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A Bright Idea

November 17, 2008, 9:50 PM by Jon Wilson

A Bright Idea
Whether it's the weather, your physical limitations or your age, decorating for the holidays can be not only time-consuming but downright dangerous for some homeowners. 

That's why more people are hiring a service to string their lights instead. 

Rod Hunter with Christmas Décor says, "Yea, if it was 10 degrees colder we would be in trouble."
Working under a steady rain, this crew can't afford to wait-out the weather. "It’s a very small window so it's a very demanding time of year." 

At the beginning of October Hunter's clients are looking for a little holiday cheer. Hunter says, "last year, to be honest with you we decorated right up until the week before Christmas." 

For most of the year, Hunter operates a landscaping service, but once the temperature starts to drop, Hunter's lawn crews turn into decorators. "The business has really grown for us. We go thru a lot of training with our guys from everything to customer service to training them in electrical." 

Christmas Décor will decorate about 200 homes this year. "We thought there would be some repercussion because of the economy the way it is but you’s Christmas." 

And it's cold...and sometimes icy which can make decorating for the holiday's a risky adventure. Hunter says, "Safety is definitely huge in this industry, there's a reason more customers are calling." 

The average job will cost the customer about 15-hundred dollars, but Christmas Décor can cater to all kinds of clients. Hunter says, "Everybody has got a budget for Christmas and we see such a huge variety. We see customers that spend a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars on their home." 

Or what's often referred to as the Griswold Package. "My kids have called me that forever." Sioux Falls businessman Greg Heineman uses Christmas Décor to deck-out his home during the holidays. "Christmas has always been a special time in my family from the time I was a little kid and it still is today."

This is why the Heineman home on south Phillips has become a must-see attraction during the holidays. Heineman says, "Everybody enjoys it and I think that's really... Jon, I think the most fun for us is the fact that people enjoy it so much." 

Rod Hunter says, "He's an individual that loves Christmas I mean he's Mr. Christmas, Mr. Color. Somebody that can have commercial-sized breakers in their home and we're still blowing his breakers...that's a lot of lights." 

But can Mr. Christmas enjoy his display from the inside looking out? Heineman says, "When we're driving around and when we come home we always drive around the house two or three times just to enjoy them." 

Heineman was so impressed he hired Hunter to decorate this commercial property in southern Sioux Falls. The glowing lights over Heather Ridge give it a patriotic feel this year. "You know it's one of those years where you kind of need something that makes you happy. We hear so much bad stuff and so much bad news about the markets, every once in a while you've got to take a time-out and say, 'Hey, the sun keeps coming out everyday and it's going to get better, things will be fine.'" 

Christmas Décor started stringing light's at the beginning of October and hopes to have all of their regular clients glowing in the holiday spirit by Thanksgiving...that is, depending on the weather of course. Rod Hunter says, "They put up with everything Mother Nature can throw at them. They'll get out there early in the morning and they're usually out there...they're the ones you see in the trees at nighttime lighting up trees." 

This seven-member crew can usually decorate four or five homes a day...again, depending on the size of the job and the weather. Homeowners help in the design phase...then leave the rest to the elves.
Rod Hunter says, "Once the lights are turned on at Thanksgiving we have a person that drives around once a week to all the properties whether its night or day, plug them in and we leave a little note on the door saying your 
Christmas elves were here and checked your wreaths and straightened your bows and have a Merry Christmas." 

After the holidays, no need to climb up on an icy roof, the elves come back and pack all of your decorations away until next year. Rod Hunter says, "So everything is boxed up, all your trees and garland are all bagged up and sealed and any Christmas trees you may have are shrink-wrapped and put away." Saving some much-needed storage space at home. 

While decorating your home for the holidays can be costly and dangerous, holiday lights can also be soothing and a time to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season during one of the most hectic times of the year. 

This is a link to the Sioux Falls Christmas Decor outlet.

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