Holiday Decorating Made Easy with Gadget Girly

By Julia Dorsett
mobileWOMEN contributor, Julia Dorsett
Where did the year go? It is true what your parents said to you as a bored child, "Wait until you get older and time will fly."  It is so funny, but yes, they were right!  So as I prepare for the holidays, I am constantly reminded how much longer it takes to do everything as a wheelchair user.  I'm not complaining, I enjoy doing all that I can by myself, so yes it may take longer, but the immense sense of accomplishment I feel when it is finished is so worth the struggle.  As a single gal, I don't have the luxury to ask for help when it comes to my household duties, including managing my holiday decor. That is why I'm always looking for gadgets to help me splash the Christmas spirit throughout my house with less complication.  

My latest discoveries are flameless candles. I am obsessed, to the point where a friend compared my house to a funeral parlor.  Okay, well that wasn't very nice and I have to admit I do have a lot of them scattered throughout my house, but I think they look beautiful.  If you are not familiar with these fantastic little accents, let me enlighten you.

There are several options out there.  I prefer the candles that have short black wicks that look more realistic when not on.  Then there are the ones that have clear flames that actually move when on, creating a flicker effect, but look less real when not on.  All of them are covered with real wax and look like a real flame candle.  When on, they emulate a lit candle by realistically flickering as a wick would.  The best feature of the these candles, aside from the safely aspect, is the timer.  Each candle comes with a built-in timer that allows the user to pick the time when the candle goes on, by merely pressing a button on the bottom of the candle.  The candle will then come on at the same time every night and "burn" for 5 hours.  This is a great help when the candle may be in a hard-to-reach spot or you have so many of them that it's nice to have to not worry about "lighting" them all, each snowy night.

Now as amazing as the timers are, I found candles that have a remote control.  This is the most ingenious invention so far.  I can zip around the house turning on my candles without actually having to touch them.  Since I am the Gadget Girly, I do like gadgets, so what's another remote for me, but honestly, even the non remote candles are just as effortless.

Now let's talk Christmas Tree lights. I set up my little tree and, like most, plug the lights in behind the tree, past the branches and ornaments.  We all know the struggle to reach said lights and that is why my next gadget makes turning on the Christmas Cheer so easy.  It is the remote controlled Clapper. Long gone are the days of the little old lady clapping in her bed to turn off her lights.  These brilliant little devices not only have a remote, but have two outlets allowing you to plug in not one, but two items.  The secret is the double clap.  To turn on one plug you single clap, to turn on the other plug you double clap; so simple. And the remote that comes with the plug can be used if clapping is not possible.  I have used these in multiple rooms in my house and have had great success, so they are the gift that keeps on giving, long after the holidays.  

The Clapper Plus is found at most drug stores and online. The candles are everywhere as well. I found my remote candles at Costco and the timed candles from Pottery Barn and Amazon.  I hope these tips help you with your quest to make the house beautiful and merry for the Holiday Season. 

Peace and Love,
Gadget Girly

Julia Stockton Dorsett always fancied herself a right brain thinker and then the sports bug bit her. After competing in the 2004 Paralympics in wheelchair tennis Julia went on to do two sailing campaigns. Now semi-retired from sports she wants to work on her slightly atrophied right brain and get back to writing! How is she doing? :-)
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