Christmas Tree Lights

For many families, it's a yearly tradition to come together to decorate the Christmas tree with ornaments and lights. But not everyone is surrounded by family. For those people, decorating the tree can be a daunting task. Attaching ornaments isn't all that difficult, but strings of tiny lights are another matter. Trying to handle multiple cords and circling the tree can be a huge challenge. Here's a way to get the job done quickly and simply all by yourself.

Things You Will Need

• plastic grocery bag
• soft thick cloth or towel
• step ladder
• strings of miniature lights

Step 1

Tangled LightsIf your strings of miniature lights are in a big tangle, straighten them out. If your strings are wrapped around the boards they originally came with, remove them.

Step 2

Line up your strings on the floor and plug them into each other to create one long strand. Plug them into an electrical outlet. Some products have cautions about connecting multiple strings so be sure to follow the recommendations for your particular product. Look for burned out bulbs and replace them. Unplug the lights.

Step 3

One end of this string will be at the bottom of the tree because it has the end you will plug into the wall. If it's not obvious by the shape of the plug, identify that end in some way. You could wrap a piece of masking tape around it, or attach a twist tie or pipe cleaner to it.

Step 4

Line the sides and bottom of the plastic grocery bag with the cloth/towel. The bag should be the type with two handle cut outs.

Step 5

Drop the marked end of the strand into the plastic bag. Now place the entire string of lights in the bag using a loose spiral motion. You're ready to put the lights on the tree.

Step 6

Position your tree away from the wall or windows with just enough space for you to walk behind.

Step 7

The last end of the string placed in the bag will go at the top of the tree. If your tree is tall, you will need to work on a ladder or step ladder. Hang the plastic bag on your arm and begin stringing the lights by securing the end of the strand at the top branches.

Step 8

Unfurl lengths of cord as you work your way around the tree. At the top, it will be easy to handle the lights, but as the tree gets wider, you will need to step off the ladder to get lights to the other side. To accomplish this, gently toss, yes toss! the bag to the next area where you will be working. Be sure you've unfurled enough cord from the bag so it will reach the floor on the other side when it lands. If your floors are tile or hardwood, you might want to temporarily place a small scatter rug on the other side of the tree which will serve as a landing pad for the bag of lights.

Step 9

Continue working around the tree, tossing the bag to the next position. Be sure your last length of cord will be long enough to reach your electrical outlet.

Step 10

When it's time to take down the tree, reverse the process, winding the strand back into the bag, marked end first. Your bag will be ready for easy stringing next year.

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Tips & Warnings