Five Star Holiday Decor Blog

Incredible Christmas Light Shows

It seems like certain things to do with Christmas, like snow sculptures and Christmas Lights, must be outdone by last year’s attempt. When the effort to be bigger and better than last year is a success, I find myself wondering if it’s possible to go beyond that. Especially when it comes to Christmas lights synchronized to music. “How can that ever be topped?!” I ask myself as I watch Christmas lights shows from one season to another.

Despite what I may have believed about outdoor Christmas light displays having reached their peak, I am here to show you that bigger and better is in fact, still achievable. These are seriously some of the most intense Christmas light shows I have ever seen. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Johnson Family Light Show

I really liked how the Johnson family kept it classy with strong lines and used awesome synchronization with each song. I think it’s a nice balance of awesome without being overblown. This family competed in “The Great Christmas Light Fight” on ABC in 2014.

 

The Larsen Christmas Lights Show

The Larsen Christmas Lights Show is mind blowing. Each song is so different from the last with all the colors and patterns. It’s really fascinating to watch. This show won ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2013.

 

Here is the Larsen Christmas Lights Show from up in the air. I like it better on the ground, but the different perspective is interesting.

 

I hope you have a chance to go see a synchronized Christmas lights show with your loved ones this season. May you be inspired to plan your outdoor Christmas lights design for next year. You can call us as early as August or September to schedule your Christmas light installation for the 2016 season. Let us help you by setting up the best Christmas lights display your neighborhood has ever seen.

Merry Christmas!

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Five Star Holiday Decor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

 

 

7 Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

Ok, it’s time to decorate for Christmas. I know it’s exhausting, but the kids sure like it, and that includes the grownup kids. So on with the traditions and get out the decorations. Here are seven Christmas decorating ideas to get you started.

Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List 

  1. Tree

If you are seeking new ideas for your tree, something as simple as some new ribbon will brighten up your tree ornaments without breaking the bank. When it comes to decorating the tree, remember that lights can be repaired reasonably easily nowadays. Watch this video for some pointers to repair your Christmas lights.

  1. Banister

The banister is a must for holiday decorating. It continues Christmas ambiance throughout the home, and makes the whole house feel cheerier. Try wrapping pre-lit, faux garland and ribbon around the handrails.  

 Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

  1. Mantle

If you have a hearth, it has got to at least have stockings hung on the mantle – keeping in mind all safety precautions of course. If you need some ideas for decorating the hearth for Christmas, check out Pinterest, there is an endless amount of Christmas mantle decorating ideas to inspire you.

 Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

  1. Wreath

A wreath is a must for welcoming holiday guests. The possibilities are endless for what you can use to adorn your front door. Traditional evergreen wreaths are always a good option, or consider something unusual like a painted frame or a pair of antique ice skates with some embellishment to make your door festive. Pinterest is a great resource for Christmas wreaths ideas.

 Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

  1. Doorway

If you really want to go all out on the front door area, a garland is a beautiful concept to adorn your entryway. Evergreen garland is classy and can be easily added to, or you can go for something out of the ordinary like a huge amount of colorful Christmas balls wired together.

 Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

  1. Porch

You can take your doorway décor a step further by decorating the porch area if you have the space. Consider putting out an antique pair of ski’s or an antique sled with a beautiful ribbon on it.  

 Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

  1. Outdoor Christmas Lights

If you like outdoor Christmas displays, professional Christmas light installation is the way to go to put lights on your house. You have too much to do to decorate the rest of the house and get the shopping done to try and hang the lights on your own. Plus, a professional Christmas light installer has the safety equipment and training. Don’t risk your well being and holiday happiness by trying to hang lights on your roof by yourself. That’s what Five Star Holiday Decor is here for, to save you time and hassle and make sure your home’s Christmas lights look amazing.  

Seven Christmas Decorating Ideas – Holiday Home Decoration List

These 7 Christmas decorating ideas are meant to bring you joy. If this holiday home decoration list is overwhelming and causing you stress, remember, it’s more important to have a happy family than a perfectly decorated home. If the Christmas ornaments get put on the tree by your 7-year-old and the tree looks lopsided, look at it like this, the tree is up and decorated and your little ones had a great time helping. How sweet! It’s about building good memories, not creating a Pinterest worthy image for the neighbors.

