Pro tips for hanging your Christmas lights

A new Christmas lights display at Bingemans called Gift of Lights is a two-kilometre route visitors can drive through and experience some festive displays.

Bingemans presents the Gift of Lights Christmas lights display

Visitors will drive through a tunnel of lights at Gift of Lights at Bingemans. (Gift of Lights)

Jenna Berlett is used to dealing with happy campers.

For the past two weeks, the attractions and resort manager at Bingemans in Kitchener has been helping set up 30 Christmas lighting displays on a two kilometre route in the park to celebrate the holiday season.

Going through the display, she pointed out a few favourites as she took CBC News on a sneak peek this week before it officially opened Friday night.

"There's Santa jumping over a stocking is a really good one. We've got an archway jumping Rudolphs," she said.

"We've got Rudolph here fishing and then across from him, we've got him lounging in a pickup truck, so Rudolph is doing many different things throughout the light display." 

The displays have taken a crew of 10 people about two weeks to set up.

It's been no easy feat, but the results are worth it, Berlett said.

With a balmy 17 C forecast for the area on Saturday, people may be eager to get their own holiday lights up before the snow flies.

If you're new to hanging Christmas lights, you might want to start small. (CBC)

Tips for homeowners

Despite the onset of chilly weather this weekend, people may be eager to get their own holiday lights up. 

Here are Berlett's tips: 

1. Test the lights

Make sure they work first, before you spend the time putting the lights up. "We're going through, we're changing quite a few bulbs to make sure everything is lit up properly," Berlett said. It's a lot easier when they're all laid out in front of you.

2. Know your lights

Different scenarios require different types of light sets. If you're decorating across the top of your garage, a string of outdoor lights will probably suffice. But if you're going to decorate a tree or bush, lights attached to netting might be better. String lighting might not be as effective as netting, which will give you "more bang for your buck for coverage," Berlett said.

3. Start small

Don't go overboard. If you're new to decorating your home, you may not want to channel Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and blow out the local electrical substation with your mega-mega-watt installation. Berlett suggested one or two focal pieces "and then grow from that each year."  "Not a two kilometre route," she advised.

Gift of Lights features 30 displays and nearly a million Christmas lights. (Gift of Lights)

Gift of Lights show: details

The grand opening of Gift of Lights is Nov. 18 to 20, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is a driving tour, so visitors should not exit their vehicles.

The display will be open these special weekends:

  • Nov. 24 to Nov. 27 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The display will be open daily starting Dec 8:

  • Dec. 8 to Jan. 1, weekdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Weekends and holidays, an extra hour later, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

The cost is $20 per car, $40 for limos and $100 for buses.

Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the United Way of Kitchener Waterloo and Area, Grand River Hospital Foundation and KidsAbility Foundation. 

How not-to

Here's the aforementioned Clark Griswold's effort, creating a house you could probably see from space.

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