Yes, it is that time of year again. A short while ago, I went into the basement and unboxed our artificial Christmas tree. We purchased it back in December of 2016.
The tree originally came with the lights attached. I thought it was a great idea at the time.
However, in December of 2017, I discovered to my dismay that many of the tiny bulbs had burned out. What a mess. I made the decision to painstakingly remove the whole lighting assembly one bulb at a time.
I replaced this with a couple of 25-foot strings of tiny warm white lights. After putting them on the tree, I decided to add two more sets. Finally, everything looked perfect to my eye.
Then, after the season of Christmas was over, the tree, ornaments and lights returned to storage. I took special care in packing it all. I was quite satisfied with how they had been neatly tied and gently boxed. I was confident that I would have no difficulties the next time they were used.
Just a few days ago, I unboxed those lights. I lit each of the four strands to test them. What was the result? Well, only one of the four sets worked.
So, I replaced them again, but this time with tiny LED lights. I put them on the tree, there didn’t appear to be enough. I ordered more. They will arrive any day now, I hope.
In early January of 2019, I will put it all away once again. I do not anticipate any difficulties when I use them again – these are LEDs, after all.
However, there is a part of me that fears that it might end up being more complicated.
Pure white lights on a Christmas tree represent the light of Christ. A star atop the tree represents the star over Bethlehem. It guided the wise men to the baby Jesus.
Thankfully, the events, long ago, have more lasting value than the symbols we may assign to them.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.