When it’s the middle of November and the temperature reaches 60 degrees, us Minnesotans do not take it for granted because it only happens once every couple of years. Usually we are basking in the beginning of the winter weather by now. One year ago (yesterday) we were already blanketed by 8 inches of fluffy white snow on the ground. And from that we learned a few lessons…like don’t wait until there is a foot of snow and it’s 5 degrees outside to put up your Christmas lights. In that vein, we spent most of this past weekend outside knocking off chores getting our yard and house ready for the winter and my favorite holiday season.
You may remember earlier this spring when Dain taught himself how to clean our air conditioner (here.) While reading all about air conditioner maintenance we learned that during the fall and winter months you should cover the top of the air conditioner with a board and something heavy to keep out debris. Dain’s system is not the most attractive sight, but it works.
Other things that we knocked off our list were draining and bringing in all of our garden hoses, shutting off the outside water spouts, and raking some more leaves, which seem to never stop falling around here. I also went around the house and closed and locked all of our storm windows. But the best part of the weekend came when we decided to bust out one of our favorite things of the year. Hello Christmas lights. Too soon? To light them, definitely. To put them up, definitely not. Last year we found ourselves schlepping around in the snow and frigid weather running extension cords, setting up a timer, and hanging the few lights that we owned at the time. And believe it or not, this girl spearheaded that movement. Dain was not into it last year. But he did recognize that we were not going to make the same mistake twice so he suggested getting an early start this year while the weather was still nice.
Thanks to hitting after Christmas clearance sales last year at Target and Menards, we have quite a few more lights than we had last year. So we first started by running all the extension cords where we needed them. Dain also rigged up a nice little stand for our light timer that we could pound into the ground instead of laying it down in the snow.
At Menards last year, we picked up brand new LED lights to help us bring that sparkle to our holidays without breaking the bank with our energy bill. Dain also had the forethought to buy these gutter hooks so we could hang lights on our house this year.
After deciding to run blue lights on the front of the house and garage, Dain got up on the ladder to secure the lights while I unfurled the strands and held them up to him. The gutter hooks worked like a charm.
We also did this totally freestyle run of lights between our house and garage that we walk under going in our side door. It looks borderline ridiculous during the day, but it is awesome at night. As in, every night we will enter our house under a trellis of shimmering lights. Yes please.
We also wrapped our tree out front with lights and added net lighting to the front planter. Dain asked me if our neighbors are going to think we are crazy for our amount of lights. I said yep but that we definitely don’t have enough. It takes a lot of lights to roll like Clark Griswold. A girl can dream. We will no doubt be hitting the post-holiday sales again this year to add to our collection. While our display this year probably won’t be winning any awards or be featured on a light tour, it makes us happy. And that’s the important part. We’ll be back with pictures of it in all of it’s glory after Thanksgiving once I convince Dain to bust out his fancy camera and tripod and grab some night shots.