I've realised I'm on a hiding to nothing with this 12 days of Christmas theme. I can't quite manage actually matching the things in the songs and if it wasn't for guest posts, I would be struggling. Someone suggested a turducken for today's post, but I'm not eating that much meat for my blog. So, not four calling birds, but some Christmas tree lights.
Price: about £4.99 I think (I had a mental budget I wouldn't go over)
Score (out of 5): 5
Review: this isn't the best review, I'll confess. I bought these a couple of years ago and was hoping they'd turn up in the Thursday special aisle this year, but so far, nothing.
I was just after a string of cheap, white Christmas fairy lights. My local "niche retailers" (Poundland and Poundstretcher) either had nothing, or multi-coloured things that played tinny music. I thought I'd go with these as it was better than nothing and they were cheap.
If you look closely at the tree, you'll see what they're like - 20 fake white plastic candles, with LED bulbs on top and green plastic clips that the green wire goes through and that clip onto the branches. I feared the worst - that the transformer would look like it would burn my house down the moment I looked away; or that the LEDs would flicker like the fake candles you get in Catholic churches.
But they're actually really good. I think they look quite smart. I think my partner thinks they look naff. With a very well decorated tree, with the room lights off, then they actually work really well. What I particularly like is the clips make it very easy to direct the light in the right direction. It's quite easy with the traditional fairy lights to end up with them all pointing inwards or downwards, whereas these are bright and illuminate the decorations wonderfully.
I'd always thought the German tradition of putting real candles on your Christmas tree was a tad dangerous - essentially as the tree dries out you're creating a fire hazard - Christmas tree en flambe. Last Christmas at a German friend's housewarming I got to see what all the fuss is about. And I realised our little cheap Lidl lights are quite a good ersatz version of the real thing.
Oh, and I got to try German fire punch for the first time: