The budgies’ new playhouse

On Saturday night my mother came over to my house and we put up my Christmas tree. This is the earliest I have ever put it up, a seven-and-a-half-foot artificial tree. There are several reasons why I put up my Christmas tree so early, the main one being that I regard the start of the Christmas season with the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. The 105th annual parade took place yesterday and I always go downtown to see it in person. That gets me in the Christmas spirit.

I take great pride in my tree and the way I adorn it with decorations, but most especially its lights. I have a saying that no Christmas tree can ever have too many lights. My favourite lights are the small solid-coloured bulbs which are becoming increasingly harder to find year after year:

Each of these small bulbs has a clip and another major reason why I set up my tree so early is that it takes a good long week to clip on over one thousand of these bulbs to the branches. Furthermore, I take great pain to hide the cords and it is indeed a comical sight to find me on my back, lying under the tree with only my legs sticking out, as I clip on the bulbs very close to the trunk. It is a hazard to crawl out quickly, as I risk scratching myself from the sharp branch tips.

After I clip on each light the remaining cord is limited in its flexibility. Once clipped, the cord only wants to go in one direction and I must find a way to hide the cord with the limited space I have to work in. The greatest effort in attaching all of these old style of lights is hiding the cords. It is a cardinal sin for a Christmas tree to reveal its lights’ cords!

After I affix the solid-coloured bulbs, I put on close to two hundred multicoloured LED lights, then over one thousand miniature dark blue lights:

Once the tree is lit with over 2,500 lights I decorate it. When it is lit, I do not need to turn on any lights in the living room or even the kitchen. The Christmas tree is bright enough to illuminate my entire ground floor.

In spite of the Las Vegas Snoopy-doghouse light extravaganza, I still feel that my tree is underlit. This year I would like to buy some more empty cords and attach more of the older style of solid bulbs.

Who would like to play Scrabble at my place at night, under the light of my Christmas tree?

The budgies love the tree, and they fly onto its branches. I have a photo last year of my newest budgie, Grey, perched on a branch next to a green bird decoration. He had found a new friend in a tree decoration! The birds only fly onto the tree when it is not lit.

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