Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | December 23, 2009

Deck the Halls…for $3,500

What would you pay a company to put up your Christmas lights? This is the question my tennis instructor asked us during our lessons yesterday. $300 I guessed. I figure you hire a couple guys at $10-20/hour to string them up, and voila – you’re done.

You may have seen the signs – “we put up Christmas lights” stuck into the ground like political signs this type of year. You may have wondered who hires these people. You may have wondered what it costs.

Well, my tennis instructor called the local Christmas Decor because he didn’t have time to put up his lights. The cost? $3,500. Yes, THREE THOUSAND and FIVE HUNDRED bucks. What does this include?  A good size house (not as big as the one pictured here – maybe one the size of ours) – with lights on all corners of the roof and a large tree. They take down and put up the lights – which are also included in the price. No, you don’t keep the lights.

The company told my instructor to look at a house around the corner from him. That package cost $7,000. I drove by to see what $7,000 of holiday lights looks like. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my new camera, and so I’ll have to show you an example. The $7,000 house had lovely snow-covered lights in the ground, plus a dozen small trees were draped with white lights. Each window was trimmed, as was the roof.

The house was a McMansion – which this one is not. It was a corner house, tastefully decorated with lights. The house itself, however, was not tasteful – it was gawdy and large – like you’d see in Real Housewives of New Jersey (Albert and Dan – that’s a reality TV show on Bravo – it’s quite popular and it’s been in all the magazines and newspapers).

I guess if you have a McMansion that overshadows everything else on the block (which consists mostly of small capes), then $7,000 is not something you think twice about. (By the way, my tennis instructor’s house is going light-free this year).

Me, however? $7,000 goes a long way toward feeding hungry kids in Africa. Or even in your own county. The money is, however, helping to keep the economy going.


  1. Jeez. And we thought Catholic school tuition was high 😉

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