 

Have fun making memories with your family!

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Five Star Holiday Decor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

 

 

 

Set an Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving table settings, in my experience has been a more formal occasion from other meals and family gatherings. However, I was raised in a rural community so the standard of living was not a five star hotel quality experience by any means. My mother had formal training and a life in the city before she fell in love with her country boy husband, my father. She was bound and determined that her children would not grow up uneducated on proper etiquette. Yes ma’am, we had formal meals with chargers and goblets. However, we didn’t have three course meals. There was dinner and then there was desert, if we were lucky.

Despite my mother’s efforts, the different sizes of forks didn’t take on any more meaning than the smaller one fits in my mouth better and the bigger one has more shoveling capacity. In fact I don’t know that we ever had enough matching utensil sets to ever really set a perfect formal table. We had nice dishes, but with so many kids and a father who ran-off with the the spoons for lunch at work, it was tough to keep a full set around. Looking back, I suppose we looked kinda cute trying so hard to set a nice table with mismatched dishes. But I loved it. Setting the table was my favorite job for family gatherings.  

In our small home, especially with all the extended family and the extensive table decorations, buffet style was usually the way the meal was served. This may have also had something to do with the sheer amount of food. There was simply not enough room for Aunt Lou’s gluten-free stuffing, Grandma’s whole wheat stuffing, and mom’s cornbread stuffing. For everything to fit, and everyone to get a fair shake at at least a little taste of everything — if you like celery in your stuffing — it had to be a buffet. This eliminated the need for salad plates or soup bowls at the table. Actually, salad plates, in my childhood view were actually just plates made for small people such as my younger siblings.

The good news, from our hodgepodge efforts at a formal Thanksgiving dinner, I was not completely lost when I found myself seated at a formal meal in a fancy hotel. I was not taunted by three plates, three forks, two goblets and a coffee cup. Nervous, but not overwhelmed as I could have been, if not for my mother.  By that time I knew what a salad fork looked like and to start from the outside and work inward. Thank heaven’s! That was not the time to be asking for instructions.

The point I am trying to make is this. A homemade Thanksgiving dinner is exhausting effort. Formal table settings may seem like overkill and create an seemingly unnecessary amount of dishes to clean. Please remember to look past the extra work and recognize the opportunity this is to prepare your kids for life one day. The cooking can be a bonding experience with your child. Trust him or her enough to let them help prepare the turkey and bake pies. The formal table setting is a teaching opportunity. Trust your son or daughter to set the table with the fine china. Broken dishes, if something does break, can be replaced and aren’t worth getting angry about. These moments may never come again, don’t lose them.     

Make Thanksgiving a time to remember how to be refined. Stop and actually taste your food, be grateful for the good things in your life and reflect on how you have changed over the past year. Despite everything life continues to throw at us almost daily, we have so much to be thankful for.

I have included a diagram of a formal table setting and a video to help you set your Thanksgiving table, in case you are completely lost.

 

Set an Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Good Luck!

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

The history of Christmas lights is a rather interesting one. This year, before you begin the battle to untangle your Christmas lights, take a moment to appreciate where this tradition started and how far we have come since then. It may change your attitude about this holiday hassle.

The Illuminating History of Christmas Lights

Before we had light-emitting diode (LED) Christmas lights, there were incandescent lights. Before electric stringed lights, our dedicated predecessors used wax candles to light their indoor Christmas trees. As you can imagine, a bunch of lit candle on a dead pine tree was a super dangerous practice. Thank goodness for the invention of electricity and the first string of mini lights.

Such an invention has helped to prevent many a Christmas tree from catching fire. In fact, that was such a real danger that insurance companies back then, refused to cover house fires caused by Christmas trees. The tradition of lighting the tree back around the turn of the century meant that someone had to stand nearby with buckets of water and sand, ready to dowse the tree at any moment. Because of this fire hazard, the tree would only be up for a couple of days before Christmas. Seems like a lot of trouble and risk to go through for a Christmas tradition that you can only enjoy for a few days.

The History Channel as a great video briefly explaining the history of Christmas lights. Take a look.


