Deck the Halls

Imagine your yard the envy of your neighbors. You’ve spent hours decorating and you want everyone to enjoy the beauty that you have created. You want them to feel the Spirit of Christmas as they gaze upon your Winter Wonderland.

Spend some time looking at your yard and draw a sketch. You want to have a good plan to determine where your are going to string your lights.

If this is your first time decorating, start out small. Your door, windows, porch, a few trees or bushes make for a good focal points. Each year as you become more confident, branch out.

The week following Thanksgiving is a good time to put up your decorations. This allows for one holiday to end, and the next to begin. It also gives you time to wrap the gifts you bought on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, you will want them up at least a week before Christmas.

Here are some tips to make your decorating easier.

1) Stay safe. Make sure you are using outdoor lights. A sturdy ladder will help with the hard to reach places.

2) Hooks and clips save your exterior and make for easy installation and removal. You can purchase shingle tabs or parapet clips at any hardware store.

3) Don’t overload your sockets. Use extension cords with multiple plugs to help distribute the power usage.

4) Important —– Check the light strands to make sure they light up. Having to take down a

strand after you plug in, is sometimes difficult.

5) If you are decorating a tree, bush or pole, start from the bottom and work your way in a spiral motion up. For evergreens, start at the top and work your way down.

6) Get a timer. Set it to start at dusk and opt for the 6 hour shut off time.

Staying safe, using the proper equipment, making sure the lights work, and decorating to your abilities will make your holiday more enjoyable.

Here is one final tip, and probably the most important: HAVE FUN.

When everyone helping has fun, hopefully you will start a tradition that your family will continue for generations.Image,

Tacky or Subtle?

I have decided to write for holiday decorating companies. The companies that decorate the streets, a company, or the outside of a neighbor’s home. 

Like most people, I enjoy a beautifully decorated home during the holidays. I like when neighborhoods have decoration wars. 

The other day, I watched a show where they judged “The Tacky Lights Tour”. I can understand why it was called tacky. 

In my last post, I stated “Go Big”. That the less is more does not apply. After seeing some of these homes, I can say, I was wrong. 

Although, when I said “Go Big”, I meant with style. Some of these homes had no structure to their decoration. It truly was tacky. They had 4 or 5 themes going all at once. 

There was too much for the eye to process. You could spend hours looking and still not see everything these people had up around their homes. 

There were too many color schemes. The lights were everywhere. And in too many colors. Some blinking, some cascading. White mixed with color. It was an epileptic seizure waiting to happen. 

Frosty and Santa having cookies, milk, and carrots with Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. The elves were wrapping the gifts from the Three Wise Men. And dancing penguins? 

In my opinion, the tackiest thing of all, those inflatable decorations. Most of the characters they have as these inflatable things, have nothing to do with Christmas. Its just some companies way of making money off of us during this time of year. 

Personally, my decorations are subtle and powerful. I am an old fashion decorator. Only lights, garland, and wreaths. 

I am not Clark Griswald, but I do put up a lot of lights. After all, the Festival of Lights is going on. 

There is one ornament I put in my yard that is not there year round. A few years ago, I picked up an old style street post. The bulb inside resembles a candle and even flickers like one. It fits the theme I use every year. 

I was decorating for Halloween when I realized I wanted to help companies that decorated houses with their businesses. There are only 2 other people on my street that decorate for Halloween and while I was putting mine up, I thought how great it would be if neighborhoods started to compete for best Halloween decorations. 

I have read, decorating for Halloween is becoming just as big as decorating for Christmas. Soon it will be for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and the Fourth of July too. This is why I want to write for these companies. Grab the market early.