Newsflash: You’ve Probably Been Stringing Your Christmas Lights Wrong This Whole Time
Luckily, we have the perfect tree-trimming solution.
You’ve picked out the perfect fresh-cut Christmas tree—one that’s vibrant green, fragrant, and filled with beefy branches to hang all your precious heirloom ornaments. Besides watering the tree, the next big task you’ll have on your plate is decorating it. Tinsel, ribbons, and garland will spruce up any ornamented evergreen, but draping and weaving lights throughout the branches will truly help your tree sparkle.
Once you’ve completed the tedious chore of untangling lights and checking that each and every twinkling bulb works, it’s time to start hanging them on the tree. However, if you’re accustomed to randomly wrapping lights around the base of the tree and working your way up, there's actually a better way to do it: string them vertically. According to interior designer and entertaining expert Francesco Bilotto, we should be stringing the lights vertically, instead of from side to side.
"The reason I like doing this is if you go around in a circle, the lights tend to go in," Bilotto said during an appearance on the TODAY Show.
Not to mention, by hanging the lights vertically, you don’t have to worry about them being obstructed by sturdy branches in the middle.
To ensure each bulb is visible, Bilotto suggested starting at the top with the end of the strand that doesn’t have a plug, and then letting the lights cascade down to the bottom of the tree. From there, pull the lights to the right of the tree, leaving about three or four inches between each strand, and work your way up. Make sure the plug is at the bottom near an outlet or power cord. Repeat the top-to-bottom process until the entire tree is flooded in lights.
"This way every tip of your tree, from branch to branch, will twinkle with delight," Bilotto told HouseBeautiful.com.
By incorporating Bilotto’s illuminating method in the tree-trimming portion of your holiday décor, the lights will remain on the tips of the branches, as opposed to being hidden on the inside.
"Another added bonus is when you dismantle your tree and take off the lights, it'll be easier and less messy to remove strands from the exterior of the tree—rather than fighting a stubborn almost dried branch," Bilotto explained to HouseBeautiful.com.
And, of course, people took to social media to showcase their masterfully lit creations using Bilotto’s vertical method.
If you need a visual aid, here’s a video of Bilotto demonstrating the lighting technique on the TODAY Show.
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Of course, there is no right or wrong way to string lights, as long as you’re following the necessary safety precautions. But even Southern traditionalists can appreciate a unique decorating tip that will help to elevate the tree and all its festive trimmings.