The first string of incandescent lights made available to the public were so expensive that people would rent out the lights rather than buy them. If one light went out on these short light strands, they all did. Fortunately, the strands were pretty short, so narrowing down the problem, I imagine, would have been faster.

Take a look at what 100-year-old Christmas lights looked like back-in-the-day.


The Very American History of Christmas Lights” is an interesting take on the tradition of Christmas tree lighting.

LED Christmas lights are brighter and more energy efficient, using one-tenth the energy required by incandescent bulbs, and last much longer than their incandescent predecessor. Although they are more expensive than incandescent lights, they will save you money and time in the long run.

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

It has come to my attention that I have had a very limited view of pumpkin carving. I have always gone the traditional route, using a kitchen knife and a large spoon for all my jack-o-lantern jobs. I have since done some research and discovered that there are a great many more ways to not only carve a pumpkin but to light a pumpkin. While the classic glowing grin from a pumpkin is great, it might be fun to try something new and completely out of the box this year.  

Pumpkin Carving Ideas Image

Carving Tools

Consider, if you will the possibility of using an X-Acto precision knife to add finer details into whatever design you are creating. With such a tool you could carve intricate, three-dimensional images into the flesh of the pumpkin. Don’t forget to scrape off the interior layer of the pumpkin to allow more light to shine through and show the details of your carving.  

If you can’t draw a straight line to save yourself, try using cookie cutters like a heart or a bat shape, to make an out-of-the-box jack-o-lantern. Another tool you might try, a hand drill. Perhaps this sounds like overkill to you, but think about the time you could save yourself. Drill a pattern into the pumpkin and light it up.

 

Lights

To light your pumpkin, you can also go outside the typical options by using a battery powered tealight candle or a glow-stick. These both work well  if you are at all worried about fire hazards. In conjunction with the drill idea, try sticking twinkle lights in the holes you’ve drilled in your pumpkin. Make sure to create a hole large enough to put the plug through at the bottom of the pumpkin. This way you don’t ruin the effect with a cord sticking out of the lid.

 

Patterns

Better Homes and Gardens has a marvelous variety of carving ideas that will get your pumpkin carving creativity going. If you need a pattern to follow, check out the HGTV’s free pumpkin carving patterns. Hint: use a pin or thumbtack to create the outline of the pattern on the pumpkin.

 

No Carving Required

If you would like to avoid the mess of carving and pumpkin guts, Better Homes and Gardens also has some great, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas. You and your kids may find more creative satisfaction in this alternative pumpkin tradition.

While you are decorating your pumpkins, you should to know about the Teal Pumpkin Project. Read up and help kids with food allergies to have a great Halloween this year.  

 

There you have it, a selection of awesome alternative pumpkin carving ideas. I hope one of these strike your fancy. Have a fun a safe Halloween!


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Five Star Holiday Decor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle.Click here for a free estimate.

Christmas Light Safety with Professional Installation

With Christmas just around the corner, everyone wants their house to stand out with exquisite Christmas lights. But, there are some safety concerns that you should consider before you try doing it yourself. If you want to make sure that your house is a sight to behold and not a fire hazard, consider hiring a professional to install your Christmas lights.

Christmas Light Safety with Professional Installation

Benefits of Professional Christmas Light Installation

Hire a professional installer who has all the right equipment and training to install your lights safely and effectively. It will save you time and possible complications in the future.

Christmas lighting specialists know the various kinds of lights and materials. They know what you need to install a mega amount of lights and avoid creating a hazard. They also know and how to install strings of lights to illuminate your house. They can do all this in the most beautiful and safe way possible. Getting a competent set of hands to light up your lovely home is important.

Our installation professionals deliver the kind of safe and durable light displays that will withstand winter weather. It is important to hire professional installers to ensure a safe installation. Qualified personnel will have the safety equipment and training to prevent accident and injury,. They know what kind of extension cords to use and how to avoid overloading a circuit to avoid creating a hazard.

It’s a good practice to schedule your Christmas light installation for October or early November. Call today to schedule your appointment with one of our own Christmas light professionals. Holiday lighting specialists get booked fast this time of year. The longer you wait the harder it will be to get an appointment. Secure your spot now by calling 855-578-2755 and make your Christmas lights display a beautiful gift to your community.

