When it comes to hanging Christmas lights, would you consider yourself a minimalist or more of a Griswold? In the classic comedy National Lampoon Christmas Vacation,  beleaguered dad, Walt Griswold, wanted his house to be seen from outer space and hung just enough lights to get that goal accomplished. Whether you’re going over the top or keeping it simple, you’ll find that these holiday decorating hacks can be a big boost.

Forget the Back of the Tree

Most Christmas trees go into the corner. Unlike Baby from Dirty Dancing, the trees are happy to be there. However, when it comes to stringing lights, many feel the urge to wrap around the entire tree. That’s just wasting good twinkle. Instead, start at the top and work down a zig zag pattern in the front. Tuck in the corners for sure but you don’t have to go to the back. This will make removing the lights easier, too.

Towel Holder for Ribbon

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a room in our homes dedicated to wrapping. We could call it, the Wrapping Room. Short of that, try using a standing paper towel holder for your ribbons. Fast and smooth way to unspool that ribbon.

Power Lift Your Tree

Take four old paint cans. Place them under your Christmas tree stand. Wrap the whole thing with a tree skirt. Voila! Instant taller tree. As an added bonus, you’ll have more room for presents and it will be easier to water the tree.

Candy Canes Everywhere

You don’t have to just hang candy canes on the Christmas tree. A little ribbon and these can be fun elements to hang in your window. Nothing says Christmas like a candy cane!

Presents Everywhere

As with the candy canes, your Christmas tree doesn’t have to be the only landing spot for your presents. You spend all that time wrapping beautiful packages… why not put them on proud display? You can create present stacks on tables, in corners or anywhere else you want to fill a space with cheer. You can even get a few big boxes and wrap them up for decoration.

Family Photos For Gift Tags

Point. Shoot. Click. Print. That’s how easy it is to take a photo on your cell phone. If it is that simple, then why not use some of those photos as tags for your presents? You could even scan old pictures of kids and Santa or past family gatherings to use. Time to put all those pictures to work!

Card Tree

As your holiday cards start flowing in, why not tape them to a blank space on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree? It is a terrific use of space and you can enjoy them throughout the season.

Happy decorating!