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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

TITLE: This Year, I Win!
By Micheline Murray


This year will be different; it has to be. I've thought it all through and have come to the conclusion that I just can't take it anymore. I'll do whatever is necessary to ensure that this year, I win.
No, I'm not hoping to have the most decorative light display in the neighborhood. Plastic santas, inflatable scenes lying collapsed on the lawn during the day, and reindeer on the roof are not my battle. Instead, I have resolved that this year I will win the war with my own rebellious Christmas tree lights!
No one has ever solved the eternal mystery of how every year, seemingly innocent strings of lights all around the world take on a life of their own when put back into attics and basements to be stored for the next eleven months. Once in storage, my own defiant lengths of wire, plastic and filament consipire to raise my blood pressure to a very unhealthy level! No matter how carefully wound between my thumb and forefinger and around my elbow, then meticulously placed one string on top of another inside an empty popcorn tin, I can guarantee that the following December they will be inexplicably tangled. No matter that every single bulb shone on the tree all the season before, without fail lights that weren't meant to blink will do so randomly or choose not to light at all. How can HALF a string of lights decide to blink? Every year, despite my efforts to the contrary, the lights have won.
I now realize that I must outsmart them! I have to think of something they would never expect, then act quickly before they have a chance to organize themselves and be on the offensive. Several ideas have come to mind so far. First, of course, I could simply throw them out. But no, I truly enjoy the soft glow they bring into my home in the evenings. Am I the only one to have this love-hate relationship with my Christmas tree lights? If we had an artificial tree, I would be tempted to stuff the whole thing back into the attic, fully assembled, lights intact. However, our family tradition of choosing a live tree that touches our living room ceiling nixes that thought.
My next thought was to do something creative such as hang the tangled mess on the front door and call it a wreath, or place it around a snowman's neck-thus it would serve the dual purpose of snowman scarf and outdoor lights. But neither of these options solves the problem of enjoying the lights inside the house, on the tree, without the inherent struggles.
So, I'll keep thinking, and praying for inspiration, hoping for a miracle before this season begins. Because no matter what, I am determined that this year, I win!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/12/08
Hehe - I think we've all been there! I know I have. Love the voice of this. Fun.
Carole Robishaw 11/13/08
Good story, I enjoyed this. Just a small hint, next time do an extra return between paragraphs it makes it so much easier to read, then the sentences don't get as tangled as your lights. ;}
Celeste Ammirata11/14/08
This is cute. You had me smiling in understanding! Congratulations on your well deserved third place. Up to level two for you!