Here Is A Monthly Checklist
- First things first, lets get somewhat organized. Make a folder on your desktop named Christmas "whatever year".
- Make a text file on your computer listing any problems, tips or ideas that you noticed while taking down your old display. Place this text file into your Christmas folder.
- Keep an eye out for any clearance items that may have lasted through the after christmas sales. Even if its something you dont really think you will use, you never know what you will need the following year.
- Dont really do much of anything else this month, just kinda sit back relax and enjoy the compliments that are still flowing in about your previous display.
- Ok so you have had your month off, now it is time to really start turning your creative wheels.
- Take a look at other peoples videos, whether it be from the Holiday Lights DVD, Videos off this site, or clips people have posted on the net. Look at them and find things that you really like and remember them.
- Now write down those things that you really like, either add them to the text file you made in january or start a whole new text file.
- Now that you have some ideas for the upcoming season, begin to do your research on taking your display to the next level
- Begin your research by contacting others who have done the ideas that you really liked, find out how they did it and get any ideas or suggestions they may have. You can often save time and money by learning from others' mistakes. Christmas light enthusiast are often very eager to share their information and knowledge.
- Take a walk through one of your local home improvement stores, walk through all the departments, plumbing, electrical, lumber yard. You will often see things that will inspire you or say hey I could do that with this.
- Begin this month by prioritizing your projects list, you should go Easy, Medium, Hard, Easiest
- Grab a piece of paper or do it in paint or another drawing application. Sketch out how you want your display to be, this is just a rough draft. Things will change, location of items will change, and some things may never actually make it through to the show. However at least now you have a visual of where you want to head
- Alright take the first item off your projects list, document your steps of how you did it, even take pics or video if you want to. Submit the tutorial of how you do all your projects to here at christmasdisplays.net so others can see how to do it. Once you finish it up, move along to some projects of medium difficulty and complete them.
- Use this month to really work on your projects, but dont overdo it. You dont want to get burned out by doing too much too soon. There are still 7 months to go until show time.
- Ok so its May and its warming up, use this nice time outside to complete your hard projects. It will be warmer and you will have more time outside to work on your projects.
- Complete these projects, dont rush yourself, with big projects, check and double check yourself on everything you do.
- In fact take the whole month of June to finish your projects, and rest with any extra time you may have. Once again you dont want to get burned out on this hobby.
- Take this month and catch all the Christmas in July Specials. You can often pick up many really cool items for your display during this time, at a reasonable price.
- Check all your power outlets, and check your power situation overall. Ask yourself did you start to run out of power last year, if the answer is yes, or if the answer NO doesnt just scream at you. Consider having a licensed electrician installing more power.
- Always remember to ask around, ask family, friends, and co workers if they know of any licensed electricians. This simple task can save you hundreds
- Complete any Light controller boards that you may have to put together, or any other type of electronic projects you may have.
- Listen to some christmas music, and some other songs that you think may possibly be good songs to synch your lights to. You can listen to these while putting your electronic projects together.
- Begin synching your light shows, dont try and finish them all at once. Quit and come back to them if you begin to get tired. You will have a fresher mind and better ideas. Remember to try and get your timing as close as possible, because the more accurate your timing is the more effective your synchronization is.
- If you already have your light controlling equipment together and ready to use, pull out some of it and hook up a small light demo. Actually seeing the lights is a great way to help visualize how the sequence is going to look.
- Use this month to relax some, you have been working hard all year on your display and you are about to be working non stop.
Spend some time with your family, if you do anything for Halloween, then use this opportunity to play with your lighting controllers in a live situation.
- Man how the year has flown by, it is already November
- Start going through your storage building, begin to pull stuff out of storage, and according to how much stuff you have to put up begin putting up your display. Some displays may be required to start assembly in October.
- Begin assembling your display by, putting up unnoticable stuff first, such as putting lights in your trees, then your bushes, then icicle lights, and then your yard decorations. This will also cut down on giving vandals ample time to plan against you.
- When putting lights up, just simply use one extension cord and drag it to each location you are decorating. This way you can have the lights lit up while decorating and then simply roll the one cord up when you are finished for that day.
- Watch the after thanksgiving day sales, this will be your best chance to pick up any items you still need for your display at a greatly reduced price.
- Officially turn your display on, this may vary according to when you turn it on. I turn mine on the night after thanksgiving.
- Check your display nightly for any bad strings, or anything else that is not functioning properly.
- As for checking bad bulbs, strings and fuses. You should definately pick yourself up one of the Light Keeper Pros, this is a great tool for under 20 bucks.
- Continue to check your department stores, walmarts and targets for any last minute good deals that you might be able to add to your display. I like to add things through out the season, it gives visitors something new to look at when they come back.
- Enjoy your hard work, listen to the kids and adults oohing and awing over your display.
- Catch the after christmas sales, you can usually rack up on thousands of lights. I bought 25,000 last year for under $300.00, also get things like extra c9 bulbs, fuses, and anything else you can get your hands on
- Remember things that gave you problems, or ideas you have for next year and place them in a new text file for the upcoming year.