The primary benefits of utilizing our services are that we excel at the installation, removal, boxing, and storage of your colorful Christmas lights. And removal and storage are included in the cost of installation.

We can provide quality lighting services for homes, commercial buildings, subdivision entrances, retirement communities, etc.

If you are interested in our help with your lights, give us a call at 855-578-2755. We will be happy to help you!

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

Amazing Christmas Light Show

This is quite possibly the most incredible Christmas light shows we have seen yet. The lights are synchronized to popular music from 2014. Granted, it’s not Christmas music, but that makes it all the more interesting to watch. Take a look and tell us what you think.

Here is the story about the display and the home owners that have made this display a tradition for the past few years. The home owners think of their Christmas light show as a gift to the community and collect donations, 100 percent of which are given to local charity organizations. Would you be more likely to decorate your home for the Christmas season if you thought of it as a gift to the community?

For more Christmas light displays like these and other holiday ideas, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Get your home ready with these spooky Halloween decoration ideas

One of the funnest holidays of the year, Halloween is not just a time to collect candy and dress up in costume. This is an occasion to turn your home into a setting that’s perfect for the holiday. The decorations on the outside of your home will set the stage for your Halloween and make your home unique and exciting.

 

 

Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Classic Outdoor Halloween Decorations To Create a Fun Atmosphere

Whether you would like to go ‘all-out creepy mode’ with ghosts, zombies and grave dwellers or create a more ‘classic Halloween décor’ with witches, pumpkin and bats, we have put together some ideas that are sure to make your Halloween the talk of the town.

 

Spooky Lighted Halloween Signs

Nothing says, “The best Halloween is going on in here” like a big, lit-up, spooky Halloween sign! The wicked, evil looking sign is a Halloween decoration that is sure to set the scene that this house know how to do Halloween right. To magnify the effect, add in some creepy looking birds and a fog light and you’ll get the ultimate ‘wicked’ Halloween look for your home this year.

 

Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Set up a Halloween Graveyard

Setting up a graveyard is one of the best ways to create the classic Halloween effect. Pieces of Styrofoam can be used to create tombstones. For a creepier look, carve RIP and write names into each tombstone.

Additional effects can be created by spotlights. To make the graves look fresh, take some dirt and shape it in the form of a grave that looks fresh. Arrange some fake bones and leaves and you’ve got yourself a real looking graveyard.

 

The Trees and ghosts with glowing eyes

Do you have trees in your backyard? If yes, you can kick up the spooky factor a bit by dressing up your trees making use of mannequin heads and ropes. To create the creepy effect, you can use the sheets to cover the mannequin heads and hoist the ghosts up the tree. To create glowing eyes, take a fluorescent paper, cut it in the form of eyes and paste these onto the white sheets.

 

Outdoor Halloween Decorations

The Walkway – Light it up!

If you have a long walkway to the front door, you can light up the space with creative, lighted Halloween signs and pumpkins. The look is simple to create. Take some plain paper bags, write some scary Halloween sayings on these bags and add a light inside the bag to intensify the effect. Or keep it simple and light the walkway with orange mini LED lights.

Don’t forget the door. A simple flower wreath with dried or black flowers can be used to decorate the door. Add some fake spiders on the door knob and give your entry the abandoned house look.

Bottom Line – Turn your home into a setting perfect for the holiday

The ideas discussed in the article are not only going to add a fun element to your home, they are going to make your Halloween a little more entertaining, and thus, unforgettable – a unique and offbeat idea can offer an interesting atmosphere and loads of fun.

Happy decorating!

 

Take Photos of Christmas Lights Using a Smartphone

 

Once you have your Christmas lights up and turned on, it’s time to take a photo to show your relatives how beautiful your home looks this Holiday season. These days, unless you are a professional photographer, using your smartphone to take and share said photo is the simplest way. However, trying to take photos of Christmas lights using a smartphone presents a new challenge. Is it even possible to take a decent photo of Christmas lights with a phone camera? Good question.

