What Not To Do When Hanging Up Christmas Lights

Here we go folks, a blog post from experience. Lots and lots of experience. I am talking, expert levels of experience.. in doing Christmas lights all wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I go all out for the holidays. Massive levels of holiday cheer, here. But I am also disorganized, impatient and a HUGE procrastinator. And as such, I have pretty much mastered the art of What Not To Do When Hanging Up Christmas Lights. Check out my sage and tried and true advice below!

Don’t Wait Till A Week or Two Before Christmas to Hang the Lights

One of my biggest pet peeves – and I mean BIGGEST – are houses decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving or after New Years Day. Seriously, any Christmas décor prior to or after these dates should be a hanging offence. (I would be a fair and just ruler. The peasants shall rejoice with me in charge.)
So with such a slim window for Christmas lights, it only makes sense to, ya know, NOT wait till the very last minute to decorate for the season. Hours and hours of work on the house, just to take it down a few weeks later? LAME!
We did this last year. I vowed we would not do this again this year. Did I succeed? Well, no. But its only two weeks and two days till Christmas, so technically I *have* improved. At this rate we will have a timely decorated house by the time I am 50.

Don’t Store Christmas Lights by Wadding Them Up and Throwing Them in Storage

This has been me. Every year. It drives my husband nuts and I don’t blame him one bit. It drives ME nuts! But I have to keep doing it now because, well, tradition.
See this photo? This is an actual Christmas storage bin filled with actual Christmas décor and lights, as it was when I opened it. Aint it lovely?


So this. Don’t do it. Just don’t. It takes five annoying minutes to wind up this little boogers post-holidays, but it beats the 30 plus minute it takes to untangle them when you are belatedly decorating your house two weeks before Christmas..

Don’t Hang Up Lights Without a Plan

So I had this awesome plan to hang those pretty icicle strands of twinkle lights all along the branches of a very tall tree, that none of our ladders really reached up to. So I had the husband (bless his patient heart) shimmy up our ladder, up onto the roof, and then up even higher onto a limb on the tree that barely reached the branches I wanted decorated. Oh, and did I mention he has a healthy fear of heights??
So there he is, precariously perched on a limb on the tree, and then I advised the husband to decorate the limbs, or something. Any way he could. No real plan in mind. So the decorations pretty much consisted of throwing strands of tangles icicle twinkle lights all of the place. A couple hours, and a blob of twinkly lights later, and we decided the lights need to come down because.. well, it was ugly as butt.
So before you risk falling off a house for some Christmas cheer, be sure you know what you want, where you want it, how its going to get (and stay there) and all that jazz.


Don’t Hang Up Lights and THEN Check For Broken Strands

Okay, in our defense, were usually good on this point. I mean, who DOESN’T want to eagerly plug in twinkly lights for sparkly glowing selfies?
But this year, in an attempt to get the lights up before the babies ate them, we did a quick plug in, without really LOOKING at them, and once the lights were up (including those pesky ugly tree branch fail lights) we realized.. huge portions of the lights were out. Im not talking a few lights here and there.. I mean, huge lengths of lights.
So, so, SO much fail. Spending time out in the cold and bossing your husband around asking him to defy gravity while pacifying two crying babies just to find out that your poorly thought out light display is half defective? Just, no. We packed it all up and took it back in the house so we could leisurely look and inspect the lights the RIGHT way.. with our little ones doing all the hard work, of course.

So there you have it. A highly researched, scientific analysis of what not to this holiday season, brought to you by a Christmas Fail Expert. YOUR WELCOME. And Merry Christmas! <3

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

38 thoughts on “What Not To Do When Hanging Up Christmas Lights

  • 10 December, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I used to have the whole house decorated within the weekend after Thanksgiving. The last two years I’ve really fallen behind. BUT I have always kept my stuff up till Jan. 6th…that’s 12th Night. So…if/when I do get around to decorating, I’ve got a few more days to enjoy!

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      My goal for the past two years has been to decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.. but man is it impossible these days!!

  • 10 December, 2015 at 11:19 am

    There might be a reason, where I as your husband, simply say, “Nope. Hire it done.” I’m just sayin’. We do lights on the tree but not outside. Indiana. January take down. Freeze my butt and you-know-what off? Nope ain’t going to happen.

