Do you pack away your Christmas lights at the end of each holiday season? Do you take them all down, carefully place them in containers, and put them in storage? Do your lights languish out-of-sight and out-of-mind, hidden away in the dark of a closet or attic from July to November?

If so, what a waste!

Why limit your lights to brightening your life just a couple of months each year? Because in truth, your lights could be giving you joy all year long. Just apply some out-of-the-box thinking and you'll come up with lots of alternative non-holiday uses for your Christmas lights.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Create a More Captivating Kitchen

Is your kitchen way too utilitarian and functional? Put your Christmas lights to work in giving your kitchen an ambiance makeover. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Over-Cabinet Lights: How about lighting up those dark and murky gaps left between the top of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling? Makes any kitchen a cheerier, brighter place.
  • Under-Cabinet Lights: Attaching Christmas lights to the bottoms of your cabinets can offer both an aesthetic and practical improvement. Your countertops will shine with an attractive glow, and your workspaces will be better lit.
  • Island Lights: If your kitchen has an island or a bar, try running a string of lights around the circumference of the underside of the counter.

kitchen cabinets string lights

How About a Flameless Fire?

Most fireplaces are rarely used because having a real fire involves lots of fuss and muss. So, if you have a fireplace, why not have a faux fire?

Use bright LEDs to create a cheery warm glow. Weave the lights amongst some faux logs to create the delightful feel of a fire without the expense, the mess, and the danger of a real fire.

It won't warm your hands, but it will warm your heart!lights in a fireplace

Christmas Light Art

If you're of an artistic bent, try using your lights to create unique works of art. Start with a blank canvas, use a pencil to trace out a pattern or message on the canvas, and then tack a light strand along your tracing. (Just be sure not to stick the tacks through the light cord!)

This is also a great way to let your kids flex their creative muscles in designing distinctive, personalized works of art for display in their rooms.

Made Possible and Practical with LEDs…

If your Christmas lights are LEDs instead of incandescents, you can use them year-round without worrying about the cost. The extra cost in electricity will be negligible since LEDs are so energy efficient.

And there's no need to worry about burning out lots of bulbs if you keep your lights on after the holidays. Since LEDs are so long-lived, most bulbs will last you for years no matter how much you use them.

So get creative. Think of other ways to keep your Christmas lights burning bright all year long. Because packing them away in boxes at the end of the holiday season…that's just kind of sad, isn't it?