You’ve Been Hanging Your Christmas Tree Lights All Wrong

If you've been hanging your Christmas lights in a circle around the tree, there's a better way.

youve-been-hanging-christmas-tree-lights-all-wrong-329622008-kryzhovkryzhov/ShutterstockTrimming the tree is one of the most fun parts of decorating for Christmas. You get to pick out a creative color scheme, reminisce over handmade ornaments from your kids, and get the tree glowing with a string of lights. Before you jump in, though, you might want to rethink the way you hang those Christmas tree lights. A new method will make your tree brighter and save you the hassle of walking around and around your tree while you wrap. (Check out these other 12 secrets your Christmas tree wishes you knew.)

Most people light up their Christmas tree by spiraling the lights from the bottom to the top of the tree. The problem is, that method loses some of the tree’s sparkle power. “If you go around in a circle long-ways, the lights tend to go in,” designer Francesco Bilotto tells Today. Bulbs hiding in the branches means a less striking tree. (Don’t miss these other 18 Christmas decorating mistakes you didn’t know you were making.)

Keeping those bulbs closer to the tips of the branches will help the lights shine more brightly, Bilotto says. His trick is to hang the lights vertically instead of working in a horizontal spiral.

Start by tucking the part of the string that doesn’t have a plug on the top of the tree, he suggests. Now work your way down the branches, weaving a bit in an S formation to create more visual interest than a straight line.

When you get to the bottom, leave about three or four inches between the strand that’s already in place as you start weaving the loose lights back up, staying in that S formation. Continue going around the tree, wrapping up and down instead of side to side. “This way every tip of your tree, from branch to branch, will twinkle with delight,” Bilotto tells House Beautiful.

If you’re still skeptical of the vertical method, even the massive tree at Rockefeller Center is lit from bottom to top to give the decorations more dimensionality, according to Real Simple.

As a bonus, hanging the lights up and down means you can avoid the frustration of circling around the tree when you put your lights up and when you take them down. (Here are 8 tips for storing your Christmas decorations.) Your tree will come together quicker than ever. “Putting these on took no time and taking them off—even faster,” Bilotto tells Today. Now you can move onto the fun part: the ornaments!

Try these 20 easy Christmas ornament crafts you can do with your kids.

[Source: Southern Living]

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.