You might recall that, about a week ago, I wrote an article about why I don't get a real Christmas tree anymore. Well, my words have come back to haunt me.

The year before last, I sank some money into a very real looking fake tree and thought my decorating problems were solved. The tree breaks down into three pieces and the lights are already on it, so all you have to do is snap the tree together and connect the plugs. Easy, Peasy. Yeah, well, one thing I discovered about this tree is that the lights are the kind that if one goes out on a string, they all go out.

Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but even I know that's not a good idea. I've actually taken time to track down the offending bulb and replace it only to find that, as it turned out, there was more than one bad bulb on that string. Cue the fowl mouthed rant.

This year, as soon as I put up the tree, I noticed that one string was out and a made a mental note to set aside a day to find the offending bulb. I'll be honest with you; the tree has been up since Thanksgiving day and I haven't had the patience to track it down yet. Well, I managed to put off that chore long enough that the rest of the lights are all out.

Friday night, I looked at my tree and only the string of lights at the very top of the tree were still on and by Saturday morning even that string had bit the dust so I went out and just bought new lights.

I actually mustered the patience to take all the ornaments off the tree so I could put up the new lights. Of course, I didn't have the mind-set to take off the old lights; I just put the new one's on and left the old strings on there. It was quite a time saving move with only one minor drawback.

If you look at the tree you will see that the new lights not only light up the tree, but they also shine a spotlight on all those burned out bulbs on the tree. It's like the old lights are now featured. 'Hey look at us."

I guess this year, when I take down the tree (somewhere between Valentine's Day and next Halloween, I'll quietly take my "time saving' fake tree to the dumpster and go back to real trees in the future. Next year, I'm going to by a 10 foot tree so that by the time I trim it down enough to find in the stand properly, it will be at least 4 feet tall.