5 Cities That Know How to Do Christmas Lights Right

5 Cities That Know How to Do Christmas Lights Right

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By Jaclyn Pitt, Storage.com

Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.

One of the most delightful aspects of the holiday season is driving around to look at Christmas lights. In an effort to spread Christmas cheer, we’ve compiled our five favorite cities whose Christmas lights are on point. The neighborhoods listed below are ones you’ll definitely want to add to your must-see list!

1. BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN ATLANTA, GA

Alpharetta
Photo by Alpharetta CVB

ALPHARETTA

Hosted at Cagle’s Family Farm, this Alpharetta family favorite has been drawing in lovers of Christmas lights for more than eight years. For an encouraged (but not required) $5 donation per car, you can see the show any day of the week from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., with the show running every half hour.

The runner of this free animated light show is a tech-lover who likes to make people smile. They use 240 channels of Light-O-Rama and 55,000 lights synchronized to “Amazing Grace”, “All I Want For Christmas is You”, “Wizards in Winter”, and “Let it Go”. Tune your radio to 89.9 FM Thursday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. until December 27.

DECATUR

If you’re an avid fan of ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, you may recall the Paradowski’s Christmas light display. This year’s light show has more than 115,000 lights and over four miles of extension cords. The music played alongside the show can be heard from their yard or on 87.9 FM. The show runs Monday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. until January 1.

KENNESAW

Former Navy pilot, John Meckley, has been called the “Clark Griswold of North Atlanta,” and for good reason. After coming in third place in a decorating contest, he strives to improve his display every year. Meckley has 30,000 LED lights and 256 controllers. The synchronized music is broadcast on 88.3 FM Sunday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The residents of Calumet West simply love Christmas. This year they will have their 9th Annual Calumet West Christmas Parade of Lights. You can watch floats from your front yard and attend a post-parade Christmas party at the Austin’s home. Many neighbors decorate their homes to raise money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

2. BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS NEAR CLEVELAND, OH

Strongsville
Photo by Kevin Skutt

ASHTABULA

In operation since 2005, volunteers put together over 70 displays on 54 acres of land at Lakeshore Park, all of which reflect among the waters of Lake Erie. For $5 per vehicle (buses $1 per person), you can enjoy this unique Christmas light display Friday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until December 27. (Open 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve).

Established in 2011, this Ashtabula County light display raises money for Ride 4 thEM, a charity that helps local families who face financial difficulties due to caring for a child with life-threatening illness. Tune in to 96.7 FM to watch the light show, which runs Sunday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. until New Years Eve.

STRONGSVILLE

This free Christmas light display takes place on a cul-de-sac where nine of the 11 houses participate. Many viewers recommend parking on Bennington Dr. and walking around the display. Santa Claus is there from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and the lights are generally on from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

  • Winter Wonderland: Corner of SR 82 (Royalton Rd) and SR 42 (Pearl Rd), Strongsville OH 44149

The Commons area located in the center of Strongsville is adorned with thousands of lights and holiday music in the background. Residents can enjoy the decorated clocktower, gazebo, and the 40-foot Christmas tree. The lights are on nightly until January 6.

HURON

A charity-driven organization, Sawmill Creek Resort puts up light displays all along the main drive. You’ll see Peanuts characters, a nativity scene, Frosty the Snowman, and many of the classics. The lights are on every day from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. until New Years Eve.

3. BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX

Addison
Photo by Brandi Korte

FRISCO

This year marks Frisco’s Christmas in the Square’s tenth anniversary. Walk around the Christmas tree lot, watch the choreographed holiday lights and music show, and snow flurries every 15 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays all throughout the square. Experience Christmas in the Square 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly until January 3 (closed on Christmas Day).

ADDISON

Take a walk through 12 acres of trees that have every inch covered in bright Christmas lights. These glowing trees create an astonishing reflection in the water. The park also hosts photo opportunities with Santa and concerts on the weekends. View these vibrant trees any night of the week from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until January 1.

PLANO

Take a gander at 1.1 million lights strung about the outdoor shops at Legacy and the 65-foot tall Christmas tree, which sports 100,000 twinkling lights. And while you’re there, take a selfie with Elphie, the resident Elf on the Shelf, if you can spot him in one of the shops!

  • Deerfield: Between Preston Rd and Coit Rd, Plano, TX 75024

This northwest Plano neighborhood is well-known for its holiday decorating traditions. The displays get better every year, fueled by the desire to win the neighborhood contest. Contestants enter to win in the following categories: Best Overall, Most Traditional, Children’s Favorite, and Funniest. Drive through any day of the week from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through December 21.

4. BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS NEAR ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Lake Forest

LAKE FOREST

The Norris family puts on a blinking light display with Christmas songs that you can listen to on 89.7 FM. Their neighbor also blinks his lights in sync with them, making for a unique experience! See their 40,000+ lights any day of the week 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through New Years Eve.

