Jennie James

Jennie James

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Ways to Put Lights on Your Christmas Tree

Elderly man works diligently, lighting the Christmas Tree

Photo: Cavan Images / Christopher Kimmel / Alpine Edge Photography / Cavan / Getty Images

I was one of those people who always put lights on the same way...circular, from top to bottom. It wasn't until I started reading articles and watching videos on social that I realized there were others! Now I do it vertically. Which way do you like to hang lights?

Hang vertically - it's a relatively fast method, and it's easier to remove vertical lights when it's time to take down your tree. Starting at the top of the tree, let the lights cascade down to the bottom and drape the strand in an "S" shape down the front. When you've reached the bottom, start working the strand back up the tree in the same "S" shape. Leave three to four inches between the vertical rows of lights so they're spread evenly throughout.

Hang horizontally - Wrap lights around your tree, starting at the base and working your way up. Make sure not to place the lights in a straight line but more of a wave or an "S" shape, which looks more natural and provides more coverage. As you circle the tree, you can add more depth to your lighting by pushing lights deeper into some of the branches or wrapping some of the branches as you go. 

Triangle sections - Section your tree into three triangles (though it can be fewer or more depending on the size of your tree). Then you can either create a triangular outline with your lights and then weave them within the triangle shape, or you can weave them from top to bottom in a triangle shape, either way, try not to overlap strings. Repeat with the remaining sections.

Wrap branches - This method packs the tree densely with lights, keeps the cords in the back, and lights it more evenly and brightly. However, wrapping branches will require more time, more light strands, and more tedious to remove when it comes time to take the tree down.


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