Ask holiday lighting professionals about their typical customer, and one of the first words out of their mouths will be “she.”
“We’re doing things for people they don’t want to do themselves, and I’ve had more wives calling me saying, ‘I don’t want my husband up on the roof again. I’m afraid he will fall,’ ” Rowley said.
“Most have a husband who is working a lot and doesn’t have the time to do it, or it’s a husband and wife who both work and neither have time to do it. It’s a matter of time and safety.”
Rowley said some customers handle everything but the roof work, leaving that to his company.
Brand said his typical customer is a woman in her mid-30s who wants her young children to have lights to enjoy but can’t get her husband to do the work.
“The majority are young families,” he said. “What really helps is families that like to ‘chase the Joneses.’ Everybody on the block has gotten it done, and they’re going to get it done, too.”
Rowley said some have children who are embarrassed that they were the only folks on the block who didn’t have their house all aglow the previous year. “And they’re like, ‘Dad, put some lights up!’ We get a lot of that,” he said.
Janet Christensen figures to spend about $400 this year having Christmas Light Professionals do her Avenues home. It’s her first year there, after averaging about $900 a year dressing up a home in Emigration Canyon.
Her main reason for outsourcing? Pretty succinct: “A husband that doesn’t want to,” she said.
But she also notes that the cost includes taking the lights down, plus the expertise in getting something special.
“They do a really good job,” she said. “The thing that’s good is they can come up with a good pattern, for one thing. They can really do a nice job of looking at a house and deciding what would look good and what lights would look good where, rather than somebody just going out there and just sticking up some lights.
“And if they need lights, Vance keeps a pretty good supply in his truck, so you’re not running back and forth to the store and trying to figure out what lights you need. And if they don’t work, he comes back and fixes them. There’s nothing worse than going back and forth to the store when it’s busy around Christmas and replacing the lights and getting up and down on the ladder.”
Michelle DeYoung’s Draper home is getting a $1,200 holiday light makeover this season. She wanted to avoid the hassles of problematic lights and likes being able to switch colors — red and white this year, maybe green and white or purple and white next year.
“There are a lot of reasons why you do things for Christmas,” DeYoung said. “You just want it all to be so lovely and stress-free as possible. When you have the means to do so, it’s just nice to have someone come and put the lights up rather than stress your husband with, ‘The lights aren’t up. It’s Thanksgiving. There’s snow on the roof,’ and suddenly you’re worried about safety.
“It just kind of depends on where you are in your life. You finally get to the point where the ‘stress-free’ is more important than the economy.”
DeYoung said some neighbors have Temple Square-like displays, leading to a little pressure to do “something nice” during the holidays.
“But that’s true in home ownership, no matter what. If all the yards look nice, you want yours to look nice. It’s just part of owning a home and wanting it to be a good representation of you,” she said.