12 STEPS TO A STRESS FREE CHRISTMAS

November 26, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

stress-free-christmas

Ahh, the holidays. A time for singing carols, trimming the tree, eating turkey… and dealing with family drama. This year, are you hoping to cut the crazy out of Christmas? Retail therapy doesn’t have quite the same calming effect during the holiday season when you’re fighting your way through a crowd to snag a must-have iPad or wrestling for that last honey-glazed ham.

Every year we put ourselves under an enormous amount of pressure to deliver the perfect Christmas. We want to buy the perfect gifts for our family and friends, ensure that the food and drink are all delicious, and we want to give our kids a Christmas they’ll remember. All this pressure inevitably results in a lot of stress and friction, and can really put a dampener on what should be a time of happiness and celebration.

But there are plenty of other super-quick ways to a stress free Christmas.

Just take a deep breath, and follow the easy tips to a stress free Christmas:

1. Crunch your way to calm. Munching crisp foods is the oral equivalent of squeezing a stress ball. (Chewing releases built-up pressure.) But that doesn’t give you a free pass to chomp on candy canes all day. Snack on jicama slices, a few roasted nuts, celery sticks, baby carrots or an apple instead.

2. Prune the to-do list. Ask, “If I don’t do this, what will happen?” Aim to knock down the list of chores to the rock-bottom necessity.

3. Wrap as you go. Who needs to spend Christmas Eve catching up on wrapping chores? Sticky notes will help you keep track of gift contents.

4. Buy, don’t bake. Turn your back on the oven this year. Supermarkets, bakeries and the freezer department of the discount warehouse are a great source for delicious, pre-baked holiday treats.

5. Call, don’t send cards. Reach out and touch someone … the easy way. Online greeting cards are easy, inexpensive and fun to send. No more lines at the post office!

6. Cut the clean-a-thon. Focus cleaning attention on kitchen and public rooms; private areas can slide til season’s end. Better to schedule deep-cleaning chores like carpet cleaning until after the wear-and-tear of the holiday season.

7. Downsize dishwashing. Hand-washing fine china is nobody’s idea of a good time, so move to everyday stoneware. Simpler still: paper plates!

8. Finger food, not feast. A smorgasboard of tasty tidbits is easier on the cook and kinder to the waistline than a sit-down dinner. Share the work by hosting pot-luck events.

9. Let go of gift guilt. Your budget is small, but your family is big. And that has you worried: How are you going to afford gifts for everyone? Luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to have a memorable holiday. Gather your family (and call any relatives you normally exchange gifts with) and suggest that this year you do one of the following: Buy presents only for the kids, do a Secret Santa drawing with a $25 price cap or exchange homemade gifts.

10. Keep gossips in check. Your niece’s miniskirt is way too short. Your cousin shows up without his wife (hmm…those divorce rumors must be true). Every family has stuff to gossip about. But a holiday get-together isn’t the time or place for it.

11. Stay home! Cuddling down close to the hearth beats holiday travel any day. A holiday “stay-cation” allows for evening drives to see the lights, family camp-outs in front of the Christmas tree, and evenings spent with carols and popcorn. Fun!

12. Leave the lights to professional Christmas light installers: Sure the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, unless you’re the one assigned to climb tall ladders or spend hours untangling old lights. Why not eliminate all of those hassles and headaches by hiring a professional Christmas light installation company to complete your holiday decorations for you? Our Christmas light installers will ensure that your Christmas décor looks great all season long! Through our network of Christmas light hangers we offer Christmas decorating services nationwide.

ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE BELOW TO FIND AN INSTALLER IN YOUR AREA:


 

DIY Wood Slice Chalkboard Ornaments

November 25, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

Christmas-chalkboard-ornaments-831x1024

I love rustic decor and am a fan of bringing the outdoors in, so it’s no wonder these wood slice ornaments are my favorite decoration on our Christmas tree. Plus these make great gifs! These DIY Wood Slice Chalkboard Ornaments are so simple, but once I made a couple of them, I knew I wanted a whole tree full.

These wood slice Christmas ornaments were quick and easy to create, and I am sure that you can do it yourself in less than five minutes… well, maybe a little longer if you include drying time.  They turn out really rustic and cute, and make great gift toppers as well!

What you will need for this project:

Large tree branch or log (about 3-4″ in diameter)
Mitre saw
Drill with small bit
Sand paper (extra fine grit)
Chalkboard paint
Paint brush (small)
Jute string
Scissors
Chalk
Stencils (optional)

DIY Wood Slice Chalkboard Ornaments Instructions:

To begin with, cut your log into slices (a little less than ½” thick) with a mitre saw. To get a nice clean cut, you may need to place a board under the log (we found doing that kept the bark in tact all around the log, especially on wider logs).

