Is this year going to be your very first time putting up Christmas lights? Here's a little bit of practical advice for helping you off to a smooth start.

Christmas Enthusiasts

OK, you've decided. This year is going to be the year you take the plunge. This year, you're going to join the ever-growing group of Christmas Enthusiasts who make Christmas so delightful for everyone with their fabulous Christmas light displays.

And why not? After all, Christmas has been your favorite time of year since you were a kid. You've spent countless hours cruising through the best-decorated neighborhoods with your nose pressed up against the car window, absolutely delighted and enchanted by all the fabulous home displays.

You’ve also seen Christmas Holiday about a zillion times. Clark Griswold's Christmas decorating antics always make you chuckle. But deep inside, you're a Clark Griswold wannabe - without all the bumbling and fumbling, of course.

Clark's Heart Was In the Right Place…

Even though things didn't always go as planned, Clark's Christmas enthusiasm was admirable. After all, his enthusiasm was generated from the purest of motives - wanting to make Christmas as special as possible for those he loved.

That's what all Christmas Enthusiasts want to do - make Christmas as special as possible for their family, friends, and for their neighbors. That's all you want to do. And this is your year to begin!

How to Get Started:

So how do you get started? How do you go from no lights and zero experience to having your very first Christmas display? Use these simple and practical tips to guide you in your first season as a home Christmas light installer:

  • Start Small. Nobody goes from a wannabe to Clark Griswold level in one season. And to try to do so would be courting disaster. So don't break your budget or your back by attempting to have a mega-display your very first year.

Plan on just putting up a few strings of lights to get started - just a basic display. And then plan on adding to that display every year. Don't worry - it won't take you long to get to mega-display level.

By the way, we sell Christmas lights as you know. It's how we make our living. So when we're advising you to buy fewer lights and start small, you know that's advice from the heart!

  • Keep Your Feet On the Ground - At Least Mostly. Yes, the most breathtaking displays you've seen have certainly not been ground-bound.

In those displays, towering trees were festooned with Christmas lights from tip to the trunk. Multi-story buildings were set aglow from foundation to peak with lights, many attached to dizzying heights with what must have been gravity-defying, fearless agility.

But those light displays were likely completed either by professionals or by very experienced Christmas Enthusiasts. Even the planning of such a display can be overwhelming - let alone the execution.

So for your first year, why not keep your feet on the ground? As we recommend in the tip above, you'll be better off if you start small and build your display over several seasons. And the best way to do that is to work from the ground up.

This year, limit your display to the parts of your home and landscape that you can reach without the aid of a ladder. This way you get accustomed to the process of installing a light display – while getting a feel for different attachment methods for different surfaces, learning how light clips work, etc. - with your feet firmly on the ground.

You'll have challenges enough in installing your very first Christmas display. No need to add the difficulties of working from ladders, scaffolding, or perilously pitched rooftops.

  • Don't Buy Cheap. One heartbreaking mistake that we see newbies constantly make is buying the cheapest Christmas lights they can find. They probably figure that since they're just starting, it makes sense to buy cheap.

The problem is that when you buy cheap Christmas lights, you get cheap Christmas lights. And instead of serving as the foundation of your display for many years, those cheap lights will be a source of constant headaches and annoyances because they simply won't last.

And that's why we don't sell cheap lights. Instead, we sell quality lights as affordably as we can.

Buy quality lights, and you'll be able to spend each year's budget on adding to your display, building toward your ultimate vision of that mega-display. Buy cheap, and a good portion of each year's budget will be blown on replacing lights that should have many years of service remaining.

And Finally, Our Most Important Tip…

Have fun!

We sometimes see Christmas newbies get worn to a frazzle their first year taking the Christmas decorating plunge. That's usually from a combo of two things: they want everything to be perfect and mistake-free, and they start too big.

But you're going to take our advice and not start too big, right? And don't worry about making mistakes; everybody makes mistakes when learning something new. You'll make some mistakes too. And you'll learn from them and improve for next year.

In the meantime, though, enjoy this year - mistakes and all. After all, this is going to be your very first year as a home-decorating Christmas Enthusiast.

How exciting!