If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, be sure to check with them first on their guidelines for decorations. Don't purchase anything before checking first. Some of their restrictions might surprise you. "What?? No blow-up decorations larger than 20 ft? C'mon!"
Play Nice With The Neighbors
We all want to get along with our neighbors, right? So in that vein, be sure that you don't shine a huge strobe light in their bedroom windows. In fact, check all your decorations to be sure that they won't disrupt the lives of any of your neighbors. Be courteous. Install times so that you never accidentally forget to turn off your lights (and music, and air pumps....). And hey, a friendly call-out for competition on holiday decorations may make everyone happiest.
Magic Number 5
We've all seen the videos of those folks who string up thousands of lights, fill every square inch of their lawn with inflatables, and time everything to music using their computers. Yeah, that's cool and all but....don't be that guy. Limit your decorations to five. Yes, just five. Your neighbors will thank you and so will your electric bill.
Do a Drive By
So you bought that huge inflatable Santa last year on the day after Christmas and you've been waiting all year to put him up. Great. Go for it. But make sure that you aren't hindering any visibility for traffic, especially if you live on a corner lot. Keep all decorations back from the edge of the street so you can see out of your driveway as you back out, and so that no drivers have impaired visibility when they go by your house.
Keep It Safe
Prevent a short in your lights, and a possible fire, by safely plugging in every light string. Do not overload a single outlet. Whenever possible, distribute your lights around the house. And by all means, be careful on the ladder!
The holiday season lasts (unofficially) from Thanksgiving to Three Kings Day (January 6). So holiday lights are considered appropriately festive until then. After that date, it’s time to take down the lights and start focusing on Valentine’s Day. Please...take them down.