My hands are sore on account of my Depression-era parents. Last year I purchased a long string of LED Christmas lights which by the end of the decoration season, needed 4 wire repairs before I put them away. Today, they wouldn't light at all. Ryan and I checked all the repairs and plugged another string into the far end which showed that juice was flowing if photons weren't. After checking the fuses and sanding the ends, I gave up and decided to pull off all the colorful globes that cover the actual LEDs and make some other recycled decoration out of them. You know what happened next of course- the string lit up just fine, at least for half its length. Wiggling other LEDs in the dark section identified the culprit. There was a spare bulb taped to the plug, so the string leapt to holiday cheeriness once again, Seamus the cat leaping and grabbing right along with them. This repair then necessitated replacing the 75 or so globes I'd pried off. By the time that was finished, fingers and wrists were not happy.
If not for my parents' fix-it-or-do-without-approach, I would've heaved the mess into the trash. Now I have the satisfaction of knowing I can look forward to more broken wires, faulty lights and hours of tinkering.
All of this effort had the purpose of talking shit back to the holiday blues. With family and personal struggles and seasonal distress, the happy lights and decorations I see while out driving just make me feel blacker and bluer inside. What helps is to curate my own collection of gaudy and silly decorations and hang them from trees and shrubs outside. It works.