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It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and all the stores have their shelves stocked ceiling high with Christmas lights, figurines, ornaments, stockings… This is the year I’ll finally do it. I’ll decorate for Christmas, you think to yourself. Driving down the road, a twinkle catches your eye. Your neighbors of the famously decorated house are right on time; ladders and boxes out, they climb on the roof stringing white lights and dangling miniature reindeer.

Arriving home and digging around your closet, you pull out a cardboard box half filled with decorations that looked like they came from the set of a high school play. Lifting a string of mangled lights, you decide it’s time for a change. But where to begin?

There are many ways to decorate your house for Christmas. Many keep it classic: colored string lights lining the outline of the house, roof, or balcony. The tradition of using string lights dates all the way back to the 1880s when electricity replaced candles for decorating the tree, though they didn’t become popular until President Grover Cleveland used them on the White House tree in 1895. You’ll be sure to get “oohs” and “ahs” from passersby with this traditional way of decorating.

Other people have adopted illuminated yard figurines. Though they are often used for larger displays, having the presence of life-sized Christmas icons like Santa or Rudolph can bring a level of festivity unmatched by other decors. A main obstacle to a setup like this is accessibility. Evaluate where you have the outlets on the inside and outside of your house, and what cords are necessary to make it possible.

You can also pay to have someone decorate your house for you. Depending on a number of factors including the size of the house, whether or not you provide your own lights, and the duration of decoration, this could cost you anywhere from $200-$1400+. If you take this route, be sure to keep into account the cost of light removal as well.

Whether or not you decide to decorate yourself or recruit some outside help, LED light bulbs are recommended as the most efficient way to bring the Christmas spirit to your home. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED lights use less energy and are longer-lasting. This will not only save you on the cost of keeping your home lit, but also help take a sustainable route in the process.

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