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Light Fantastic: 8 Ways to Get a Twinkle On

Light Fantastic

I heard a rhythmic clicking as I lay in my bed and knew immediately the source of the light show down the hall. Our 4-year-old son Elliot had found the remote for the Christmas tree lights yet again. In our house, for our son, this holiday is all about the lights. I thought my daughter might be more like me, neutral about the use of twinkle lights. But on a backyard campout last summer I caught her staring up, mesmerized, and gesturing as she softly sang her favorite song: "Twinkle, twinkle..." Oh well, if you can't beat 'em...

1. Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars

Her pirouettes and leaps will look even more spectacular when you snip a hole in the seam of her tutu and feed a strand of battery-operated lights around the hemline. Poke cable ties (like heavier versions of trash bag ties) through the netting just below the waistband, wrap them around
the battery pack, back through the netting, and secure.

Warm white battery-operated LED light string, $15, environmentallights.com | Mini cable ties, $2 for 100 cabletiesplus.com


2. Hanging Around

Hanging Around

Suspend a canopy from a hook mounted in the ceiling, drape it with lights, and invite a friend to the clubhouse. To arrange the lights, grasp one 17 1/2-foot strand at a time near the middle and hang
it from the hook at the center point, letting the lights fall over the canopy front to back, side to side, then diagonally, like the spokes of a wheel.

3 (17 1/2 foot) strands of 50 Bridal Lights, $7 each, acmoore.com


3. Walk This Way

Walk This Way

If the kids are so excited about all those presents they can't walk a straight line, arrange parallel strands of rope lights from the bedroom door to the gift pile (while they're sleeping) to show them the way.

Pearl white rope lights in 18-foot lengths, $20 each, christmaslightsetc.com


4. Alert the Paparazzi

Alert the Paparazzi

Need a festive backfrop for your holiday
card photos? Hang some net lights on the wall with removable hooks (pushpins or tape work too) and say cheese. Or set your camera on a tripod and give party guests the remote control for spontaneous shots.

Net lights, $18 and up, christmaslightsetc.com | 3M medium utility hooks, $4, officedepot.com


5. In the Mood

In the Mood

Need a public display of affection? Call attention to the mistletoe by suspending it from a Starlight Spehere -- then pucker up.

7 1/2-inch Twinkling Starlight Sphere, $20, noveltylights.com


6. Tied Up with Bling

Tied Up with Bling

Gussy up a special gift by criss-crossing a few twinkly necklaces in place around a
box or on top of ribbon. Use tape to attach the necklaces where they meet on the underside, or to secure any extra wire.

Lotsa Lites! Flashing Light Bulbs Necklace (Holiday or Snowflakes), $8, amazon.com


7. Fauxplace

Fauxplace

All those lights from last year that you can't untangle? Arrange them artfully in the fireplace, plug them in, and sit back and sip some eggnog while your neighbor stokes his fire.


8. Spot Light

Spot Light

Let your dog lead the way. Attach battery-operated lights to her collar with cable ties and wind the lights around her leash, gently tying the end in a knot below the leash's handle. (Make sure she can't gnaw on the battery pack.)

Warm white battery-operated LED light string, $15, environmentallights.com | Mini cable ties, $2 for 100 cabletiesplus.com, or use twist ties from trash bags or bread bags

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