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Its a little late in the month, I know, but for those who still have yet to even buy their Christmas tree, here is some helpful information to get your Christmas light decorating moving along smoothly!

I have always been a worker. On the job, off the job, I’m always looking for a way to keep busy and stay productive. My wife and I moved into our beautiful ranch property not long ago, and as you can probably imagine with a ranch property, there is always another project. Christmas time is no exception, and one chore always rises to the top of the list right after Thanksgiving – Christmas lights.

Now I’ll admit that I’m personally not much of a decorator. My wife, however, loves decorating the house for Christmas, and our home always looks beautiful. I love putting up Christmas lights because it’s a chore I get to do with her, and we together get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Christmas Light Tips

As year after year passes in our new home, it seems our collection of Christmas decorations grows and our home becomes more and more festive during the holiday. And with each passing year, putting everything up becomes more and more of a task, and not an easy one at that. Here are a couple of tips I’ve picked up to make hanging your Christmas lights safe, efficient, and fun.

Do it with someone you love!

I’ll admit it – the tangled mess we pull out of the boxes each year, the burnt out bulbs, the insufficient power outlets – if it weren’t for my wife, I’d go completely out of my mind! But sharing the work with her completely transforms the event from a chore to a ritual, and I love every minute of it.

Come up with a game plan.

This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Where do we want the lights to go? What do we need to hang them up there? Where is the nearest power outlet? Do these lights still even work? Planning out the end result will go a long way in relieving the frustration of hanging a bunch of lights and realizing too late you have nowhere to plug them in!

Make safety a priority.

Don’t climb a wobbly ladder – make sure it’s on solid ground! It never hurts to have somebody holding the bottom for you as well. Check that there are no exposed wires, and that all of the lights you use are graded for exterior use. This is the worst time of year to miss because of a silly, avoidable injury. When in doubt, play it safe!

Install discreet, permanent hardware!

This tip might be a little bit controversial, but I hate those plastic shingle and gutter clips you can buy at the hardware store. I think they’re wasteful and the break easily. I installed permanent, discreet hooks along the eves of our home and painted them with leftover paint to blend in. I no longer need to worry about how my lights are going to hang – they hang in the same place every year!

Take your time cleaning up.

Nobody likes packing up holiday decorations. Besides being an unwelcome reminder that Christmas is over, it’s really such a chore. Worse than packing away the decorations, though, are trying to unpack them and finding a tangled, unbearable mess! So do it with your future self in mind. Use a large coffee can to wrap up your Christmas lights and avoid the tangles. Organize your storage so that your other decorations are stowed neat and tidy, ready for you to pull them out again in a year.

How do you decorate your home? Are your lights sleek and refined, or bright and dazzling? Whatever you do, take the opportunity to cherish the ceremony of dressing your home in the spirit of Christmas, spreading your cheer to your family and neighbors.

Skip Jankoski

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