Beyond the Signature: Keeping the Christmas Tree Lights On


WILKES-BARRE – Halloween is still four weeks away and Thanksgiving isn’t until November 25th, but what is really on everyone’s mind is Christmas.

And when you think of Christmas you think of giving and receiving, religious celebrations, dinners, parties and gifts with ribbons and bows and – wait – whether the damn lights on the tree will work or not. .

Spoiler alert! They won’t – guaranteed.

And so we start yet another holiday tradition – one at a time we remove the light bulbs and replace them until we find the culprit that doesn’t light up and the whole thing lights up.

Isn’t there a better way?

Well, as Coach Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends.”

With less than 100 days of Christmas, now is a good time to turn off those tree lights and check them out.

I received an email regarding two new products – LightKeeper Pro and LED Keeper – which the company claims “instantly repair broken incandescent and LED light sets used for holiday decorations.” The company claims that more than 6 million of these tools have been sold.

How LightKeeper Pro works

Faulty bulb shunts are the root cause of most light set failures, according to the company. Simply plug your LightKeeper Pro into the light assembly and pull the trigger. The LightKeeper Pro sends a pulse through the light assembly, finds the wrong bulb, and repairs the shunt, allowing the light assembly to function properly.

More information can be found on the website:

Be skeptical, I don’t blame you. But if you get this gadget and it works, let me know immediately.


Just thinking about vacations and the process we would go through to buy a tree, bring it home, place it in water and charcoal in a bucket, secure it to the walls, and then start decorating.

It was an annual tradition. Mum, dad and I would go to Last Chance in Lyndwood and buy a Douglas fir and tie it to the car and bring it back to 210 Reynolds St.

Once Dad had secured the tree, he would place the lights on the tree – meticulously hiding the wires behind the branches and making sure they were threaded tightly around the tree. And there must be a lot of lights. Once they were all placed on the tree, Dad would plug them in to see what they looked like. Notice he had them plugged in before he placed them on the tree and naturally they all worked.

But sometimes and somehow between that initial test and their threading on the tree and the final test, some lights were off. How? ‘Or’ What? We have never been able to understand this. But it happened. Every year.

Dad would then go light by light to test each one until he found the culprit and replaced it with a good bulb. It was an extremely long and arduous process. But dad did and he always kept his cool.

Oh, what he would have done for a LightKeeperPro.

But despite the rigorous process, once the lights were on and functional, decorating the tree began. I miss those moments. I want to decorate again with these ornaments passed down over the years. And then carefully place the icicle sprigs to bring that glow to the tree. An angel would be placed on top and a Lionel train would circle a village in Plasticville with familiar names of businesses in downtown Plymouth.

And then the wrapped gifts were piled around the tree, awaiting the arrival of the Christmas visitors.

I close my eyes and see these warm decorated cookies and cold milk placed nearby for Santa on Christmas Eve.

I hear the front door open and Aunt Betty and Uncle Joe walk in – she with a 2 pound box of Whitman’s Sampler chocolates and him with a Christmas tie that lights up and the latest Polaroid camera around. from his neck.

Christmas carols are playing on the stereo and it’s snowing outside. After Christmas Eve dinner, we clean up and get ready to go to midnight mass.

Friends and family are there. We are all happy to see each other. We pray together. We hope together. We celebrate together. No more “virus”. No more division. No more hatred. It’s a better world. This is our world. The earliest would be best.

It was how everyone celebrated back then. And as similar as the process was, the end results were quite different, making each family tree their unique Christmas presentation in their homes.

How I wish I had those old ornaments. They were washed away by the Susquehanna River in 1972, along with most of our precious possessions and sentimental memories.

We had a lot of traditions back then.

Memories are to be cherished forever – those from our past and those we continue to make.

Now turn on those lights!

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