We nearly always put up any outdoor Christmas lights before December arrives and many times before Thanksgiving. The main reason for this is it is warmer!! It's much more enjoyable to be outside on a warmish fall day than a blustery winter day. Obviously this does vary by region, but it is what has worked for us. We don't plug the lights in until AFTER Thanksgiving!
I had previously checked the lights to make sure they worked. This is key for avoiding any frustration that can arise if you get them all set up before plugging them in.
We put just one strand of globe lights up along the roof of the porch. This required a ladder and some command clip installation. We cleaned the surface for the clips and hung the strand of lights as we went along.
I also put out my artificial tree made out of an upside down tomato cage and garland. I made this tree two years ago. The first year it only had white lights and pine cones for decorations. Last year, I added some artificial cranberries. I just leave everything on the tree from year to year. This tree even survived the move with no damage!
The porch lights and the tree lights are on a timer. They will light up for about 5 hours each night and another hour in the dark of the morning. The decorations are simple, but just enough to make the house feel festive!
This outdoor lighting project took us about 30 minutes. It would have taken even less time, but we needed to figure out which extension cords to use for this house and install the command clips. We hope that next year the clips are still installed making the job even quicker!
Do you decorate outside of your home for Christmas? When do you turn on your holiday lights?