I love pre-lit trees; all the hard work is already done for you. When I get my Christmas tree down, I want to skip as many steps ahead and get to decorating as fast as possible. Sometimes, even pre-lit trees might beg for a bit more light. Maybe you want to layer on larger novelty lights, flashing lights or possibly lit tree toppers. Taking that little bit of extra time to get your tree lights just right before you start decorating is worth it in the end.
Everyone decorates their tree in a different way. First I fluff, next I add lights, tinsel after that, maybe more lights, and THEN ornaments. If you know your lighting style and preference is not going to change from year to year, wire those lights in right one time and you will never have to do it again.
• Typical Christmas trees come in three parts. Wrap each of the three sections in lights separately.
• Take the time to go up and down the branches and hide your wires well.
• Tie a string to the end of your lights. For instance, if you started wrapping the bottom portion of your tree first, you want to make sure the male end is at the base so you can plug it in and the female end is at the top so that it can connect to the second portion of the tree. A bright ribbon around the ends makes those plug ends easier to find.
• Wrap the middle section the same way. Start with the male end of your lights down so it will plug into the female end at the top of your base section. If you string your lights in this manner, taking your tree apart at the end of the season should be a breeze; no need to remove the lights — just unplug where the sections connect.
If you are going to stick your tree in a corner, like most of us are, you may not want to take the trouble to light the backside of your tree. If that is the case, tie a ribbon to the front side of your three tree sections so that you know which side to face out from the corner. No sense in wasting good lights on a wall. If your tree is going in a window, you need to make the front and back equally fabulous and well-lit.
Most pre-lit trees come with white lights and as you might expect, I am colorful lights kind of gal. Now sure, on my Toasted Champagne Tree, white lights are the way to go, but on the Oh Christmas Tree I added three different types of lights. The core of my tree is wrapped in plain multi-colored lights. After I added tinsel, I went back in with flashing colored lights. I love a flashing tree. Last, but far from least, I added the adorable Color My World Tinsel LED Globe Lights. The lights are about the size of a quarter and sparkle like nobody’s business. Mixing and matching your lights by color and size only help to add depth and interest to your tree.
Think beyond the tree when considering setting a festive mood with lighting. What about blow molds? I have a collection of vintage ones, but they are also still being made. Color Wheels shine a spinning rainbow on metallic trees. Lights can go on other places besides your tree – what about a garland, wreath or mantle? Don’t forget to light up the outside of your house, as well as the inside.
Lights are what make Christmas extra special. Remember that line from ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas? “His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!” What do you think is reflecting in his eye to make it twinkle? Christmas lights, of course.