Light the way to the holidays

Holiday lighting decorations brighten the winter season


Lucy Tu, Staff Writer

A flash illuminates the night as you connect the final string of cords and plug it all into the outlet on your porch. Internally, you pray that nothing blows up your freshly painted house. Luckily, instead of a swirling ball of flames, you see an endless stream of dazzling multi-colored lights. Banners of snowflakes and candy canes hang from the candle-lit window sills. An inflatable snowman dances on your lawn, and the fake reindeer prancing on your artificial snow-covered rooftop adds a special touch.

Holiday decorating gone overboard? Hardly.

For many, the holiday season isn’t just a time for giving gifts and singing carols. It is also the perfect time to go all out with decorations and spread holiday cheer. Last year alone, American families and businesses spent over $6 billion on holiday lights.

“My family is always a little extra with our  decorations. Honestly, it looks like a Christmas tree threw up on our house, but I love it,” sophomore Ramya Rengarajan said.

Holiday decorations double as family bonding time. Covering the house in row after row of bright lights can become a yearly family tradition.

“It’s become this annual thing we do. My mom and I make the interior super pretty, and I help my dad string up all the lights. Even my brother, who’s six, helps out. Dad lifts him up to put the angel on the tree,” Rengarajan said. “Everyone just takes a break from school and work. We all do this one thing together.”

Though many families do the holiday beautifying themselves, others are ready to get their homes professionally done to ensure a picture perfect final product. Brite Ideas is one such company that specializes in satisfying these needs, and they decorate numerous Omaha houses and businesses during this time of year.

“We’re family friends with the owner of Brite Ideas, and it’s just me and my mom and my brothers at college, so we can’t really do it ourselves. We like having it look pretty and nice. I think it looks better getting it done professionally, instead of me doing it myself,” senior Morgan Zuerlein said. “I think it adds a lot because it’s so pretty and fun and it makes everyone happy.”

For families wanting to decorate their home without the hassle, hiring professionals may be more appealing. Not only do you get just as much holiday joy, but the process can be much more convenient.

“We manufacture the holiday lights. Customers can come to our show room and pick out a design they like. They’ll buy the lights. We’ll install them, remove them and store them. All they have to do is enjoy them,”  national sales director of Brite Ideas Chad Heese said.

Though they have 250 divisions nationwide, the Brite Ideas Omaha branch maintains a strong involvement with the community. In total, they have served around 300 Omaha residences and businesses. This includes the homes that the company decorates every year for the less fortunate who are unable to afford it. In previous years, they have also teamed up with Omaha’s Salvation Army to create a 50-foot Christmas tree with 500 LED lights.

“You know, we tell people we sell Christmas lights, and they’re like: ‘What?’ But it’s fun. It’s a passion,” Heese said. “We’re really selling holiday cheer.”

This festive activity goes beyond hanging up a few pretty lights on your windows. Those little embellishments are far from superficial and can be a bright spot during the busy and stressful season.  Spreading joy through ornaments and colorful lights on the outside of your home can spark a match of holiday spirit inside your heart.

There you are, standing on your porch and gazing in pure awe after the endless hours you’ve put into your home’s holiday decor. The conga line of robotic elves and the snowmaker machine blanketing your lawn with a fresh blizzard might have been a bit much, but you’re beaming from ear to ear. With a final glance at the dazzling lights encircling your walls and windows, you head back inside, excited and ready to conquer the holiday season.