Cutting-Log-Slices-for-Ornament

Once you have as many slices as you want, drill small holes in each about ¼” from the top to put the jute string hanger through.

Drilling-Holes-in-Log-Slices

Sand each one lightly to remove loose bits. Make sure the surface is fairly smooth and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. Let dry and feed the jute string through each hole knotting together at the top.

wood-slice-chalkboard-ornament-chalk-seasoned-876x1024

Now you have a chalkboard surface to write or draw anything on. I freehanded a few designs and used stencils to create others. The sky’s the limit!

chalkboard-wood-slice-ornament-2-721x1024

That’s all there is to it!  Aren’t these a great way to jazz up a wrapped gift?  You could make super cute monogram ones that would double as a tag and an ornament!  (I just thought of that right then, or I would have made one of those too!)

You can try these with a wood burner or even just a marker. Here are some more Wood Ornament Ideas:

 

WE HANG CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN THE NEWS!

November 19, 2014 in In The News

Thanks to our Christmas light installers in Oregon!

There’s nothing like the sight of a beautifully decorated home with dazzling lights to signal the arrival of the holidays. But, nothing can be more aggravating than that annual chore of hanging the lights, wrestling that old ladder and untangling strand after strand of lights.

Sure, a lot of folks actually look forward to taking care of the outside adornment duties themselves. But for those of us with limited handyman skills, and even less time, there’s not enough egg nog around to make decking the outside of our homes a joyful experience.

Christmas light installation may not be for everyone but if it is for you, we are your people.

ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE BELOW TO FIND AN INSTALLER IN YOUR AREA:


 

We Hang Christmas Lights was started in 1997 and  is comprised of decorators nationwide that specialize in residential and commercial Christmas light installation seasonal displays, and just about anything you can imagine related to Christmas decorations. We are always happy to give you a free, no obligation bid on any project, and if you currently use another company, we invite you to compare our products, services, and pricing with theirs. You will almost  certainly be pleasantly surprised.

DIY CHRISTMAS MARQUEE LIGHTS

November 18, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

6a00d8358081ff69e2019b02412bc1970d-800wi

There are a lot of things to love about the holiday season (like time with family and friends or delicious food), but one of my favorite things about Christmas is the decorations. I love the glittery silver and gold and the soft glow of candles and of course Christmas lights! Christmas Marquee lights are all the rage right now and they can have glitter and christmas lights!

Christmas Marquee Lights look amazing on a mantel and you can pull them out year after year. If you’ve wondered how to make Christmas Marquee Lights, this post is for you!

Christmas Marquee Lights Supplies:

  • 1 large wood board (50 x 24 inches)
  • 4 wood planks (2 x 1 inches)
  • wood screws
  • drill
  • indoor christmas lights
  • white acrylic paint
  • loose gold glitter
  • Mod Podge
  • chipboard letters
  • glue
  • duct tape

How to make a Christmas Marquee Lights:

  1. First you’ll want to cut your wood planks into four pieces and use them to frame the outside edge on the back side of your marquee. This will help hide the Christmas light’s wires and make the sign appear more finished when viewed from the side.
  2. Cut your planks into two pieces that are 46 inches long and another two pieces that are 24 inches long.
  3. Use the drill and wood screws to attach the planks in place, keeping the planks flush with the edge of the board.
  4. Next you’ll want to paint the front and sides of your sign with two coats of white acrylic paint.
  5. Use the same white paint to paint the side edges of your chipboard letters and allow the paint to dry.
  6. Once the letters are dry, paint the front of each letter with a coat of Mod Podge and sprinkle glitter on the wet glue.How to make a Christmas Marquee Lights
  7. Gently turn the letter over to shake off any excess glitter and set the letter aside to dry. Don’t forget, you can do another coat of glue and glitter once the letter is dry if you missed an area. (The chipboard font that I chose didn’t have an ampersand option, so I made that letter out of glitter cardstock).
  8. Arrange your dry letters on your painted board and use a strong glue to glue the letters in place.
  9. Now it’s time to drill! Since it’s hard to mark the spots where the holes should go with a pen or marker (drawing on top of glitter doesn’t work very well), I got a box of screws and turned them upside down to mark each spot where I wanted a hole. I would suggest that this section be a two person job; one person drills the holes while another holds a shop vac hose near the hole to vacuum away the shavings as you go (my husband Todd was my helper).CHRISTMAS MARQUEE LIGHTS
  10. Once your holes are drilled, you can start to push your lights through your holes on the back side and tape each one in place with duct tape.HOW TO CHRISTMAS MARQUEE LIGHTS
  11. Plug your lights in, and watch your new Christmas marquee lights shine!

