at first, either. Like you said, though, Ichabod makes the show. Thank you for the welcome back. It’s good to be back. I’m ready to stay home at this time next year. I’m over taking vacation during the holiday season. I hope your season has started out beautifully.

      Happy Holidays, Patricia.

  2. Kristy K. James

    TOTALLY LOVE Ichabod! Though I was under the impression there were no more episodes until after the first of the year. Guess I’m buzzing over to Hulu in a minute to see the Christmas installment. 😀

    I hate to disillusion you, but it’s not the speeding through life that makes it a blur. I actually lead a rather dull and boring life…and the same thing happens. Maybe the people who find a happy medium between the two extremes have the key?

    I’ve never had a pre-lit tree, no. But my mom bought one, came home, put it up, decorated and…half the bulbs on the brand new tree were out. That cured me of ever wanting one. But your new one is pretty. Your old one was interesting though. Looked like the sash (???) thing you might see on Snow White’s dress. 🙂

    1. Debra Post author

      The last episode of Sleepy Hollow aired the first week of December. It was the one with Henry Parrish (Noble). You may remember him from Fringe. Love him!
      Hmm. I know what you are saying about the dull and boring moments. Just because I’m on the move doesn’t mean it’s exciting, but my weekends can often turn into a blur when the family doesn’t want to do anything. I have a hard time recalling what I did, although I know it was all laundry, dishes, and all that other fun stuff.
      My first tree lasted a rather long time and looked beautiful during its tenure. I have had many live trees, but I rather enjoy being able to bend the branches to best suit my needs when it comes to decorating. I also like the fact that it isn’t drooping and there isn’t a pile of pine needles underneath it at the end of the month. When we used to bring in the real thing we would have to keep windows open at night just for the sake of the tree. Um, yeah. I’m not doing that anymore. I get a really good pine scent spray and I’m happy. 🙂 Plus I can enjoy my tree a lot longer.

      1. Kristy K. James

        I can’t remember the last time I had a real tree. I like the fact that there aren’t any needles to clean up afterward. As for the scent, I’ve never had much of a thing for pine, so that doesn’t bother me anyway. And I just lost my train of thought. Trying to get ready for the big (extended) family Christmas party tomorrow. Can’t wait. 🙂

  3. Jennette Marie Powell

    Sorry to see you weren’t well, but glad you’re better now! I’ve never had a pre-lit tree. Never thought about parts of it going bad; maybe I’ll stick with good old-fashioned string-em-yourself lights. I saw Thor’s post on Reetta’s blog the other day; looks like he had a good time!

    1. Debra Post author

      Every kind of tree comes with it pros and cons. There is no ideal tree. Sigh. 🙂 When you do your own lights you get to decide exactly how you want them to look. I like that. We have a tree in the family room that’s been in my family for YEARS. It’s a slim tree and small enough that I don’t have to take it apart so when I strung a new light design on it last year I was able to carry it to the garage, cover it, and tuck it away until this year. That works! Then you can mix it up and blend in some of the fun lights. That’s the kids tree so it’s rather colorful and totally fun. That’s what you have open to you. You could do your tree different every years, as well. Now that could be neat.

  4. Emma Meade

    I use strings of lights on my tree. Had never heard of a per-lit tree until now. 🙂
    How odd indeed. Love Ichabod. I hope you get a few moments to yourself over Christmas and you can relax.

    1. Debra Post author

      Relax. Sigh. I spent most of the month in bed. At some point it becomes painful. I’m slowly trying to crawl my way out of the sick hole, back to healthy again. Thanks, Emma. Love Ichabod, too. Without him I doubt I’d tune in every week.

  5. susielindau

    Hey Debra! I missed your post! Thanks so much for the beautiful Christmas card. I wish you lots of love and happiness in the New Year! Great tips on the prelit trees. I’ve got to take it all down today. It takes a tenth of the time!

    1. Debra Post author

      You’re very welcome, regarding the card. The take down is never as much fun. I’ve been sick for the entire month so it’s going to happen very slowly at my place. I’m under orders to take it easy. 😉 It took me most of the month to get my tree up and decorated. i so hate to see it come down already. Color me bummed. I missed Christmas this year. Sigh.


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