I don’t know about you but I’m already 100% in the Christmas spirit. I know, I know. It’s still early but I can’t help it! I was able to resist when the stores began putting up their decorations. I stayed strong even when the holiday songs started playing at the mall. But as soon as people in my neighbourhood put up their Christmas lights, it hit me.
There’s something special about a street where everyone lights up their yards in the spirit of the season. And with the nice weather we’ve had (aka, no snow!) I figured more people might start putting theirs up so I was inspired to write an illuminating article (see what I did there?) on how to hang your Christmas lights safely.
Plan It Out
While it might seem fun to let sudden inspiration dictate how you decorate your yard, it’s better to draw up a plan beforehand. After all, even master artists have an idea of what they’re going to paint before they paint it. Start by taking a photo of your home with your phone. Next, head inside, have a cup of something warm and chocolaty, and spend some time imagining what your layout will be. I guarantee it’ll make the process much easier if you sketch out what’s going where before you begin.
Measure and Test
This one’s important. You don’t want to start attaching lights only to find out that what you remembered as a 40 foot string is actually only 20 feet long. Figure out what you have ahead of time so you’re not coming up short. And please, please, please test them BEFORE you go outside. How frustrating would it be to finish your masterpiece only to have it stay dark when you plug it in? Measure twice, test once. Isn’t that the saying of all professional Christmas light hangers?
Balance is Key
Instead of only focusing on your roof or one tree, spread your lights out! A nice, even smattering of illumination is far more festive than one lump of brightness in a dark yard. If you’ve already run lights along your eaves trough, consider wrapping more around windows, doors, and pillars as well. Next, focus on any bushes, tree, paths, or statues. If the top of your house is lit, add some to the bottom. If all the lights are on your house, consider moving some closer to the street to add depth. The goal is to have a nice balance.
Climbing up on a ladder while you carry the equivalent of a bunch of electric ropes when there’s potentially ice and snow out... yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster. This is the kind of job that’s best done with two people. If you are climbing a ladder, hang a bucket from the rungs with an S hook and keep your lights inside. It’s a great way to keep them out of the way as you work. Speaking of keeping things out of the way, make sure you don’t run extension cords across walking paths. Instead, try using power stakes. They’re a great way to get power outlets where you need them without having a spider’s web of cords all over your yard.
Whether you’re only hanging up a string or two or have decided to go full Clark Griswold this year, hopefully this gave you a decent little primer on how to safely light your yard. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
And if you’ve been thinking you need a bigger or smaller home to hang your lights on, get in touch with me! I’d be happy to help you find a new home for the holidays. Who knows? I might even help you with your lights.