As much as you may love Christmas, not everyone has either the time, or budget, to decorate every square foot of their house with Holiday Lights (Christmas lighting).
Some Holiday light displays are so intricate that the owners start decorating as early as October! But let’s be realistic, most of us have a hard enough time getting out the extension ladder once a year (ok twice, after all the lights do have to come down eventually) to hang a few strands of outdoor Christmas lights along the eaves of your house. I know that growing up, outdoor Christmas lighting meant just one thing, large multi-colored glass bulbs hung along the gutters. Today’s Christmas lighting is very different with not only multi-colored lights, and white lights, but lights that twinkle, change color (and are coordinated with pre-recorded Christmas music), lighted reindeer, Santa and his sleigh, snowmen and many other outdoor lawn displays – all of which bathe your home in a Holiday glow.
I like to keep things simple, so my outdoor Christmas lights are the small (non-blinking) white icicle lights. Insane electric bills aside. I try to light up every single tree, bush and shrub on my property, (net style lights make this fairly easy) and since the Douglas Fir is still growing. I need to buy a new strand or two every year.
But that’s just me, and that’s what makes decorating for Christmas so great. Walk (or drive) down any street in suburbia. You’ll find as many different colors of lights (including white, red, blue, yellow, green, and multi-colored) as there are ways to arrange them.
However, when decorating outdoors, keep a few simple safety tips in mind:
- Use lights that are rated as Indoor/Outdoor only.
- Check to make sure your lights work (and replace any non-working bulbs) before you put them up (especially on your roof)
- Use multiple extension cords and outlets to prevent overloading and blown fuses
- Use light hooks when hanging light strands from gutters, and eaves.
- Do not run wires across walkways where they will be stepped on and frayed.
As difficult as it may sometimes be to resist the urge to have the biggest and brightest outdoor Christmas lighting projectors display in your neighborhood. In the end, your decorations should reflect who you are. And setting everything up should be fun for the family, not a chore. Young kids expecially love to help decorate even if it takes them an hour to put up a single strand of lights, their sense of accomplishent is priceless. So buy what you like, and decorate to make yourself (and your family) happy, and you’ll always have a Merry Christmas.