It all started back on December 26th of last year. We had gone to our local Orchard Supply Hardware to see what kind of Christmas decorations they had at 75% off. Theresa saw a ton of beautiful garland and filled 3 shopping carts full of it!
The entire car was packed with garland. It filled the trunk, the back seat, and even started crowded us up front. Theresa rode home with two Christmas wreaths in her lap.
Well I'm sure we'll figure out what we can do with this by next Christmas. From the store, the garland went straight up into the attic. We'll see it again in a year!
Fast forward to November 2016. The weekend after Thanksgiving was rainy, with winds reaching 30+ mph. Definitely not the kind of weather you'd want to be putting up Christmas lights in or balancing on a ladder. Instead Christmas decorating ended up happening after getting home from work. Ian is fearless on the ladder.
Ian helped me again this year by bringing me bags of net lights while I worked to put them on the fence.
I've got my helpers down below. Since we're putting lights on all the palm fronds, we make sure to cut off the ones that are dying and won't last a couple more weeks. I'd cut them off and Ian would pull them to the side of the yard for me.
Ian holding the lights for me while I wrap the trunk of the tree. Alli was happy to be playing at the bottom of the ladder. The whole time, Ian was asking if he could climb up and help me. I think he just wants to play on the ladder.
All the lights that were returning from last year went up over the course of a couple nights. Ian was especially excited to see the LED tree returning.
Another night for Christmas lights. Both kids enjoying the ladder now.
Ian saw the wreath and said, I want to crawl through it!
Now on to the unknown. We've got twenty 6' strands of garland. What are we going to do with them? After taking some measurements, we came up with a plan of lining the front facing windows and eaves of the house, as well as the garage.
With all this garland, I was running out of short strands of Christmas lights! Shocker, I know! We had to resort to using long strands which would cover two sections at a time. It was much easier to hook one end to a high point and wrap Christmas lights around it going down.
Ian must have found some Christmas decorations and took it upon himself to decorate.
I looked over and saw this hanging on the palm tree.
The rest of the work continued over a few more nights. When I'd get home from work, Ian would want to come outside to play on the LED tree. Alli would inevitably join him.
Like I said earlier, a lot of the work was done after the kids had gone to bed. I was up on the ladder hanging garland when I thought I heard something. Sure enough, I've got two critters watching me work.
They were pretty content to hang out while I kept working on the roof. They'd look at me, explore some of the lights I had on the fence or trees, then purr at each other.
Theresa coming to check on me and toss me Command hooks to hang the garland. The new stuff certainly took the most time to figure out. I was trying to avoid nail holes all along the roofline by using Command hooks, but I had a hard time getting them to stick. I think the cool temperature was causing the wood to form condensation, and I wasn't drying it off enough before trying to get the thing to stick. Hopefully next year I'll remember some of the issues and it will go faster.
Finally the lights are all completed!
Our house definitely lights up the neighborhood.
Lights going over all the fences and through the yard. All three palm trees are covered in lights, and every single palm frond has lights on it.
The lasers are shining into the big backyard tree again, but they're pretty hard to see. Maybe if the rest of the lights were a bit more dim they'd pop a little more. Might have to decide if something can be done about that in future years.
I think the garland looks great! It's a good addition and adds a bit of color to my mostly white Christmas display.
I asked Theresa to decorate this little tree near the kitchen window. So that's where all of my lights went! Every single branch had lights on it somewhere.
Ian specifically pointed out that we needed to decorate the mailbox, so this picture is for him.
The garage, windows, and front porch pole all look great. Much better than what I had last year, just outlining them in lights.
Really wish I had a Christmas tree with the same LED color bulbs as all the outside lights. Well that'll be a task for another time.
In the end, decorating took a good few days.
I wish I knew how many lights I have up, but at this point, it would be difficult to count. I do know that they're all LED bulbs and total consume about 650W of power. It costs about 20 cents an hour to run them. It is fun seeing people slow down as they're driving by to take a look at them, and have people walking by make a comment. The kids love it too, so I'm sure this is a tradition that will last for a while!
The next best thing to decorating and putting up your own lights is seeing what other people have done! Now after work, the kids hop in the wagon and we walk the neighborhood looking at lights. I've decked out their wagon with Christmas lights too so people see us coming. Add in a little Christmas music coming from the phone, or just us singing Christmas songs, and you've got a merry little holiday tradition.
Ian pulling Alli in the wagon down the sidewalk.
Alli loving on her tiger.
Ian and I had a little "Who's on First?" moment when we saw this display.
Joe - "Look Ian! The Grinch is stealing their lights!"
Ian - "Whose lights?"
Joe - "Yes. He's stealing the Who's lights."
Ian - "Whose lights?"
Joe - "Yes."
Ian - "Whose lights is he stealing Daddy?"
Joe - "The Who's."
Well we've got some good displays around the neighborhood, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the lights over in the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood! Perhaps in the coming weeks we'll head there and I'll get some inspiration for next year!