December 13th, 2011
09:34 PM ET

Letters to the President #1058: 'Hanging the wreath'

Reporter's Note: Every day I send a letter to the president. Every day I receive no reply. Perhaps one day this will change. Then again, perhaps the earth will start spinning the other way. You never know.

Dear Mr. President,

This has nothing to do with politics, but it tied me up a bit early today and I thought you might find it interesting, or at least as interesting as anything Biden was bothering you with today. Ha!

I think I’ve told you before about the wreath that we hang from the topmost point of our home each Christmas. The window it surrounds is a decorative, tiny one that inside opens upon nothing but roof joists and a remarkably cramped little opening which is the only way to reach it. Each year, when it is wreath hanging time, I shimmy through that little tunnel, haul the wreath up from the ground with a cord, and secure it to a pair of hooks I mounted in the wall years ago.

Here is the issue: The wreath is heavy. Really heavy. And like most Christmas decorations involving lights, each year it loses some of its original twinklers and they have to be replaced. But since the original lights are embedded in the plastic greenery, the quickest, most effective replacement technique has involved wrapping the new strands of lights over the old.

Simple, right?

Not so fast. What this practice has done over the years is substantially, and steadily make the wreath even heavier. It is now, I am guessing, tipping the scales at around 30 pounds. And while that is hardly enough to breakdown a pickup truck, it is a lot of weight to maneuver when balanced on ceiling beams, reaching through a porthole of a window, and trying to make a Christmas decoration secure on a pair of unseen hooks. There is probably some sort of lesson in all this, if only I could figure out it out.

Anyway, this year we put the task off for a good month, but finally got it done this morning. Wish you’d been there to help.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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