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There are few things more frustrating this time of year in Minnesota than when your Christmas lights-- that had been working fine-- suddenly stop working, right?

Outside Christmas decorations and holiday lights are great-- until they stop working.

It happened to me earlier this week. Our the Christmas lights I put up outside the front of our house and garage were mysteriously not working. Every string was out, just like that. And, they'd just been working fine earlier that same day too.

I went out and checked the outside outlet, thinking maybe an extension cord was unplugged. But wasn't just the lights that weren't working, the entire outlet was dead. Like you'd flipped off a switch. Except, of course, that outlet doesn't HAVE a switch.

And, of course, not being an electrician or even knowing much about how our house is wired, I was stumped. It seemed like it must be a fairly basic fix, so I headed to the Google.

Why our lights weren't working was a fairly simple fix.

Turns out, it WAS a fairly simple fix. But it took me about 45 minutes-- minutes I won't get back, mind you-- to figure it out. So just in case YOUR holiday lights happen to stop working here in Minnesota, here's a handy holiday life hack to save yourself some time.


It turns out it was all because of a GFCI.

It was all because of a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that had been tripped. Wait, what's that?!? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a GFCI is an electrical device built into your home's wiring that is designed to prevent electrocutions and electrical fires.

Here's what it is, and how to get your lights to work again. Plus, keep scrolling to check out some VINTAGE Christmas lights, the kind our parents used to put up when we were kids!

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