I have to say that this is probably my favorite Christmas decoration I’ve ever made. It sits right next to our tree and at night when we turn on the fireplace, it brings such a glittery glow to our living room- it really feels magical. Think of the possibilities! I’m already thinking of what word I can do next…….Hmmm… I may have another one to make in my future! In the meantime, I will relish these this Christmas season.

This is just one way to make your own Christmas light marquees!

Check out these ideas for other amazing Christmas Marquee Lights:

Want help with your Christmas Decor? We Hang Christmas Lights was started in 1997 and  is comprised of decorators nationwide that specialize in residential and commercial Christmas light installation, seasonal displays, and just about anything you can imagine related to Christmas decorations. We are always happy to give you a free, no obligation bid on any project, and if you currently use another company, we invite you to compare our products, services, and pricing with theirs. You will almost  certainly be pleasantly surprised.

ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE BELOW TO FIND AN INSTALLER IN YOUR AREA:


 

5 REASONS TO HIRE A CHRISTMAS LIGHT INSTALLER

November 15, 2014 in CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

img_02

There’s nothing like the sight of a beautifully decorated home with dazzling lights to signal the arrival of the holidays. But, nothing can be more aggravating than that annual chore of hanging the lights, wrestling that old ladder and untangling strand after strand of lights.

Sure, a lot of folks actually look forward to taking care of the outside adornment duties themselves. But for those of us with limited handyman skills, and even less time, there’s not enough egg nog around to make decking the outside of our homes a joyful experience.

Let this be the year you give yourself the gift of a Christmas light installer!

Skip all the headaches and frustration associated with Christmas lights this year. Here are five benefits that a professional Christmas light installer can provide that will make this the best holiday season yet:

1) Custom Design. A professional Christmas light installer will create a custom display that reflects your personal tastes and preferences. You can meet with a professional ahead of time to discuss specific looks and decorating ideas. In addition, they will consider your home when designing your lighting. It’s important to take into consideration your landscaping, architecture, existing electrical infrastructure, and more.

2) Professional Grade Products. A professional Christmas light installation company will use only the best professional-grade products for your holiday lighting designs. Used correctly, professional-grade products are built to withstand both the elements and years of use.

3) Professional Installation. Experienced Christmas light installers don’t put up holiday lights just once a year. They’re very well practiced and trained. They use systems and methods to install your lights quickly, efficiently, and without any hassles. Save yourself the time and effort it takes to put up your decorations in the cold, and let a professional take care of this chore for you.

4) Holiday Season Maintenance. The holiday season is exceptionally busy. You have office parties, kids’ concerts and recitals, shopping and family gatherings to attend to. When bulbs go out or an unexpected storm ruffles your decor, give your holiday design team a call and they will come fix it. A professional team will make sure your holiday lights stay looking perfect all through the season.

5) Professional Take-down and Storage. When the holidays are over and the in-laws have gone home, the last thing you want to do is deal with taking down holiday lights. Not only will a professional holiday lighting company take your lighting down for you, but they will also store them until you need it again next year. Just imagine: you won’t have to reserve storage space in your garage or basement for your exterior holiday lighting. Next year, they will be there with your decorations to put them back up for you.

Christmas Light Hanging Services:

• Free Estimate
• Front and Facia (roofline) Lighting
• Pre-lit Wreaths
• Pre-lit Garlands with Wire Wrap
• Door Trims
• Window Trims
• Tree Trunk Wraps and Canopy Lighting
• Hedge Lighting
• Walkway Lighting
• Removal in January

We take pride in offering the best in customer service. We guarantee all our work and provide the lowest rates with installers throughout the US. Don’t stress over making your event or home look incredible — Contact Us for a FREE Quote on Christmas Light Hanging!!

ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE BELOW TO FIND AN INSTALLER IN YOUR AREA:

 


Click here for some tips to finding the right Christmas light installer!

 

CHRISTMAS DECORATING IDEAS FOR YOUR PORCH

November 6, 2014 in CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Christmas Decorating Ideas

It’s that time of the year again to start welcoming your guests into your holiday home. When it comes to decorating for the holidays, you simply cannot forget your front porch. Because the front porch is the first thing that your guests will see, you want to make sure that it offers a festive touch with these Christmas decorating ideas.

