Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prelit Christmas Tree

Prelit Christmas tree
Five years ago, after watching my husband struggle for entirely too long with unwrapping the hopelessly tangled Christmas lights, I was pretty fed up with the entire concept of decorating. Hours later, we had managed to get the lights on the tree and in working condition. By the time we were done, neither one of us was in the mood to put any ornaments on it. Looking through a circular one morning, I saw a beautiful artificial tree that advertised that it was prelit. Wow! That meant that there would be no tangling of lights to fight with every year. Although we already had our Christmas tree up and decorated, I rushed to that store to take advantage of the sale. An hour later, I came home with a prelit Christmas tree packed into the back of my SUV.
The next December, I was actually eager to get started on the Christmas decorating. I went to the attic and brought down the box that contained our brand new prelit Christmas tree. My husband was skeptical about how nice looking it would be, but I knew that he was secretly pleased that he wouldn't have to struggle with detangling the lights. We struggled with getting the prelit Christmas tree put together, as we'd never put together an artificial tree before, but it ended up looking very nice when we were done. The real test came when we needed to plug it in and see how it looked. I plugged it in and suddenly, the prelit Christmas tree lit up. My husband smiled with relief realizing that it really did look nice. We hung up the decorations and while I had worried that there would be cords or wires poking out since it was a prelit Christmas tree, there were none. The lights and cords were glued securely to the branches alleviating the fears that it would look "too fake".
Throughout the holiday season, we had numerous parties and get-togethers at our house. We didn't tell anyone that we had purchased a prelit Christmas tree or that it wasn't real. To be quite honest, unless you knew or studied it up close, you would not have any way of knowing that it was a prelit Christmas tree. No one even asked about it, but we did get many compliments on how nicely the tree was decorated. One relative asked my husband if he'd had any more battles with hanging the Christmas lights this year and my husband smugly replied "no". We smiled at each other. Our prelit Christmas tree had been a wonderful investment and was our little secret.

Pink Christmas Tree

I have always hated the artificial things that pretend to be real. I hate, for example, light food, or vegetarian fake meat. That is why, up to this point, I have always hated artificial Christmas trees. They do not fool anyone, and yet they stubbornly persist in their mimic in a way that I find most irritating and useless. If these fake Christmas trees looked a little bit less like real trees, and more like representations symbolizing real trees, then I would not be so bothered by them, but as it is I can not stand them.
The problem is that, where I live, we are not allowed to have a real Christmas pine tree, nor do we really have the room to. My wife has wanted to get a plastic Christmas tree for the last couple of years, but I have been strongly against it for the reasons given above. That is why I have decided to get a Pink Christmas Tree this year. No one is going to believe that a Pink Christmas Tree is real for even a moment, but then again a Pink Christmas Tree is not trying to fool anyone into believing. Although it is garish and tacky, a Pink Christmas Tree is absolutely at home and honest about its garishness and tackiness, and so it really does not have the same offensive qualities to it as other fake Christmas trees do, in my opinion. Really, my wife thinks that I am crazy, but a Pink Christmas Tree is the only solution to our Christmas troubles. It is an xmas tree, which she wants, and it is not a cheap facsimile, which is what I want. Instead, it is a very fake mockery.
I have decided to put the Pink Christmas Tree in the window with the lawn flamingos that have nothing to do until next summer anyway. Around them, I will put the most bright, garishly flashing Christmas lights that I can find, and decorate the whole thing with cheap plastic garlands hung with little dollar store quarter bin toys. Then my Pink Christmas Tree will have that look that I have always dreamed of for it, that look of uncompromising falsehood. Maybe next year I will get a purple Christmas tree. I can only imagine what wonders I could work with that one! But for now, the Pink Christmas Tree really hits the spot.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Alarm Phone Clock

Getting up each morning to get to work on time is a reality for most of us. Although it’s been said that over time the internal clock within our body will wake us up at the same time each day, an alarm clock is a good back-up system.
When I was young the alarm clock in my home was my mother’s voice. She’d raise the call that it was 7 am and time to get the day started. Unfortunately as we mature, we have to turn to the world of technology to take over that job. In the world of alarm clocks there are so many different designs, everything from the standard round face bells to the alarm clock phone system.
I choose the latter for several reasons all of which boil down fundamentally to convenience. I don’t have a great deal of space in my bedroom so an alarm clock phone serves a dual purpose without doubling the physical space it needs. The alarm clock phone also has a radio in it so I can set the alarm to either a tone or the music of my choice. I tend to go with the tone because being awakened to blaring music can be a bit too startling.
I’ve heard complaints about the quality of the phone in some systems but I’ve never had a problem. The alarm phone clock I recently purchased came with a cordless telephone. This is great as I can lie in bed reading in the evening and if a call comes through I can answer it on the alarm phone clock and then get up and wander around if need be. The audio quality is comparable to the other phones I’ve got in the house so it’s not an issue I personally need to be worried about.
Finding one wasn’t difficult either. There were several local electronic stores that had a few different models of an alarm clock phone system to choose from. I wrote down the prices and specifications of each one and then did some research online. I actually found the same alarm clock phone that was available locally for about 20% less online. Even with shipping charges added in the alarm clock phone online was less expensive. The website offered expedited shipping so I had it in my home within two days.
It was very simple to set up. It did need to be charged before I could use the telephone to make or receive calls, but it took a couple of seconds to set the clock and determine how the alarm feature worked. It’s a great little machine and I’d honestly recommend an alarm clock phone to anyone.