Putting up the Christmas tree

Namine helped me assemble the tree! ?

A childhood friend of mine always thought it was odd that my family never put up a real pine tree for Christmas. We always had a fake one. That’s still true today, since I have no desire to spend the entire month of December having even more allergy problems than usual.

It’s pretty silly, when you think about it: “assembling the tree.” But there’s an upside to it, even aside from having no added allergens in the apartment: as Namine gets older, taller, and stronger, she can help put together more of the tree.

Namine attempted putting the second part of the tree on while sitting on the floor, but her reach wasn’t quite long enough. Rather, it would have been except for the tree itself. So she climbed into her wheelchair and was able to reach with little problem.

I put the last third of the tree on and plugged everything together. Since we keep the lights on the tree, all I had to do was plug each segment’s lights into each other (and the bottom segment’s into the wall, of course).

Speaking of plugging in: that plug, which is usually reserved for a lamp, is a smart plug which I’ve already set up. So to turn on the Christmas tree…

On the topic of smart devices, I observed something interesting. I had expected to have to change the name of the light, since it’s just “Lamp” in Google Home. But as you can see from the above video, referring to it as “Christmas Tree” works just fine. So also do “the lamp” and “the light.”

The reason all these still work, I found, is that the smart plug is still named “Christmas Tree.” You see, it’s a third-party smart plug, which required its own app in order to set up and connect to the Google Home app. In setting it up for Christmas last year, I had renamed it “Christmas Tree” in both its app and Google Home. After Christmas, I renamed it in Google Home but not in its app. So now, Google recognizes both — it can use the original name as an alias (if one so chooses).

One further interesting thing to note. When the smart plug is only named “Christmas Tree” (in both apps), Google does not recognize it as a light. Typically you can say something like “turn off all the lights” but this didn’t work. Now that it’s named “Lamp” in Google Home, using “Christmas Tree” as an alias, it does recognize it as a light and so more generic terms still apply.

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