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It’s lurking in the dark corners of your local department stores. It’s hiding in your recipe box. It looms on the pages of your calendar. It’s probably even worked its way into your children’s heads. You can run, but you can’t hide.

That’s right. The holiday season – and the equal parts stress and merriment that come with it – will be here before we know it.

And while it may seem crazy to be thinking about it before the frost is even on the pumpkin, it’s time to face the jingle bells! If you want to be ready for holiday entertaining season, impress your neighbors and visiting family, and still have the energy to trim the tree before Santa arrives, some advance planning is necessary where decking your halls is concerned. (Not to mention, if you wait too long, you’ll freeze your mistletoe off!)

Enough of the Christmas puns, though. Here’s the bottom line: Decorating the exterior of a house for the holidays can be daunting for even the handiest of homeowners, from the ladders and wiring to the sheer time commitment! You’re here for advice, and we’re here to give it to you.

Here are five tips for the safest, least-stressful holiday decorating experience possible, adapted from Utah State University’s extension website:

  1. Whether you’ve bought new lights or are using strings from previous years, always plug them in first to test them. If the lights don’t work or there’s any damage to the bulbs or cords, get rid of them. This promotes safety and sanity.
  2. Get a good ladder – this means one that’s the right height and sturdy enough to support you – and be sure it’s as secure as possible against the house or wherever you’re installing the lights.
  3. Don’t go all Clark Griswold and plug an endless maze of cords and light strings into one spectacular fire hazard. Towering infernos are less hilarious when they happen to you. Ensure easy access and minimize fire hazards by plugging strands in to separate outlets where you can get to them if you have an issue.
  4. Turn off lights when you go to bed for the night, or when you leave the house for an extended period of time. That’s a lot of electricity to leave unattended!
  5. Always take down your lights at the end of the holiday season. Holiday lights weren’t meant to withstand extreme heat or other elements beyond the winter conditions they already have to cope with.

And, as always, if you’re doing your own decorating…pay attention to those manufacturer’s instructions. They’re there for a reason…

Actually, though, we’ve got a better idea: Why not just hire Neave Group to take care of your holiday lighting for you?

We offer a full line of holiday décor services, including design, installation of products, timers and extension cords, any service needed throughout the season, takedown and storage. After a consultation on the design of your lighting, the color and style of your lights, and the time frame you want for installation, our crews will come out and do it all for you –  safely, quickly, professionally and within your budget.

Speaking of budgets: In the past couple of years, we’ve switched the majority of our products over to the popular LED lighting. Not only does this save on the electrical bill when all is said and done (LEDs cost about 90 percent less to light than traditional incandescents!); it also eliminates so many of the electrical issues many homeowners have faced in the past. Whether you want colored or clear lights – or even snow-frosted garlands and wreaths, with minimal lighting – we’ve got you covered.

And if, at the height of the holiday-season frenzy, animals chew through your wires or storms knock the lights clean off your house, our crews are on call. All the time! If you call us, we’ll come and fix it as soon as possible. You can expect the same professional quality from us during the holidays as you can during the peak landscaping season. There’s still time to get in touch with us and make your arrangements – there’s no place like Neave for the holidays.

Visit our Christmas Decor website for more information about our holiday decorating services.

Here’s a selection of our Christmas decor work:

 

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Testimonials

Congratulations on being the recipient of the 2007 Business Excellence award for service business. We are fortunate to be customers of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions. You take excellent care of our property and have always responded when we needed help. We are very appreciative of your excellent customer service. You certainly deserve this award.
Bruce and Florence DPougkeepsie, New York

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