For some families, "decking the halls with boughs of holly" is a warm and fuzzy Christmas tradition, with all family members participating in decorating the Christmas tree and otherwise putting out all of the home holiday decorations.
But there's not a lot of fa-la-la-la-la-ing" involved for the person standing on a metal extension ladder on a cold and windy day, untangling stubborn strands of Christmas lights and attaching them to the gutters.
Some companies have made a business out of a sometimes irritable task of stringing Christmas lights on your home.
Green Print Lawncare is a Barnhart lawn service company in the spring and summer, but it hangs lights during the holiday season as a way to make money and to keep it's lawn service work force employed.
"We're a seasonal business," said company owner Frank Ray. "We wanted something non-seasonal to keep from laying people off right before the holidays."
Ray said the "convenience factor" of hanging residential Christmas lights has helped his business grow from about 38 houses last year, to about 140 houses this year.
The cost of Green Print's Christmas light hanging service is about $3 per linear foot for a display that Ray says is "custom fit to your house." The price includes the lights, installation after Thanksgiving Day and removal after the first of the new year.
In addition, Green Print services the lights, changing burnt-out bulbs, and then stores the light sets for possible use the next year. Green Print provides any color light requested and also will install specialty decorating items such as garlands or snowflakes.
Green Print mostly serves homeowners in the Fenton, High Ridge and South County areas. It can be reached at 573-576-6516.
Outdoor Solutions, 1400 Shawnee Court, is an Arnold company that also is a full service lawn care business in the warmer months. Emily Office, of Outdoor Solutions said Christmas light installation starts at $1.80 per linear foot, includes white or any color lights, and includes removal after the holiday season. Office also said the company will wrap trees, bushes or provide other decorating services. Outdoor Solutions can be contacted at 636-296-5050.
Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions, which operates under the name Rottler Holiday Lighting, during this time of year, has four locations in the St. Louis area, with operations in Overland, Wentzville, Ballwin and Fenton.
Prices for holiday installations, for which Rottler does residential and commercial applications, varies according to the size and scope of a particular project. The company uses incandescent or LED lights.
"We provide and own the lights," said Sarah Meinkoth, Rottler's marketing coordinator. Andf we take them down and store them in big Rubbermaid tubs."
Meinkoth said customers become convinced to purchase their services once "they realize you have somebody else to untrangle all the lights."
To contact Rottler, call 314-270-5757.