Your Guide to Holiday Decorations, Philly-style

Philadelphia loves decorating for the holidays, and now’s your chance to join in with the best of them. Whatever decorative theme you pick, make sure you keep safety in mind. If you have a homeowners association, be sure to clear it with them, too.

The winter holidays are a festive time in Philadelphia. Everywhere you look, there are holiday decorations, from the fantastic light show at the Macy’s in Center City to the magnificent lighted trees in Rittenhouse Square and Love Park. People in the city also go all-out when it comes to  decorations at home, with colorful lights and decor taking over entire blocks in certain neighborhoods. Bring the holiday spirit to your home by decorating with a Philly twist.

Picking a Theme

Before you start hanging up lights and decorations, choose a theme for the year. Picking a theme will unify your holiday decorations and make choosing what to hang and what to leave behind a lot simpler. Your theme can be Philadelphia-centric, such as Philly sports teams, or it can be more general, such as “Winter Wonderland,” “Festival of Lights,” or “Santa Claus.” When picking your theme, think of colors, too. If you go the sports route, use Eagles green and silver as your primary colors. If you pick a snowflake or Winter Wonderland theme, stick with silver, gold, and bright blue.

Festive Ornaments

Give your holiday tree a festive look by picking out special ornaments for it. You can find plenty of inexpensive ornaments at home improvement or big-box stores in the area. But, for a more unique tree, look for handmade ornaments at the Christmas Village on Dilworth Plaza, outside City Hall. You can also check out Etsy for handmade ornaments that fit with a Philadelphia theme. Hang up Phillies or Eagles ornaments if you’ve gone with a sports theme or look for ornaments that feature images of the famous “LOVE” statue.

Check with Your HOA

If you live in a condo or a building with a homeowners association, be sure your holiday decorations follow the rules of the HOA. Some HOAs prohibit certain decorations on the facade or front lawn, such as multi-colored holiday lights or inflatables. If you don’t follow the rules to the letter, you risk a fine. Back in 2011, a woman living in a condo in Doylestown Township was fined $400, $10 for every day she left her rule-breaking, multi-colored holiday display up.

Help and Safety

Hanging up your decorations for the holidays can be a risky endeavor. In 2010, for example, more than 13,000 Americans ended up needing emergency medical care due to incidents involving holiday decorations, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. While some injuries result from broken glass ornaments, others occur when people slip hanging up lights outside or overload electrical outlets with holiday lights. If you’re planning a mega-project, consider hiring a decorator or contractor to help you figure out the logistics of decorating and to help you put up the actual decorations. Use a resource such as Angie’s List to find and evaluate Philadelphia-based holiday decorators.

Bring the spirit of the holidays to your home, but do it safely. If you decide to hang lights yourself, do so when the weather is clear and make sure the lights you use can be plugged in safely outdoors. After the lights are strung and everything is twinkling, your holiday season will be that much brighter.

Photo Source: Flickr


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