There are numerous Christmas decorating ideas for your porch to spread a festive atmosphere and holiday joy all around. Porch decorations usually include garlands, staircases, wreaths and any other suitable items for the place around your homestead. Even if you’re living in a narrow place where you don’t have much of a porch, you can create a bright look on your doorway with the simplest homemade ornaments.

We have collected some beautiful and festive ways that you can add a little holiday cheer to your porch. Our Christmas decorating ideas range from traditional to modern. Using Christmas wreaths, lights, and garlands, you’ll have the prettiest house on the block.

Here are some creative Christmas decoration ideas to help you get inspired:

Whether you prefer the traditional lighted garland or you want your porch to be completely unique, you are sure to find the perfect decorating style with these Christmas decorating ideas.

Add fun and festive flair to your front porch with our Christmas decorating ideas!

If you want help with your front porch decorations, contact We Hang Christmas Lights. We Hang Christmas Lights was started in 1997 and  is comprised of decorators nationwide that specialize in residential and commercial Christmas light installation, seasonal displays, and just about anything you can imagine related to Christmas decorations. We are always happy to give you a free, no obligation bid on any project, and if you currently use another company, we invite you to compare our products, services, and pricing with theirs. You will almost  certainly be pleasantly surprised.

ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE BELOW TO FIND AN INSTALLER IN YOUR AREA:

 

Ways to Make Christmas Magical for Kids

November 1, 2014 in KIDS CORNER

santas footsteps

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized all of the unseen things that my mom did to make Christmas magical for kids. Magically decorations would appear, Nat King Cole would start singing about chestnuts roasting, and the Christmas Elf would frequently leave treats on our doorstep following a jingling of bells. Years later I learned that my mom often would pull all nighters Christmas Eve filling the stockings and wrapping all of the gifts for the kids and bazillion grandkids. Which explains why mid-afternoon on Christmas day we would find her passed out on the floor of her room for a power nap.

There are so many ways to make Christmas magical for kids. I feel like a kid again myself when I see the sparkle in my girls eyes.

Here are some ways to Make Christmas Magical for Kids this year:

Magic Reindeer Food

This Magic Reindeer Food is meant to be sprinkled over the lawn on Christmas Eve for the reindeer to eat. I’m going to these with my neighbor gifts as a little something extra special to make their Christmas magic. I bought a huge tube of glitter for the mix but I found out it can really hurt birds if they eat it. Click here to directions.

 

Santa’s Footprints

Leave Santa’s footprints behind like The Party Artisan.  I mean really, what could be more magical?  Such an utterly adorable idea!

 

Elf on the Shelf

Start the Elf on the Shelf Tradition-  This is one tradition we haven’t started yet, but I think we are really missing out.  The whole family has fun with this one, and it is oh so magical for the kids!  I am sure you have seen many amazing elf ideas floating around; here is a great collection featuring 30 of the best from MSN Living.

 

A Christmas Eve Box

Put together a Christmas Eve Box for kids to open- include new pj’s, a holiday book to read before bed, reindeer food to sprinkle in the yard, Santa’s magic key…. lots of other ideas of things to include here, too! Such a fun family tradition!

 

A Special Christmas Breakfast

It does not take much to make a morning festive. We usually have a big breakfast Christmas morning, these adorable Christmas pancakes will be perfect for the kiddos.

 

Ornament from Santa

A new tradition I started a couple years ago and the kids love is leaving a new ornament on the tree from Santa. I like to get one with the year on it so we know that Santa gave it to us that year.


Personalized Santa Video for the Kids

Your loved ones will be over the moon with a free personalized Santa video. Portable North Pole is back, and the app that allows little ones to get a personalized video message from Santa. Click here to find how to get your personalized Santa video.

 

What tradition do you plan to start this year?

Easy Halloween Treat Ideas

October 24, 2014 in HALLOWEEN

I am going to a Halloween Party and was in search of the perfect treat to take so I decided to share the best of what I found with you. Your little goblins will love assembling — and eating — these spooky easy Halloween treats. From chocolate-dipped owl pretzels and candy corn push-up pops to jack-o’-lantern cookies and peanut butter (eye)balls, we have the best treats (and savory snacks!) to make your Halloween party a spooky success.

Try one or all of these easy halloween treat ideas:

Whether you’re throwing the perfect party or looking for fun treats kids can make, these easy Halloween treat ideas will make everyone falling under their spell.