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We have a clear prelit tree. Then we take a strand of color lights, and start at the top. We run them up and down as we go around. It is best to have 2 people for this. Then if we want more lights, we run a set starting at the top going around until we get to the bottom.
By melissa from Bessemer City, NC
At my house, we always start wrapping the lights from the top down. We wrap all the branches individually, and work the same level around all of the branches, before moving down to the next level.
This makes the tree nice and bright. Then you can place ornaments at any depth in the tree and see them. You do however use about twice as many lights as with other techniques that usually just drape the lights on the outside tips of the branches.
Source: This is how my mom always wanted it done. I have never seen it in any books though.
By Stephanie from Bay City, TX
Lights add so much to a Christmas tree. And putting them on can be a lot of fun. But when it comes to taking them off after the holiday, now that's another story altogether!
We have a clear prelit tree. Then we take a strand of color lights, and start at the top. We run them up and down as we go around. It is best to have 2 people for this.
When Christmas rolls around and it's time to get our tree ready to put up, I always share this tip with friends. Surprising how many folks have never thought of this idea, yet it's so simple.
When putting up Christmas lights inside or out I save myself a lot of grief by doing the following things. First, stock up on bulbs and fuses in advance to save making an extra trip out to buy them.
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When using lights to decorate a Christmas tree: Instead of wrapping lights around the tree, loop the lights up and down the tree as you go around. The tree will look nicer plus it is so much easier to remove the lights.
By it's.only.me from NE PA
Yes, they do look nicer! My husband did this 20 years ago when we put up our first tree together and I thought he was nuts! Turns out they looked great and I have had him do this every year since. He always says,"do you want me to go around this time?" It's sort of his way of letting me know he was "right." I get a kick out of it and it's become one of our Christmas traditions. (12/17/2009)
I do my lights in 2 steps using 2 strands of lights. First I label each strand with a tiny label which I've painted dark green to match the cord and used a color just enough different so that I can read it. I mark one strand "1U/D" for "first, up and down" and the other "2A" for "second, around".
Then I run one strand up and down and the other around the tree. I use the blinking lights and doing it both ways keeps it from being obvious that there is one string and the blinks mix together creating a nice blend.
If you use 4 strands you can do this same method marking strand one "1U/D-RL" for running up and down from right to left. Strand two: "2U/D-LR" for up and down left to right. Strand three: "3A-RL" for around from right to left. And strand four: "4A-LR" for around from left to right.
By labeling the strings, it tells you not only which direction the lights went on, but also the order in which they went on. This makes it so much easier to take them down, just reversing the numbers as you go. (12/04/2010)
I never thought about going up and down. I love lights on a tree to me that is what makes it. I use a 100 strand of lights for every foot the tree is. For example my 6 foot tree has 600 lights on it. I read in a decorating book that that is the proper amount of lights for a tree. I put some of the lights in the back of the branches. Thanks for the idea! I would love to see a picture! (12/04/2010)
By Teresa Tart
Cricketnc, that's a marvelous idea! I'm going to use it this year.
mkymlp, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "looping up and down." We've always started at the top and worked our way around, letting the strings hang loosely between the branches they hang on. Is that what you mean? Depending on the size of the tree, we use three or more strings and, like cricketnc, try to intermingle them so we don't have one part of the tree flashing and then another part - but without her organization method, it does lead to tangled strings! (12/04/2010)
By KS Granny