Every year, I write about patents that have to do with Christmas. Here are a few I have found, some of which were issued in 2023 and others of which are older.

Design patent D990,096 is a rather strange patent entitled “Elf Hand.”  The design looks like a prickly glove with four claws on the end of a round dowel. It is not very appealing. The listed prior art includes a backscratcher, so maybe that is what this is for.

U.S. patent no. 11,700,963, “Collapsible Free Standing Stocking,” is exactly what it says, although it really looks like a soft boot. The patent states that its advantages are that the stocking cannot catch on fire as it won’t be hung above a fireplace; it won’t be used with a stocking holder that could fall on someone’s head; and it doesn’t require screws or hooks to attach to the mantle. The stocking is weighted inside to keep it standing up, and it’s also collapsible for storage. I think I’d rather stick with the traditional stockings and deal with the problems the inventor identifies. I have not yet had a stocking catch on fire or a stocking holder fall on anyone’s head.

U.S. patent no. 9,883,762, “Tree Skate,” is for a round tray that you put your Christmas tree (in its stand) on. The tray has a long handle so that a person can use the tray to slide the tree and stand across the room or rotate the tree to decorate it. The patent states that the tray acts as a substitute for tree stands with wheels (which the inventor acknowledges are impractical for several reasons). In my view, however, this tray looks like it would only work with a small, light tree, not anything over about 5 feet.

U.S. patent no. 6,773, 134, “Illuminated Artificial Tree” is for a wire mash (like chicken wire) artificial tree with lights that do not have to be removed when the tree is folded up and stored and then put back on when the tree is being set up again. The tree is made up of triangular panels that have lights attached and looped such that when the panels are unfolded to create the tree, the lights wrap around the tree. This invention is intended to address the problem of removing the lights when the tree is taken down and having to put them back on again the next time the tree is used.

I understand that some people want to simplify the process of stringing lights on the tree and even the process of finding a Christmas tree, so they choose artificial trees with lights already attached. I’m just not one of those people. I view getting a Christmas tree(s) and putting the lights on as a Christmas ritual, one of many Christmas rituals I enjoy.

I always get fresh trees, and usually, a group of three, ranging from about 5 feet to 10 feet tall. (I used to get a single 19-foot tree because I have a 23-foot ceiling, but trees that tall are very heavy and hard to handle). This year, I got four fresh trees:  the usual group of three and another one that stands by itself. Stringing the lights takes a while, but I like doing it. The only part I do NOT like is testing the lights and finding out that some do not work, which happens every year and is very frustrating. I have a lot of lights, but every year, I have to buy more as the lights fail over time. (And, sometimes, they even fail by the following year.)

I have all kinds and colors of lights. This year, one tree is multicolor, one is blue, one is white (actually, the warm gold color), and the newest idea for the fourth tree is red, green, and white lights. They are all very beautiful, so despite the frustration, it’s worth it every year.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the holidays with family, friends, whatever type of tree you get, and whatever holiday rituals you enjoy!