The Annual Christmas Outdoor Light Tragedy

How are your Christmas decorations going? All done? Perfect? Beautiful?

I’m almost done! And this weekend, I tackled our outdoor lights. I’m fastidious about the outdoor lights. I learned from my dad. We’re no Clark Griswolds, but I did learn from the best.


But, I have a confession – every year for the last 4 years, I’ve had an outdoor Christmas light tragedy….

Year 1 – I pulled out all my lights, and found that almost all the strands were burned out. I didn’t find that out until it got dark, and my husband and I went outside to flip the switch, Rockefeller Center style. I had to take them all down, buy new ones, and start again.

Year 2 – I managed to get all my lights up with no issues! I decided to take the lazy route and not take the lights down at the end of Christmas. Why not just leave them up all year? Handy! Until our yard guys came through to trim the bushes in the Fall… and cut in half all those new lights I bought last year. Sigh….

Year 3 (Last year) – Because of all of our cut lights the previous year, I needed to go out and buy all new lights. Again. My husband encouraged me to buy LED lights instead of the standard bulbs so they would last longer. So I went out and bought a supply of plain, white LED lights! I came home, spent an entire nap time putting up all the new lights, and was so PLEASED with my efforts! That night, when it got dark, we all went outside to see the pretty lights. And I see that those sparkly, plain white LED lights really are so bright that they look blue!!! Not the look I was going for. So down the lights came, off to the store to return them and to buy plain, normal lights.

Which brings me to this year.

Last year, when I took down all the outdoor lights, I put them away in one bin, all lovingly wrapped. I wrote myself a note about how many strands went on each bush.

I was a genius.

I spent about 2 hours this past Sunday meticulously placing lights on trees and bushes. I was so pleased with my productivity!

Later on that afternoon, as we’re loading into the car to go out to eat, my husband casually mentions, “You know, all the lights have big tags on them that say ‘for indoor use only’, so we can’t have them outside.”.


No. This can’t be.

Not again. The curse continues!

I had to resist bawling in the car on the way to the restaurant! I thought I had it all figured out this year. I thought that all would be fine! These were the same lights from last year, and our house didn’t catch on fire. I checked them all to make sure they were all working before placing them on bushes. I thought I had won this year.

A part of me wanted to go out, rip off all those ‘indoor use only’ tags, and then tell my husband I got new lights. But I didn’t.

Monday I was at Target, and cruised the light aisle. I picked up a roll of indoor/outdoor lights, and couldn’t see how they were different from my indoor only lights! So I decided that the best idea was to send my husband to the store to find outdoor lights… maybe he would find the correct ones?

Tuesday, I ignored the task of taking down all the lights in preparation for new lights. I just didn’t want to! Why??? Why am I cursed to always do outdoor lights twice each year??

I heard my husband go outside the front door, and then come in a few minutes later. He walked over to me and, with a smirk on his face, he said “You know, you see things differently when you go outside with your glasses on…”.

You see where this is going?

He confessed that he misread the tags, thinking the “outdoor” was “only”. So the tags REALLY say “For Indoor Outdoor use”.


We laughed for a good 10 minutes! The curse has been broken!

I’m so grateful I was lazy for a few days and didn’t take down the lights yet. I may not have been laughing.

And now, I can enjoy our lights!

Outdoor lights Edit

What are you laughing through this Christmas season?

Follow me: Instagram | YouTube | TwitterFacebook | Google+ | BlogLovin’ | Pinterest


    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I’m so glad he misread everything too! And that I was lazy and hadn’t taken them down yet 🙂 The curse is broken!!

  1. Colleen says:

    Too funny! I’m glad your light situation worked out this year – they look beautiful! I don’t think we’ve ever had a Christmas light curse, but we’ve failed at making gingerbread houses. 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Gingerbread house curse would be me too. I’ve never tried, because I envision the whole thing collapsing on me. Have you seen that FB meme going around with the suggestion of if your gingerbread house falls down, you add a dinosaur?? HAHA! Hilarious!

  2. Beth says:

    Lol, oh my goodness friend that is crazy. My husband spent hours on the roof putting on the lights and about a week later they quit working #truestory. We’ll try again next year.

  3. Whitney Jordan says:

    You are the Super Woman of Christmas lights! I’m impressed that you were not deterred and continued to put up lights every year. Your home looks STUNNING and I’m so happy that you waited to take down your supposed indoor lights. Good thing your hubby double checked 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      HAHA! Good thing he double checked!! I like to think that I would have checked as I took them down, just because I would have been in some foul mood… but at least they’re up and done! Woohoo!

  4. Whitney says:

    LOL!!!!! I love this post – I could just see you telling this story. My favorite part is definitely your thought of going out and cutting off the tags. I would totally consider that option as well. Haha!! I’m so glad you had success with your lights this year. I’m the most impatient person on the planet and would have given up after year one. Good for you! They look beautiful!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I debated whether to record this or write it out. But it was quite the conclusion of the curse! My husband and I are still chuckling about this.

  5. Jess says:

    hahaha Oh man! Well, Clark Griswald didn’t have the best luck with his lights either! 🙂 Glad to hear this year was tragedy-free (although not confusion-free)! Your lights look awesome! Our tree usually falls over once a Christmas season, which is a delight. This year, the main issue has been our curtains. My dad washed them and they got all messed up so we had to come up with creative ways to hang them so no one would notice! And we nearly impaled each other with the curtain rods a few times, whoops!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Oh man, I love that your tree normally falls over! Hilarious and tragic. But the curtains! HAHAHA! Glad I’m not the only one that has these kinds of events happen.

Leave a Reply