Have you ever wanted to decorate your home for Christmas but didn’t know quite how to go about doing it? Many people just jump right in decorating their homes turning them into airfields like the Griswalds did in Christmas Vacation. There are a few houses in our neighborhood that are usually lit up like this before Thanksgiving. One house even has a sign by the walkway with “The Griswalds” on it.
A really good way to start illuminating your home for Christmas is to determine what your budget looks like and what you can afford. Hobbly Lobby has lights at 50% off up through Christmas, and will raise that percent starting the day after for next year’s decorations. Dollar General, Family Dollar, Everything’s a Dollar and a few other stores have lights at reasonable prices, too.
Unfortunately, none of these stores sell the fancier lights you may see lit up at Christmas time such as blanket lights, runner lights, etc. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Sears will more than likely have the other types of lights. You will need to get them as soon as possible or they will be out before you know it.
You may just want to light up just the front of your house on the eaves, therefore, make sure you do not have more than three strands of lights connected together. There have been many electrical fires in homes because people did not heed the warning on how many strands of lights can be connected together. You will also be saving yourself the headache if you get a power surge strip to protect your home.
Many people still use staple guns to put up their lights. This can lead to possibly stapling through the electrical wiring. There are shingle eave clips that will lock in place and keep your lights up. There are also tack clips you can hammer into the underside of your eave if that is where you choose to hang them from.
Measure the distance of the lights from one another before you start hammering them into the eave. This way you can measure where to place them without having too much slack between the lights. Tape up the plug-ins with electrical tape to keep moisture from getting to them.
Runner lights look really great along the sides of sidewalks, but if they aren’t long enough it can be a pain to hide the excess insulated wiring without looking so tacky. One good method is to use green colored pcv tubing to slide them into. The continual appearance of lighting will look undisturbed at night.
Having electrical outlets professionally installed on eaves and nearby bushes and trees will also keep the yard tidy of cords draping across them. This will make it so much easier plugging up those pesky lights after you untangle them the following year.
Do use a ladder to reach high places. Swivel chairs are a hazard to anyone. Just ask those who have fallen from them. Should you choose to light up your windows, do so from the inside. This will lessen the possibility of overloading your exterior outlets.
Tape on bricks or mortar will not hold up long even if it is duct tape. There are mortar clips to keep the lights in place.
Blanket lights should be installed during the daytime to prevent tripping over unknown things in the yard. If you need help draping them over your bushes ask for help.
Drawing out a light design of what you want to do will help bring you back to the financial perspective before you go out spending Christmas gift money on those lights. Remember that you can always add more in the years to come. It does not have to all be done in one year.