How I Kept Christmas Lights from Getting Tangled

Back story: My girlfriend and I inherited my father’s old fake Christmas tree. (Yes I’m Jewish, no she’s not, yes we have a tree in the house, no this is not that post. Focus.) He got this thing when I was in middle school, but it still stands up. At some point he decided it would be a great idea to wrap a string of colored lights around the spine (I hesitate to call it a trunk…) so it lit from the inside once it was decorated. It didn’t look that bad. We happen to have less decorations and tinsel to wrap around the tree so it just sort of looked sad with the lights on the inside. So the tree was already assembled and I wanted to remove that string of lights so we could use it on the outside.

Lifehacker schmifehacker!

Lifehacker schmifehacker! Also I recycle.

The challenge here is that there are 5 rows of arms with branches sticking off of those to weave around so I needed to keep the lights wound tightly. Because like hell was I going to take the tree apart and put it back together just to get these lights off. So that’s where I got all lifehacker up in there (we used to call this MacGuyvering before the internet) and grabbed a toilet paper tube out of the recycling bin. I cut a slit on one end of the tube and put the end of the lights through there. And then I started winding. And then I felt like a genius.

The point is, this is how I’m going to store all my light strings after the holiday Christmas (because melted wax is really the only Hanukkah-related mess you have to deal with). And this is actually the best way to store ornaments after you’ve inevitably thrown out the package.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

This ish is real and guess who’s problem it was every year growing up.

One comment

  1. Very resourceful. But Jake, a toilet paper roll? Such an urbanite! Out in the burbs, we’re dealing with 300-light strings – many of them. Picture a carpet tube. And that only works if you have an army to help roll as you climb ladders or hang off columns while standing on railings. And the army never happens; even the most nuclear family scatters like cockroaches from the light when the one responsible member says, “who wants to help take the lights down?”

    So it’s inevitable. Self-fulfilling! Total mess. Take this into consideration when deciding to move away from the city.

    But mazel, you tamed the beast! Smart thinking.

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