While no photo taken with a smartphone is going to be as pretty as a photo taken with a DSLR camera, there are a few steps you can take to make your Christmas light photos look better.

Take Photos of Christmas Lights Using a Smartphone

 

Timing

One thing most people miss when taking photos of Christmas lights is that they wait until it’s completely dark. Don’t do this. The best time to take photos of Christmas lights it actually when you might think that it’s too light outside. It’s at dusk during what photographers call the blue hour – although it’s not actually an hour long.

The camera perceives light differently than your eye does. What you may view as being too much light out to enjoy the full effects of your Christmas lights, will actually help to keep your lights from looking like they are floating in blackness. Your camera will not actually pick up as much light as you think it will. And if it is actually too light out when you take the shot, wait about five minutes and take another one. The effect of the lights against a slightly glowing blue night sky can be striking to look at, rather than pitch blackness. Taking photo’s at this time of night is also going to help reduce the potential for blurred photos.

 

Steady Camera

Holding your camera by hand while taking a night photo will cause blurriness. Even if you try to hold really still it won’t be still enough to get a clean image. It’s better if the phone is on a solid, completely stationary surface.

If you have a tripod use it. If you don’t have a tripod, be very careful about what you prop your phone up on. If you plan on taking more night shots with your phone then you might consider getting a tripod. The reason you need a tripod is because with less light, you have a greater potential for blurred photos. This is because the camera is taking longer to take the photo in order to capture more light. The slightest movement will smudge your image and it is not pretty, unless you are going for an abstract look.

Try using your headphones as a shutter release cable, by pressing the button on the mic. Doing this we greatly reduce camera shake because you won’t be touching the phone to take the picture. If your phone does not have that feature, set the timer on the camera so it takes the shot while you aren’t touching it.

 

Camera Settings

The settings on your camera may also help you to take a better photo of your Christmas lights. Dig around in the camera settings and experiment, you may find some super neat options in there, such as picture stabilization. Because every smart phone is different, I can’t speak for what your phone is capable of. Be brave and try a few things.

 

Apps

It is rumored that there are some pretty neat apps that may improve what you can do with your camera phone. Do some exploring and find the best app for your needs. There are also a wide array of filters you may enjoy playing around with. Have fun!

 

A Word of Caution

Be aware of your surroundings when you are taking photos, especially at night. People have a tendency to get absorbed in the image on their camera and don’t’ realize they have stepped backward on to the street or into a ditch. Just be careful and watch your step. The house isn’t going to go anywhere before you take the picture.

Have fun with this process of learning to take photos of Christmas lights using a smartphone, you may create something inspiring. 

 

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Five Star Holiday Decor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle.Click here for a free estimate.

Schedule Your Outdoor Christmas Light Installation

As Christmas is approaching, I want to take a moment to give you a brief and friendly reminder to schedule your outdoor Christmas light installation appointment. The sooner you schedule the better. Christmas light installers are popular this time of year and have a limited amount of time in which to hang everyone’s Christmas lights before the holidays arrive. So call now to schedule before they are all booked up for the season.  

Time to Schedule Outdoor Christmas Light Installation

Most installers will install Christmas lights from October through November. A seasoned veteran in the realm of outdoor Christmas light displays knows that it’s best to schedule installation in August and September so they can get a time slot that works best for them.

If you are already a customer with Five Star Holiday Décor then you know that we have the lights for your house from last years display tucked safely away in storage waiting to be installed on your home the following Christmas season. This is great because it saves you money and storage space. The lights we use are dependable and safe. If there is ever a problem call us and we will come out and fix it.

After the holidays are over we come back to your home, take down your Christmas lights and carefully put them into storage for the next season. Saving and storing your Christmas lights helps the environment because we don’t believe in cutting the lights and throwing them away after one season’s use.

If you are new to Five Star Holiday Décor, give us a call and schedule your appointment now. Next, start thinking about what you want your outdoor Christmas light display to look like. What color lights will look best? Do you want lights in the trees or on the hedge? Are there any lawn ornaments that need to be factored into the design? With these in mind we will come to your house a give you a free assessment and develop a design that fits your budget and ideas.

 

Call us at 855-578-2755 now to schedule your appointment.

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle.Click here for a free estimate.