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The tree is up and decorated. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. You have one (or more) nativity scenes in strategic locations throughout the house.

Your home is almost ready for Christmas. Lights will perfect the scene inside and out.

Lighting your tree

First, of course, you need to make sure your tree is lit appropriately for Christmas. There is a complete article here:

But the short version is this: choose the lights that best match the theme of your tree. Put them on first, before the decorations. Do your best to hide the wires. Don’t overdo it.

Lighting your windows

People are drawn to the simple elegance of a single light in the window of a house. The effect is magnified when every window is festooned with an identical electric candle, all visible from the street.

If you love this look, It is important to remember this one tip: simpler is better.

Purchase matching single electric candles from your local arts and crafts store. Then clear your windowsills of other bric-a-brac or items visible from outside. You can keep greenery or tinsel strings that match interior decorations, as long as they stay much lower than the light and almost invisible from the street.

Lighting your tree and door

Perhaps the most dramatic of lighting effects is a spotlight on a front door or a large tree.  your local hardware store carries spotlights all year round. If you don’t like the look of a long extension cord running through your lawn, you can spend a little bit more and get a version powered by a solar cell and battery.

A look that features balance is most pleasing, but illuminating even one attractive part of your front lawn makes a striking visual statement for the neighborhood.

Outdoor Christmas Lights

In placing outdoor Christmas lights, visual balance is important.  the goal isn’t to outdo everyone and create a garish mess. Instead of stringing lights on every reachable portion of your house bushes and trees, it is much better to effectively light the house or the bushes or the trees.

In advance, think about what you can easily reach. If you can’t reach the upstairs portion of your eaves, then don’t outline the downstairs eaves either. Instead, focus on a porch area.

If you can’t reach the top of a tree, don’t  simply dangle lights from the branches you can reach. Instead, put lights on the bushes where you can completely cover them.

The effect will be much more pleasing to your visitors and neighbors.

And of course nothing beats piling your family into the car to go see Christmas lights near you for ideas and a capture the Christmas spirit.

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