MISSION VIEJO

Located at the Mission Viejo Civic Center, viewers can walk through Santa’s Workshop on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. until December 20. Mission Viejo also encourages residents to decorate for Christmas by putting on a Lighting Contest. Winners receive a floral centerpiece and a display sign adorned with their winning title.

This street has ten houses that are fully decorated for Christmas, and also happens to be one of last year’s winners for the Mission Viejo Lighting Contest. Be sure to find the house that is donned with a giant Santa face!

This house was also a winner in last year’s lighting contest. Their decorations are made up entirely of characters from Whoville.

LAGUNA HILLS

With 100,000 dancing lights, 56 snow village displays, hand-sculpted mountains, apple cider, and holiday cheer–the Orange County Christmas Lights in Laguna Hills is a Cali favorite. Stop by for free any day of the week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until New Years Eve.

5. BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN NEW YORK CITY, NY

Dyker Heights
Photo by Andre

BROOKLYN

Dyker Heights is a popular choice to see Christmas lights for those living in or near Brooklyn. So much so that PBS even created a documentary called Dyker Lights. The displays will be up for viewing from dusk to midnight until New Years Eve.

QUEENS

Families every year look forward to seeing Anthony Gurino’s annual Christmas display. His property encompasses an entire block, which is decorated to every corner. View the lights from dusk until midnight.

For the brightest and most festive house in Queens, you’ll want to drive by Kevin Lynch’s home. He has lights covering just about every inch of his house, along with lawn figures and a glass display case filled with moving toys.

BRONX

Simply known as the Christmas House, the Garabedian family puts quite a unique spin on their Christmas display. While you’ll see a traditional nativity scene and corpulent angels, you’ll also see roughly 200 animated figures dressed up in Old-Hollywood glam.

OFF-SEASON DECORATIONS + SELF STORAGE = GENIUS

What neighborhood do you think has the best Christmas lights? Let us know in the comments!

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All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under Creative Commons.

Move Christmas Decorations to a Storage Unit

Move Christmas Decorations to a Storage Unit

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By Hailey Konnath, Storage.com

The gifts have been delivered and unwrapped. The cookies have been eaten. The carols have ceased. It’s that dreaded time again—taking down the Christmas decorations.

For many Christmas enthusiasts, taking down and storing decorations until next year can be a depressing, arduous task. The post-Christmas “depression” may be unavoidable, but properly storing your holiday decorations until next year doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

A self storage unit is the perfect place to keep your decorations until it’s once again socially acceptable for you to publicly display them (after Labor Day, right?). We talked to Christmas decoration and self storage experts and got their tips on what to do with trees, lights, ornaments, etc., until next year.

ORGANIZE AND PACK CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

A common mistake people make when organizing and packing their holiday decorations is they tend to throw everything into a large container and call it a day. In order to protect each item for future use, however, Christmas decorations need to be wrapped and placed in a box or storage container.

Many containers, like those specifically for ornaments, come with dividers to keep items separate. These are best when storing holiday decorations since they prevent damage. If you’re storing an artificial Christmas tree, you can either break down the sections of the tree and store them in separate boxes, or you can store the tree in one piece in a box (preferably the original box) to help it keep its shape during storage.

When packing everything up, be sure to use acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap, explains Sarah Schlegel, Tree Decorating Coordinator for Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Mich. This will protect each decoration from fading, rubbing other items, or being exposed to moisture while in storage.

As for organizing, Michael Tung, Managing Director of Christmas Tree Palace T&T, recommends color-coding. This is helpful if you have a color theme that changes every year. “By color-coding, you won’t have to unpack all the decorations, just the color you need, which helps increase the lifespan of the other colors.”

Schlegel also suggests to label boxes or containers to detail what contents are inside as well. That way, when you need to find a decoration,  you won’t have to sift through each box.

STORE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS IN A STORAGE UNIT

When you move Christmas decorations to a storage unit, you’ll probably only need a 5×5 or 5×10. These unit sizes are similar to a walk-in closet, so they should provide plenty of space for boxes, storage containers, trees, wreaths, and other items you want to put away until next Christmas.

If you live in a region that sees high temperatures and humidity, you may want a storage unit that comes equipped with climate control. While in storage, decorations can discolor, melt, or shatter when exposed to heat and humidity, according to Tung. Worse, trees and wreaths can develop mold and mildew.

A climate-controlled storage unit can help prevent weather-related damages. Since this storage feature acts as an air conditioner and dehumidifier inside the unit, it helps to keep all of your items safe from external conditions.

Another thing to keep in mind when storing decorations in self storage is to not stack boxes or containers too high. Fabian Campos, manager of Secure Storage of Cool Springs in Franklin, Tenn., says he never stacks items more than chest height. This ensures boxes don’t crumble under the weight of other boxes or fall from the stack, which could easily damage the items inside.

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