Give me all the Christmas things
I have never been a big Christmas decorator. But that’s not because I don’t want to be – oh my gosh, I would very seriously like to have my house look like a Christmas explosion, please – it’s because I never really had the space or the materials. When you grow up in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City, there’s not a ton of square footage to allow for high-volume decorating, and if you want to get all festive on the exterior of your place, what that means is stringing some lights from your fire escape.
Which is cool! But…you know. Definitely not the same as being a member of the McCallister family.
I want a Christmas House. (I wanted one last year, too, but life got in the way and it was all Kendrick and I could do to string a few icicle lights without killing ourselves and/or each other, so we stopped while we were ahead.)
A few weeks ago, Ace Hardware asked me to come up with a few fun concepts for holiday decor that would incorporate their (huge and completely glorious) selection of LED lights.
I thought about making a DIY wreath and twining lights through it (cute!).
I thought about putting together some ideas for lighting up an unused fireplace (fun!).
And then I thought…wait.
THIS IS MY CHANCE TO HAVE A CHRISTMAS HOUSE.
So the final suggestion was to let me unleash the Christmas Kraken slumbering deep inside my heart, and give me full reign to turn my house into That House With All The Lights (And It’s Not Even Thanksgiving Yet) (squeeeeeeeee).
Please allow me to present to you…
da da daaaaaaaa…
My Christmas House.
Here’s what I used, in case you too want a Christmas House:
- A mix of white LED C6 lights (the ones with the vintage-y looking bulbs), regular LED string lights, and mini LED string lights.
- LED Cluster Twinkle Lights (those are the ones that look kind of like branches and are wrapped around my posts, and you HAVE to get them – they’re gorgeous, and so unexpected).
- LED net lights (for the bushes).
- Bavarian Flocked Wreaths (Ace also has a ton of pre-lit wreaths, but I love the snowy look).
- Pre-Lit Garlands (to go around the door frame; you might only need two if you don’t have a double-size door).
- Pre-Lit Porch Trees (which come in those adorable wooden boxes and look great; the faux berries and pinecones on them are completely realistic and non-cheesy).
- 6-Outlet Power Stake with timer.
- And, of course, a whole bunch of extension cords (standard ones should be just fine, although you’ll want to measure the distance from your outlets, in case you need extra-long ones). Ace associates at your local store can help you find the one that’s best for your space – just ask!
Note: All of the lights pictured here are Warm White. Cool White will give a more bluish effect.
And in case you’re wondering whether I all of a sudden turned into the kind of person capable of achieving total Christmas nirvana without any help, the answer is obviously no. I had someone come by the house to help me figure out whether all of these lights would require me to install generators and switchboards and breaker boxes and such – but you know what? It turns out that LED lights put SUCH a small amount of strain on wiring and use up to 85% less energy than traditional bulbs – so no extra electricity-related accommodations were necessary (although the guy I hired did end up helping me hang the lights anyway, because I don’t think anyone wants to see what might happen if I try crawling around on my roof). LED lights also last longer than traditional bulbs, so I can recreate this Winter Wonderland year after year without having to buy new lights, hooray.
I love it, I love it, I love it. Did I mention I love it? And I extra-love it because I live in California, which means I get to spend all those balmy midwinter evenings sitting in a hammock, enjoying my zillions of lights up close and personal.
I strongly recommend you get cracking on your own Christmas House ASAP, because really: I think we could all use a little extra Christmas spirit this year, and surrounding your home with a halo of sparkling lights seems like a pretty solid way to start. Head over to your local Ace – their helpful associates can help you find exactly what you’re looking for to make your own dream Christmas destination, and they’re currently offering a sale on LED Christmas lights and holiday décor now starting 11/29 through 12/11! You can even save time by ordering all your décor online and picking up at your local Ace with their free store pickup!
This post was created in collaboration with Ace Hardware. Photography by Kim Ebbets.