Holiday tip: Let someone else deck the halls
November was a hectic month for Stephen Lovegrove, a 26-year-old life coach from Los Angeles.
He spent most of that time attending weddings, planning a family Thanksgiving celebration and preparing to relocate to downtown Nashville, Tennessee. While all that was going on, he internally battled with himself: “Do I hire someone to decorate my home for Christmas or not?”
“No, that’s overboard. It’s overkill. That’s too much,” Lovegrove recalled saying to himself.
But after landing in Music City with just 30 days to settle in before the Yuletide holiday, and looking around at his pre-furnished highrise condo with a “hard to match” color palette, Lovegrove caved. “It’s not too much. It’s not too much. I’m doing it,” he said.
He is just one of many adults who forgo the annual battle with tangled holiday lights in favor of sipping warm peppermint cocoa while an expert decks the walls with dazzling blinking lights, shiny silver bulbs and garnet-colored garland.
“One year, I did it myself using Funfetti rainbow decorations, but this year I really wanted a beautifully and tastefully decorated space,” Lovegrove said. “Sure, it feels like a splurge. But I’m happy with my decision.”
How much of a splurge? After hiring a decorator, his budget almost tripled.
For the past few years, he’d gather everything he needed to decorate his home in one swipe with a trip to a local Target or Lowe’s, spending between $200 and $300 on lights, ornaments and a tree.
This year, his budget swelled to just shy of $1,000.
The holiday decorating industry is ripe with around-the-clock experts and design enthusiasts who can do everything from install lights on third-story rooftops to handmake 6-foot-tall wreaths.
Vinny Nicastro runs The Christmas Decorators, a lighting sales, installations and decor removal company based in Staten Island, New York.
“There’s never a bad season,” Nicastro said. “The window of opportunity is small, and there’s always more jobs than we can handle. We just don’t have the time to get to everyone.” The Christmas lighting company services more than 150 homes between Nov. 10 and Dec. 15 each year.
His team of as many as five employees arrives with a truck full of lights, wreaths and garland to wrap around trees, weave through bushes and attach to the gutters.
Upon request, they set up mechanical holiday statues and configure animated dolls.
Kim Scribner, founder of Christmas Designs in Dallas, said she never turns down a client.
“We can use stuff you already have, or we can bring in something new for that wow factor everyone wants,” Scribner said. “We had our first home this year on Oct. 1, and, by the end of the month, we were working every day.”
Scribner said her team of up to five designers will do whatever needs to be done. “Being a small independent business, we have to be flexible. We do the mantel, the tree, the lights. We do all of it.”
Christmas Designs owner Kim Scribner puts the finishing touches on a tree topper in Dallas.