As a child we didn't have any outdoor decorations in the farm and ranch country of southern Oregon's Klamath Basin. With or without outdoor lights, my dad loved Christmas. He was as excited as any of us kids to go cut down the Christmas tree. He was fanatical about decorating the tree, fromstringing the the old style light (the kind that when one went out, everything went out), to carefully finding the right place for each ornaments on the tree and then affixing the metallic tinsel, strand by strand. But he really would have like my outdoor Christmas lights.
I start putting the lights up around the first of November; my husband isn't too happy with decorating before Thanksgiving, but he is a good sport about my obsession with lights. It takes us about a week to ten days, if the weather is good to get all of the lights up and connected with a scadoodle of heavy weight extension cords and timers. My dad would have loved that part of it -- he liked to build things, and he would have been more inventive than me. Below are a couple of pictures of how light display looks from as we come down the driveway (the house is at the bottom of the hill (about 1/10 mile).
About a decade or so ago, my sister started making these big lighted balls that we put in the trees. (See below) Each ball has 2 strings of 50 little Christmas lights. Sometimes we make solid colored lighted balls, but mostly we like to mix the colors, such as blue & green, blue & red, and sometimes a multicolored strand mixed with a solid color. At my house I have about 30 of these lighted balls hung in the trees. My sister used to decorate our mother's home and she used about the same amount of these lighted balls. Our dad would have loved these lights.
The picture below is not a great picture, but it does show the size of the lighted Christmas balls that I have on the deck overlooking the lower garden. I have a heck of time keeping the peacocks out of this area!
Now my husband's favorite is his Santa and reindeer, shown below. I must say this has also been the favorite of the grandchildren, as well. He used to string it across our driveway, which the grandchildren really loved. However, the driveway gets the north-south wind in our mountains and many the time Santa and reindeer were hanging on for dear/deer life. Now they are in the trees on the bank above our house. A bit safer for all concerned.
We have wrap around decks, because we live on a hillside --- so of course that gives me ample room to expand my outdoor decorations. All of the deck railings are covered with boughs (now the fake kind, as I had trimmed and pruned everything around as far up as I could reach) and poinsettia garlands (for color). Then the railings are wrapped in white fairy lights. I also have red ribbons all along the railings for daytime color. My day would have loved these lights and decorations! Below is a daytime picture of the railing, along with one of my 11 peacocks (he may think he is one of the decorations, but no, he is not!).
I love my outdoor lights in the snow. So far this year, we have only had cold, rain, cold-rain, but no snow. However, last year it was magical --- at least I thought so. My dad would have really loved these lights in the snow. Here are some of my favorite snow pictures of my outdoor lights.
One last thing about my Christmas lights. We live up in the mountains. The road into our house is not for the faint-hearted: brave souls and four-wheel drive rigs do just fine. So we really do not have people drive by to view our lights --- though the neighbors on down the road seem to enjoy them. The lights are for me and my family --- and my dad really would have liked this light display.