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Christmas Decor

6 Tips for Beautiful Outdoor Christmas Lighting
It has always struck me as ironic that though Christmas occurs during one of the coldest times of year, our Christmas memories seem to be some of the warmest we feel all year round. Light plays a particularly important part in Christmas décor: candles around the home, lights on the tree, and of course, the outdoor lights that make homes so dazzling.

 

gingerbread ornaments
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Hundreds of years ago, candles were a necessity—but that didn’t keep our ancestors from understanding the importance candles can have in bestowing mood and emotion. In those days, as today, Christmas décor would be far less enlightening if not for the lightening affect of candles. Those older trees with branches full of dazzling candles were a tradition that amazed both young and old. Even the first electrical Christmas tree lights (introduced in 1901) did their best to mimic the early twinkle of candles.

Decorating the exterior of the house in Christmas lights is a relatively new tradition on Christmas décor. This tradition didn’t become popular until the late 1940’s, when electricity became cheaper. At first, Outdoor Christmas lighting was limited to department stores or City Hall, but soon the tradition moved to private homes. Today the process of decorating the outside of the home with Christmas lights is a way of bringing the neighbourhood together, and bringing everyone in to celebrate the spirit of the season—just through your choice in décor.

 

Of course, the fashion for these exterior lights seem to change over the years. In certain decades, brightly lit Santas or reindeer silhouettes are the most popular choice. In other years, the taste turns to monochromatic lights with tiny bulbs, which becomes replaced with thick, large rainbow colored bulbs a few years later. But all of these trends in Christmas décor can’t change the fact that no matter what lights are in fashion, the results are always stunning.

 

Before you begin any outdoor lighting project, there are some tips you may want to follow to make sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Test all lights
I’m sure most of us recall the scene in “Christmas Vacation” where Chevy Chase wastes an entire day checking every bulb on his house—after he’s strung them up—only to discover that the lights weren’t lighting because he hadn’t turned them on. Well, when you’re doing outdoor Christmas décor, you can save a lot of time by inspecting your lights BEFORE you hang them up. This way, if a strand has shorted, or a bulb has burned out, you can easily fix the problem while the lights are still on the ground.

2. Make a Plan
Outdoor lighting is a bit like exterior designing. You don’t wand to get up on a ladder and start randomly stapling your lights to the roof—the results will look tragic. Keep your outdoor Christmas décor clean and tasteful by planning where your lights will go, and how they will be plugged in.

3. Plug In
If your lights are already plugged in when you’re working, it’s easier for you to see the effect you’re creating with your Christmas décor. Don’t worry, these are safety lights, so there’s no chance that you will be in danger by working with them plugged into an electrical source.

4. Watch for Blown Fuses
Some strands of light can only handle being connected to one other strand before they begin to overload their fuses. Others can be plugged into long strands of 5 or 6. No matter what, check the packaging to see how many strands of lights can be strung together to ensure you don’t blow a fuse.

6. Outdoor Christmas Décor needs Outdoor Materials
Save yourself the trouble of shorts, outages, and fire hazards by using lights and extension cords designed specifically for outdoor use.