Use your sock needle to poke the plastic tab on a zip tie to release the tie without cutting it! Advantage 1: don’t need to rummage through the toolbox for the sturdy yet slender clippers, whereas sock needles are always lying around nearby. Advantage 2: don’t need to try to weasel the tip of said clippers into that tiny gap without damaging the lights’ cables. Advantage 3: can re-use the tie when it’s time to put the lights away again.

Sock needle to the rescue

Yes, for the first time in 3 years I’m actually hanging lights. I also got out O, Plastic Tree and even the Weihnachtspyramide, on which I’ve lit the candles so the wise men are racing in clockwise formation.

Note to self: do not walk away from the Weihnachtspyramide while the candles are lit even if it’s in sight. I had just finished the previous paragraph when I heard a crackling noise, looked over toward the table and saw one of the candles had gone berserk. Ran over and put it out. All is well; however, now the windows need to be open so my smoke alarms don’t go off. Brrr. The wise men will live to rotate another day.