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      I am seriously looking into buying those laser projector lights.. the thought of plugging in a light and being good to go sounds soooo nice…

  • 10 December, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I think we all learn these lessons the hard way. I’ve definitely hung up lights without checking the strand — ARGH!!!! My husband and I joke that it might just be better to get new lights each year. Except for that pesky budget issue:)

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Haha, hubby and I have had this discussion ourselves!!

  • 10 December, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Such a lovely Christmas post with handy tips, dear! I usually hang mine a month before. Err….. too early perhaps?? Hahaha! xoxo

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Eh, Ill give you a pass because youre sweet, hehe..

  • 10 December, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Gingi! This post just got me laughing ~ I mostly agree with you. I’m a total light freak so I’m never happy unless I have a gizzillion lights on my tree, I mean, like 20 strands! Having said that, I am able to fully support those who keep Christmas decor up to the end of January. That’s January, not July!

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Id probably be less stressed out if I lightened up on my strict Christmas lights timeline, haha..

  • 10 December, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Hahaha! So we checked and double checked out lights this year, only to put them on a cactus and have them not work! You just can’t make this stuff up….

    • 10 December, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      A cactus.. but.. ummm…. whyyyyy?? lol!!

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Thats usually us! We put just ONE strand on the tree this year because I expect it wont last long with cats and toddlers.. haha..

  • 10 December, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I totally love the holidays but I never decorate with lights other than on the tree… lol… I am afraid of heights too. When I started decorating the tree this year, I realized I hadn’t checked the lights first, thankfully they all worked… that would have ticked me off royally if they weren’t… anyhow, I am learning lessons as I go, even putting those lights away correctly, it only took me many years to learn… haha 🙂 xox

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Yeah, we felt SO defeated when we saw the lights werent working!! Soooooo disheartening after all the hard work!!

  • 10 December, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    It’s not very common in Estonia to decorate your entire house with lights etc for Christmas. Some people do it, but not very many. We do get city sponsored lights on most main streets and in the old town though.
    I quite like Christmas lights and my mom always put some on our house in winter (well she still does), but now I live in an apartment building and that doesn’t get decorated. I do however have a set of Christmas lights decorating my kitchen and my living room window all year round 😛 People think I’m odd for it, but I simply love the colour and warmth it gives my apartment 🙂

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      I just told my husband that I want to keep the twinkle lights up outside of our kitchen window because I LOVE seeing the twinkly lights when I get up early in the morning to make my coffee! hehe!

    • 11 December, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      You too dear!! <3

    • 11 December, 2015 at 9:30 pm


  • 10 December, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Totally cheated this year and got laser Christmas lights, ha ha.

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      I want to get laser lights sooooo bad!!!!! What brand did you get? Do they work okay??

      • 15 December, 2015 at 12:55 am

        I’m can’t find the box, so I’m not sure of the brand, but we got them at Home Depot. We have two outside the house, but I think we need one more. They do look really cool 🙂

  • 11 December, 2015 at 5:09 am

    LOL I hope you got your decorations up eventually. It sounds really stressful!

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      STILL working on it as of today! haha

  • 11 December, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Great tips. Thankfully we have a garage but no car so our ‘tree’ gets stored with the lights still on it though we do take the decorations off.

    • 11 December, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Thats brilliant!!!

  • 11 December, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    That is one awesome post! I heard so many stories about accidents happening just because people didn’t know how to hang up Christmas light properly!

    • 11 December, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Yeah.. that might just be me in a couple of minutes.. gonna try to take down some fail lights in a bit, haha…

  • 11 December, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Sweet, sweet photos of your precious little ones, friend! And I’m loving 2 pre-lit trees … and NO MORE ENDLESS STRANDS OF LIGHTS!

    Merry Christmas!

    • 12 December, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Awww, thank you! I am so in love with these photos, I took sooooo many of them playing with the lights!

  • 12 December, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    haha, we only do them inside because no one sees our house anyway but Cassidy will agree there’s a science to it. We usually do it a day or two after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day or so.

    • 15 December, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      See? You got the timeline down! You can stay…

  • 14 December, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Such a lovely post – and your girls are gorgeous.

    All the best Jan

    • 15 December, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Awwww, thank you Jan! <3

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