This originally ran in the Bradford Era last year.

As Twin Tiers residents drum up holiday cheer this December, a lack of snow certainly isn’t dampening the mood. We thought we’d give you some tongue-in-cheek decorating advice, so that you can deck your halls with a some solid tips, and a few laughs.

DO —Upgrade your lights!
LED’s are becoming more affordable every year. They glow brighter, use less electricity, and the bulbs last longer than the little incandescent lights.
DON’T — Throw out your old ones just yet.
Especially if they’re still working. Go ahead and replace the strands that aren’t lit up, but if they still light up — more lights means you have a better chance of being the brightest house on the block. Besides, your mother taught you not to waste perfectly good things. You really don’t want a lecture from here over Christmas dinner, right?

DO — Check your light bulbs individually.
If you have the time, and want to get that half-lit strand working, go through the strand, one bulb at a time, removing it, and replacing it with a new bulb. If there is only one dead light, this method should find it. Multiple dead bulbs are usually harder to find.
DON’T — Try to remove bulbs with your teeth.

This almost sounds like useless advice. The kind of statement that doesn’t really need to be said, until you actually try to remove the bulbs by hand. Inevitably, a hard to remove bulb will frustrate you, and you may be tempted to try to gain a little leverage by using your teeth. This is not a good idea, and it will create an immediate and striking painful sensation in your face. It may not be as painful as getting tazed by a police officer, but it is a similar sensation.

DO — Use inflatables!
Lighted inflatable lawn decorations are all the rage, in fact, one house on Looker Mountain Trail in Rixford has more than a hundred of them!
DON’T — Forget to stake them down.
Imagine the horror of a dozen inflatable cartoon characters in Santa hats colliding with a pick-up truck driving by after a wind gust.
DO — Decorate your yard with reindeer!
Reindeer are cute, and a very popular holiday decoration.

DON’T — Be surprised if your deer is shot by a hunter.
You may want to make sure your deer is covered in lights, or obviously cartoonish, to prevent an overzealous hunter from taking a shot.

DO — Put a light up Santa in your yard!
Light up Santa Claus decorations have been around for a long time. Some vintage decorations are actually worth a lot of money!
DON’T — Use a seated Santa.
Or else your yard will suddenly be filled with a long queue of school children waiting to sit on his lap.

DO — Use plastic hangers for outside decorations.
They are affordable, and easy to use. They’re also easy to remove, which will make a big difference if you are trying to remove them in ice and snow after the holidays. They don’t damage your shingles or siding, and they help mount the lights evenly.
DON’T — Use nails or screws to hang lights.
For a few reasons. The first, is that if you try to drive a nail or screw a nail in between the wires, you may nick the wire and damage the lights. The other, is that if you wrap the wire around a nail, you may create another unwanted consequence. If you remember from science class, a wire carrying electric current wrapped around a piece of metal creates an electromagnet. Considering the number of nails and wires you’ve used to hang your lights, you are dealing with multiple electromagnetic currents. This could cause an electromagnetic field to resonate with the fillings in your teeth, and you start to pick up a radio signal in your head.

DO — Set up a nativity scene
Christians and non-Christians alike can appreciate the story of the birth of Jesus — whether you view it as myth or gospel-truth, it’s a good reminder that Christmas isn’t just about gifts, cookies, and office parties. There is more to the story, and it involved peace, love, and a powerful story about a baby born in a feeding trough.
DON’T — Be THAT guy.
You know — the one that gets offended when someone wishes him “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Because nothing says, “Jesus is the reason” like an good old fashioned store boycott, or a rude exchange with a stranger! Let’s let peace on earth and goodwill to men be at the center of whatever holiday it is that we celebrate this season.