Santa's Ultimate Tips for Outdoor Christmas Decorations

We've already begun pumpkin-spice season, which means the holidays are right around the corner!

It's almost time to get your outdoor Christmas decorations out and to sharpen up your gift wrapping skills.

Check out these safety tips, to get you in shape for hanging those outdoor lights, and inflating your giant-sized Santa.

Safety first

Each year, thousands of people end up in the ER from slips, falls and other injuries that happen when putting up outdoor Christmas decorations.

The worst part? These are mostly preventable injuries! Check out these tips on staying safe this holiday season.

One of the biggest causes of holiday injuries each year is falling off a ladder.

If you're going DIY, make sure someone is holding the ladder steady, and don't reach beyond what's comfortable. 

Check it out before you take it out

Carefully check the cords for fraying that may have happened while it was hanging up last year that you may not have noticed in the post-holiday take-down.

Once you've determined the cords are in good shape, plug them in to check for any burned out bulbs that need replacing.

Use LEDs to save money

If you need to replace your lights, consider LEDs.

While LED lights can cost a little bit more than a regular string of incandescents, they'll use a lot less energy, saving you money in the long run.

Plus, they are much cooler when lit, which will help lower your risk of fire. The Department of Energy has the lowdown on LEDs.

Keep an eye out for after-season sales and stock up for next year.

Extension cords

Extension cords are rated for particular uses, including indoor vs. outdoor. Make sure you're using an outdoor cord, and not overloading it with too many strings of lights plugged into a single cord.

While strings are designed to be connected together, make sure you're:

  • Only connecting strings of the same kind of light
  • Never putting more than 3 strings together

Your receptacle will also thank you for not overloading it.

Keep the outdoor Christmas decorations outside

Lights are rated for either indoor or outdoor use.

Outdoor lights are too hot for inside use, so make sure you're using the right ones, in the right place.

Use what's already there

Outside decor isn't only about stringing lights on the house.

The tree in the front yard?

Try wrapping the trunk with red and white lights and turning it into a giant candy cane! The bark is usually rough enough to hold the lights in place, without having to use staples that could harm the tree.

The easiest way to figure out how many lights you'll need for a particular tree is to use a piece of string. Just wrap it around the tree, and then lay it out flat to measure it.

You'll know exactly how many feet you'll need, and maybe save an extra trip to the store if you plan and measure first.

Lighting nets are also great for draping (loosely) over the bushes and shrubs in your yard. Try lights and decorations in a single color for a dramatic look.

If you opt to hang ornaments outside, grab some shatterproof ones, just in case.

If you need a little help getting the yard ready for decorating, we also offer fall lawn cleanup.

Staples or clips, not nails

If you're hanging strings of lights, make sure you're using staples (unless it's the roof), and not nailing through the cords.

But be careful with the staple gun and don't puncture the cords - it could lead to a shocking experience!

There are also plastic clips that attach to the socket and then onto the eaves of your house. It takes a little bit more time to attach each clip, but you can position the light exactly where you want it.

Up on the rooftop

Getting up on your roof requires even more planning and care. Before getting the ladder out, you should create a map of what items you want to put in which locations.

You should also have someone on the ground, so plan ahead for the help you need.

When your lights and decorations are ready to go, make sure you're attaching things to the roof without  damaging it.

It's not a good idea to not use staples to secure any decor or lights on your roof. Each staple causes a tiny hole in your shingles, which is an opportunity for leaks when it rains.

Instead, use the same plastic clips on your roof as you put on the gutters. The best part is that the clips can stay on the light strand when you take them down, so they're all ready to go for next year. If you have metal flashing, you can even get magnetic clips.

Set it to music

If you're looking to really up your outdoor light game, you can set your lights to music. Depending on your budget and technology tolerance, you can set up a system for as little as $700.

The systems vary in size and complexity, but even the basic setups usually have 16 individual circuits. That means you can connect 16 separate strings of lights, and control them all independently.

To get an idea of what's possible, check out this display that's set to the music of Star Wars!

And to all a good night!

When it's time for bed, make sure you're turning off all the lights and the other assorted decor you may have on.

Not only is there no one around to appreciate it, but there's also no one around if something shorts out or tips over.

Using a timer for your decor is a handy way to help you remember.

Let us help you this holiday season

North Texas Lawns is here for you, year-round. While you may not need weed prevention 'til the spring, we've got you covered now for the holidays. 

Some people find outdoor light installation frustrating, which isn't the way to start your holiday season. 

Let us help you! Call us today at 817-337-3447, or email us at for a free quote. 



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