Games you shouldn’t play when decorating for Christmas

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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Different families who decorate for the holidays have different opinions on when the best, or most appropriate time to decorate is. I do not care about these rules. We are a November 12 decorating family and I could not care less if you choose to decorate November 25, December 1, December 24 or not at all.

If you do decorate though, there are most definitely a few things to think about before doing so. We like to get the kids involved in things like a lot of families do. Like a lot of families, we let them decorate during the day and rearrange things at night the way we want them. And we blame it on our elf.

In the spirit of kid involvement, we came up with a few very specific games you should VERY SPECIFICALLY LOOK TO AVOID this holiday season as you festively decorate your house in tree branches and electric lights. We also have a few tips from the Electrical Safety Authority to help explain why that game may be, well, a terrible idea.

Pin The Plug In The Outlet


The Rules:

Let your kids help out with the decorating and let them do everything blindfolded.

The game ends when your kids start playing with electrical cords. Decorating the house for whatever holiday you decorate your house for can be fun and admittedly, one of the things my kids fight over more than anything is who gets to plug in our Christmas Snoopy blowup ornament. But, plugs and outlets need to be handled safely.

Tips to make sure this game never sees the light of day:

  • Watch that children don’t put electrical decorations or cords in their mouths.
  • Make sure your outdoor receptacle has a special cover to help protect against the elements even when a cord is left plugged in.

What Century Are These Lights From?


The Rules:

Well, you look at your lights and decide whether or not these seem safe to hang in your house or whether they look likely to set fire to everything.

If you look at your lights and think “these have a very distinctly 1800s-y look to them,” you might want to think about upgrading your lighting system.

Tips for not using your great-grandparent’s candles-in-the-Christmas-tree decorating motif:

  • Buy decorations with the mark of an accredited certification agency. Visit for a full listing.

Start Your Own Christmas Light Store


The Rules:

Sell boxes of anything out of your makeshift storefront in order to have enough money to buy Christmas presents for your dad.

Kids love buying presents and I love getting the gifts they end up choosing for me. They shouldn’t be running makeshift stores out of your garage though.

Tips for avoiding a lawsuit for selling bad electrical goods from your house:

  • Always purchase lighting and other holiday electrical décor at a reputable retailer to avoid counterfeit products.

How Many Different Strings of Lights That You Found in Your Garage Can You String Together?


The Rules:

Swear loudly as you find none of the lights from last year match and see how many you can put together to resemble something that looks somewhat like Christmas lights.

You lose when you take six hours putting up all the lights and then plug them in only to find out that one faulty light is preventing all of them from working.

Ways to avoid losing this game and blowing out all your fuses and maybe starting fires:

  • Lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage.
  • No more than three light strings can be safely connected together in most cases— read manufacturers’ instructions for directions.
  • Keep outdoor connections above ground and out of puddles; don’t run them across driveways or walkways.

To recap

Creating games that compromise the safety of the plastic Rudolph the Red Nosed statue you had when you were a kid isn’t the best idea.

The Electrical Safety Authority has a bunch of tips to help you decorate safely. To make things as simple as possible they have developed a holiday décor shopping checklist you can use while picking up your decorations.

Most importantly, they have managed to put together the most useful Christmas-lightbulbs-as-people video I’ve ever seen to help you stay safe…

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