Start sifting through those boxes of Christmas lights and trimmings so you can toss out decorations from a few years ago and get new stuff for the holidays.
Not only are they getting chipped, broken and tattered, but they may also be almost obsolete, so go online and start ordering a whole new look for your home.
The prices this year look pretty reasonable, but remember, there’s also taxes and shipping costs.
Here are some possibilities that may excite you:
Laser light projectors
These devices may end the whole tradition of climbing a tall and scary ladder to hang strings of lights from the eaves of the house.
Instead, you buy two or more laser light projectors that will flash festive Christmas trees or deer or “flurries” of snow onto the exterior walls of your house. The projectors are mounted on stakes that you stick in the ground or mount on a wall or tree.
Some have timers that will turn the lights on and off at night. You can use a remote to manipulate them and sometimes you can even sync them to your smartphone.
Depending on what kinds of features they have, you can pay from $30 or so or up to $100 per projector.
Today’s generation of electric candles, powered by batteries, have LED lights that look surprisingly like real flames. They’re also much safer for children and pets and some kinds can be used outdoors near your plants and bushes.
Some can even have wicks that dance and move or that give off a scent.
They’re great for window displays.
You can buy a pack of 50 or 60 votives for $12 or six flameless pillar candles for $40.
There are many, many sizes and colors on the web. Some even have flames that glow in different colors.
LED strip lights
These strips of tiny LEDs come on reels that look like old-fashioned movie strips and are available in assorted lengths – 16 feet, 32 feet or maybe more. They can sell for $20 to $30 a reel.
You may already have them in the kitchen for under-cabinet lighting or you can cut up the strips to put on stair railings or the eaves of your house.
You could use them to create wreaths or other outdoor decorations. You want to be sure to buy special lighting brackets and clips and screws. Make sure the lights are waterproof for outdoor use.
Strings of lights
You’ve probably hung strings of icicles on your fence before. They’re a great way to light up the house at Christmas.
But now the variety is immense.
Those strings of lights come with lots of new shapes and styles. Some look like old vintage light bulbs, some look like tiny stars, some look like a glimmering rope.
A 20-foot string can cost $15 and up. They can be incandescent bulbs or LEDs.
Sometimes you can buy shades and covers for the lights.
Curtain of lights
You can also buy temporary window curtains covered with strings of lights to use indoors or outside. Imagine 300 LEDs twinkling on a six foot by 10 foot curtain for about $20.
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