A 2021 survey found that the average American spends $213 a year on Christmas home decor alone. Christmas trees are the most significant expense (35%), followed by holiday lights (23%). About a fifth of the budget then goes toward ornaments.
$213 is already a lot of dough, but that can go higher if you commit common Christmas decorating errors. Way more if the mistakes give rise to accidents or even house fires.
To that end, we came up with this guide on the typical holiday decorating blunders you should avoid at all costs. Keep reading to discover what they are and what you should do instead.
1. Not Cleaning the House First
Dirt, dust, and cobwebs can make a home look like it’s part of a horror movie. That’s more aligned with Halloween, not Christmas. So, before putting up Christmas wall decor, take the time to clean your house first.
Tidying your home is even more critical since clutter can cause slips, trips, and falls. So you know, such incidents are responsible for more than a million U.S. emergency room visits every year.
Besides, clutter takes up space and impedes movement, so removing it gives you more room to work. Plus, a clean slate makes it easier to conceptualize your decorating ideas.
By contrast, seeing a mess around you can make it challenging to focus and think clearly. As a result, you may not be able to use your creative skills fully. You might even end with untidy-looking decorations.
2. Buying a Christmas Tree Made of Plastic
With growing environmental concerns, you may wonder if it’s better to go with a plastic tree. Well, if you’re buying a new one, it’s best to go with a real tree grown by a local farmer.
One reason you’d want to avoid faux trees is that making and shipping them requires a lot of energy. Moreover, many plastics used in these products are not easy to recycle. Thus, they’re not sustainable, but rather, they contribute more to environmental problems.
On the other hand, using a real tree as Christmas decor produces fewer carbon emissions. In addition, farmers replace every tree they cut for the holidays with one to three new seedlings. As a result, your tree purchase supports forestation and local businesses.
If you’d like an even more eco-friendly option, you might want to consider a potted Christmas tree. It’ll be much smaller than a felled one, though, since it’ll keep growing.
However, if you get a non-conifer variant, such as cedar, cypress, or pine, you can reuse it every holiday. That’s a bonus, as you have one less thing to account for in your annual Christmas decoration budget.
3. Failing to Take Measurements
Standard Christmas trees are often 7 to 8 feet tall, whether fake or real. Smaller ones are available, ranging from 4 to 6 feet. Finally, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the giant ones, measuring around 10 to 14 feet tall.
The thing is, trees often look smaller outdoors than when they’re indoors. Therefore, it’s not wise to rely on an “eyeball test” when buying a Christmas tree. Instead, always measure your ceiling’s height before making a tree purchase.
Just as important is to factor in the taper of the tree, which is its width to height ratio. It’s usually about two to three. So, a 6-foot-tall tree would have a width of about 4 feet, while a 9-foot-tall tree would have a width of roughly around 6 feet.
Now that you know more about tree measurements, the next step is to check if there’s such a space in your home. Ensure the location is far from direct heat sources, like furnace vents or fireplaces. It’s also best to pick a spot with an electrical outlet nearby to avoid needing extension cords.
4. Using Just Any Decoration Outdoors
One primary difference between interior and exterior decorations is their available sizes. For instance, you’d usually find an outdoor Santa sleigh in a life-sized version. On the other hand, their indoor versions are often for tabletop use.
Moreover, outdoor decorations must feature weather-resistant materials. After all, they’re at the mercy of UV rays, rain, wind, and snow, exposing them to much battering.
So, always ensure you use exterior decorations made explicitly for the outdoors.
5. Not Considering Safety
Authorities say that Christmas Day and Eve are among the top days for fires.
Candles are some of the primary culprits; they were behind 7,400 U.S. holiday house fires per year from 2015 to 2019. Moreover, they accounted for 45% of cases involving home decorations that caught fire. Other causes were Christmas trees that caught fire and lights that went ablaze.
With all that said, make sure that you don’t leave lit holiday candles unsupervised. If you can’t monitor them at all times, don’t light them or put them out. That’s even more crucial if you have kids or pets who may bump into the tables where the lit candles are.
As for indoor Christmas lights, it’s safe to use them inside your home. These products have undergone safety testing in indoor settings.
However, if a set of string lights says it’s for indoor use, please don’t use it outside. It may not withstand the harsher outdoor environment, which can turn it into a fire risk.
Also, don’t forget the position of your tree; as mentioned above, it should be far from a heat source. That includes candles.
Lastly, limit the use of extension cords, and don’t plug too many electronics into one. Even if it has multiple sockets, it’s best to use only one at a time.
Avoid These Common Christmas Decorating Errors
As you can see, many common Christmas decorating errors can be unsafe or even dangerous. There’s also the mistake of buying a new faux tree, which can be problematic for the environment.
But now that you know what these blunders are, it’ll be easier for you to avoid them. As you should, since you don’t want to put a damper on your festivities with an accident or a fire.
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