Unlike getting in line during 11.11 sale, there’s no need to rush when it comes to putting up your Christmas lights.
In fact, some careful planning and a slower execution can make all the difference to the end product, leaving you with a simply stellar Christmas tree that shouts “Merry Christmas”!
So put on your favourite Christmas song and start working!
1. Select a colour that teams with the theme
Warm white, cool white, or multicolour; this is the decision you need to make before you even hit the store.
Warm white Christmas lights go well with pared-back, simple schemes, or a tree adorned with white, gold or blonde timber decorations.
Cool white lights team wonderfully with a blue and silver situation (very Frozen!).
And the multicoloured ones are for you rebels who break all the rules and have a crazy, anything-goes theme. I like your style!
2. Plug them in for a bulb-test
Trust me, if you spend a good 30 minutes winding those lights around the tree and then discover an entire chain on them doesn’t work, you will want to pull a Britney Spears 2007 breakdown, shave your head and vandalise a car with an umbrella.
Plug everything in for a good road test first.
Read more: 4 minimalist Christmas tree decorating ideas
3. Ensure you have enough lights
There’s nothing sadder than a big tree with a few measly lights on it. Allocate at least 600 lights for a tree with a height around 180cm.
If you want the whole neighbourhood to know you’re doing Christmas right, apply more.
4. Start from the bottom up, and go random
The common rookie error is to start at the top and wrap the lights around the tree in a circular motion.
The expert way to make the tree look amazing is to start at the bottom. Do go in a circular motion but wrap randomly around branches. Wrap some lights on the edge, then go deeper toward the tree stump as you work your way up.
It’s a circular motion, but zig-zagging in and out until you get to the top.
5. Always do the lights before the ornaments
The tree is your base. The lights are your middle level. The decorations are the icing on the Christmas cake.
If you do decorations first and then try to work lights into the mix, it’s like trying to do algebra with one eye closed and no calculator. You’re just asking for a hot mess to ensue.
6. Use wire to hold the lights in place
Wire is your secret weapon. It can keep lights more carefully clasped to tree branches, so you don’t see all the droopy wires everywhere. Save that mess for the cords behind your TV set!
Florist wire is available from places like Spotlight and comes in a gorgeous green.
This way your lights can be secured without any unsightly wire showing. It’s also a bonus for those of you with cats who love to pull off lights off the tree every year. The struggle is real!