Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Decorating Tips

Here we are, with just a little more than a month until Christmas! I haven't started my shopping yet; have you?

I haven't started to decorate yet either. I prefer to leave the decorating until after the 15th of December. Some people I know decorate right after Remembrance Day, but I think that is too early. Our little house needs to be rearranged to accommodate our tree so I leave it as late as possible. In the event we are able to have a real tree this year, the decorating won't get done until Christmas Eve. If we decide on using the artificial tree again (our Charlie Brown tree) it will be set up before Christmas Eve. I am hoping to be able to set up my little Christmas Village as well; perhaps my plants will be relocated for a few weeks so the village can be set up where we can enjoy it.

The village consists of two sets of ceramic lighted buildings four to seven inches high. It is fun setting it up, as I use quilt batting for the snow, a small oval mirror for the pond, and can rearrange the little people as I see fit. Santa's sleigh usually gets perched on a rooftop or between two buildings. My kids like to move the little people around. Sometimes they'll move something just to see how long it takes me to notice it.

When getting ready to decorate your home, there are some safety factors to consider. First of all, ensure the cords are tucked away so no one trips over them. It is also important not to overload an outlet; if you must have a few cords plugged in to one outlet use a power bar or power block. These usually have built in surge protectors and will trip the breaker if there is too heavy a load. It is best to not overload your outlets at all; many fires during the holidays can be prevented.

Also, do not leave lights unattended. The new lights available are cool to the touch, but sometimes old sets are used as well. If you have lights on a real tree, be sure to keep the tree watered. A real tree will dry quickly if not kept watered and can easily burst into flames. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time; don't let it be the day you lost your home due to carelessness.

Take a few moments to check over your outdoor lighting as well. Repair or replace sets with frayed wires, as these too can be a fire hazard. A few extra minutes taken while decorating can mean the difference between a happy holiday and a disastrous holiday. Don't cut corners when it comes to electrical cords.

Stay safe when stringing your lights on your roof. Do not go on your roof if it is icy. Many people will string their lights in the fall, before the snow flies. This is not a bad idea, especially for anyone stringing lights on a steep roof. Any roof is dangerous when it is slippery; use common sense. There are many brackets and hangers on the market which attach directly to the edge of the roof or eavestroughs, which makes the need to go on the roof minimal. If you have a fence, perhaps it is best to string lights on it instead.

There are many solar lights available on the market. Using solar sets outside not only cuts down on your electric bill, it also eliminates the need to have extension cords running all over your yard. Eliminating the extension cords also eliminates a tripping hazard. It is the home owner's responsibility to ensure their property is safe for visitors; do not let carelessness result in injuries.

Enjoy the season and the decorations. Keep safety in mind at all times.

Have a great day!


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