November 29th, 2009
07:49 AM ET

Dear President Obama #314: The burden is the lights

Reporter's Note: President Obama, I’m pretty sure, does not have to help decorate the White House for Christmas. Yet another advantage he has over most of the rest of us.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, I told you last week that I was going to get all the Christmas lights up at our house over this weekend, and I must sadly report that it has been a mess. Last year I cut through giant, Gordian knots of wires, haunted by the ghosts of many Christmases past, to separate all of the working strands from those countless others that suffered from a variety of maladies. Some lit up along the wire near the plug, some in the middle, some at the far end. Some inexplicably came on, then went off, then four minutes later blinked furiously. Some simply sat there, dark and mysterious, like a girlfriend I once had when she descended into a foul mood. And a few did what they were supposed to do: They glowed cheerily as soon as I plugged them in, and they stayed that way.

So I gently put aside these “nice” strands; gathered up all of the naughty ones, and threw them into the trash. Finally, I thought, my Christmas lighting display woes will be at an end. I put up the winners; the house looked magnificent; and I carefully took them all down after Christmas and packed them away. So you can imagine my consternation when I pulled them out this weekend to find, once again, about half of them are not working! Arghhh!