Oh my….. the mere mention of Christmas lights last week sent some of you into pre-Christmas spasms! Although most of the stories were hilarious, there was definitely an underlying grrrrrr about the light thing……So, Christmas decoration tip #2 is all about “Surviving Tree Lights”.
As well as needing about 100 lights for every foot of your tree's height, you also need a bit planning and a good dose of patience- (yes Ann- don’t try and do this at 6pm when guests are arriving at 6.30pm!). So- in no real order, but definitely saving the best idea for last....
DO: Switch the lights on BEFORE you put them onto the tree. You can see where you’ve missed and where you’ve put too many.
DO: Buy white lights that are the same “colour”. Learn from my mistake! A quick spritz with gold paint will transform BRIGHT WHITE LEDs to WARM WHITE. I’ve heard that you can paint them with nail polish too- Really????? If I get time to “nail-polish” anything it’ll definitely be my toes not my lights, but to each their own!
DO: Put the lights on the tree first- Not AFTER you’ve hung the deccies.
DO: Wrap the branches with the light string, don’t “maypole” up the trunk or from branch tip to branch tip. The whole tree glows and you can’t see the strands of lights so much.
DO: Use the light string as its own fastener. If your light cable has twisted strands, just separate them and slip the loop over a branchlet near the trunk. Pull the string taut out to the end of the branch, then work back towards the trunk, wrapping the cable over and over the branch. Separate the cord again by the trunk, pop the loop over the branchlet , then carry it over to the next branch….. and so on and on and on…. No loop? just twist a branchlet over the light strand to hold in place. Want subdued lighting? - do this every 2nd or 3rd branch- Want the tree to be seen from outer space??- do this for every branch. Wine definitely helps make this process into a party!
DO: Occasionally step back from the tree and look at it with your eyes crossed, or squint until the tree is blurry. Wherever you see dark holes on the tree, rearrange the lights as necessary to fill in. The wine helps with this too!
DO: Add the lights as you assemble your tree (sorry “real” tree lovers- this one’s not for you!). Install the largest section/bottom row of branches, ADD LIGHTS; attach the next section/row ADD LIGHTS and so on. If my tree is going into a corner, I only light the “front”- I don’t waste precious lights on a part of the tree no-one will see!
BEST TIP EVER!
DO: Consider leaving the lights on the tree permanently. You can do this if you have one of those artificial trees that comes in sections with branches that open like umbrellas…….. (sorry everyone else!). Just be sure to light each section with a separate string of lights! This works great for the bottom two sections of my tree- I take the lights off the top (smallest section) when I pack away.
All of this still too much? OK- then you have our total approval to just ball up the lights and put them into a bowl (possibly with some baubles)! I love stuff in bowls! One day we may chat about my bowl thing in a bit more detail…..
Enough about the lights!……Check out the pics of two of the wreaths we made this weekend…….. the front door will look pretty spiffy this year!
See you next week.