Have your neighbours put up their holiday decorations, yet? They have, haven’t they? And there you are, wondering whether white Christmas lights are the only real Christmas lights, or if multicoloured Christmas lights are the true meaning of Christmas. One day you think tying a big red velvet bow around your front door is a great idea, and the next you see the same thing on the house with the six-foot-high inflatable snow globe in the yard. At times like this, when you’re standing hungry and exhausted in the aisle of Canadian Tire trying to tell the difference between “warm white” and “clear ice,” it’s easy to doubt yourself. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.
First, realize that less is more. As Coco Chanel was fond of saying, “Before you go out, always take something off.” There’s no need to over-accessorize, unless over-accessorizing is your aesthetic. (More on that below.) A simple wreath and a tidy porch can work wonders, especially if the wreath is lit. Or, as DIY Network suggests, give an old frame the wreath treatment, for a single and very singular decoration. The key here is the tidiness: sweep your stoop, organize your bins, and trim your hedges. That way any decorations your may put up will actually be visible.
Second, figure out how to hang decorations based on the materials you are dealing with. Do you know how to drill into Permastone? Should you drill into Permastone? Go outside, take some pictures, and do a sketch of what you have in mind. That way you can show them to the nice people in the aprons at the hardware store when you realize you need a bunch of S-hooks and expander bolts.
Third, if you want to go out, go for it! The holidays are a time to be creative with outdoor decor. After all, they’re really only up for a month — a month and a half, at most — so curating your outdoor space like a special exhibit of your luminary skill is not unwarranted. Just be gracious with your neighbours’ patience: don’t include music, and keep the transitions in your twinkle lights nice and slow. That urban legend about holiday lights triggering epileptic seizures? It’s not an urban legend. It really happens. So be sensitive. If you must emulate the Las Vegas Strip, then do please emulate its classy Frank Sinatra period, and not it’s desperate late-90′s plea for attention.