Decorate the Christmas Tree

This is an original groaner by Glenda Konopka who says, “I swear on my children’s lives that I have never, ever done anything like this before, but this is a true story that happened last weekend while we were decorating the tree.”

Christmas was upon us once again and it was time to hang the ornaments on the tree. As anyone who has tackled this annual balance between engineering feat and artistic expression knows, the strategic placement of each ornament is of paramount importance. The length, strength, diameter, and position of each individual branch must be judged against the size and weight of the ornament at issue. If the perfect branch-ornament match is not made, then premature branch-sag and a resulting inability to see the ornament in an optimum manner occurs, spoiling the entire effect.

Digging through my boxes of ornaments, I found a plastic tray of ornament hangers from last year; those thin, wire hooks passed through the ornament’s string-loop and the opposite end gets hooked over the appropriate branch. The ones I found at the outset were about 3 inches long and got me through the first few boxes of light-weight ornaments. However, as the tree filled and I got toward the bottom of my box, I discovered that the ornaments I had left to hang all had long loops of ribbon and were heavy and longish themselves. No matter how I tried, I could not get the ornaments to hang right using these long hooks. Despairing, I thought I’d have no recourse but to go to the store and buy new hooks that were not so long. Just then, my son, digging through another box, came up with a new batch of hooks, about 1 inch long. “Thanks goodness, I cried, “It’s the short-shanked redemption!”

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