We did the lights in front of our house the day after Thanksgiving, it was an unusually warm day for NJ (65 degrees!) so we took advantage. Oliver loved it so much, he had been asking to put up our Christmas lights for weeks and he patiently helped the entire time. Even though the whole thing took several hours, we couldn't believe how good he was - handing us lights, holding the strands, complimenting the hard work, rearranging the white lights on the bushes so they looked "perfect."
This year I feel like we really nailed our lights. I know not everyone loves the look of mixing colors and white, but I think it makes the color tree really pop against the white lights. And we put up the right light strands in the right places this year too - white on white cord on the porch railing, white on green for the bushes and color on green for the trees. I never bothered before to make sure we had the right color cord for the porch rails, but it really made a difference.
We wrapped the little tree in a ton of colored lights, from the base of the trunk all the way up to the top. It was time consuming, but still a lot easier than I expected, though I'm sure I'm really going to hate trying to get them all off in January when it's 10 degrees outside with ice and snow.
It's a little hard to tell in the photos (because of all the ambient white light), but the color tree REALLY POPS in front of our house. I love coming home at night when the lights are on - the color tree is light this bright welcoming beacon when we come down the street.
We also did the color lights on our back deck again this year. It's something just for us, so it feels special every time we look out the back doors - while eating dinner, letting the dog out, or just sitting at the table in the dining room in the evening. I like to keep the chandelier low on the dimmer so we can see outside better. Our house feels so festive inside and out - I love this time of year!