For 34 years, Judy and Allen Reid strung Christmas lights along the exterior of their home in North Hills. It was a way to kick off the holiday season in the days following Thanksgiving.
When an accident several years ago left Judy in a wheelchair, the couple didn’t want to give up the decorating tradition. But they needed help.
So this year, the Reids called We Hang Christmas Lights, a company that does just what its name implies.
“To me, it’s a part of Christmas,” Judy Reid said of decorating her home.
Some other companies in the Triangle, including landscaping firms, also offer to install outdoor holiday decorations.
Their customers include families like the Reids, who can’t do the work themselves, and people who have visions of intricate light designs on sprawling properties.
We Hang Christmas Lights is a national company with local teams. Steven Heineman leads the only team in the Triangle this year.
This is Heineman’s first year coordinating a team, which includes one manager and a few part-time workers. He expects to decorate about 50 homes this holiday season – enough work for one crew. Next year, he expects there will be enough demand for four crews.
Prices can range from $300 for basic work to $6,000 for more complicated spreads.
“It’s the magic of the season,” Heineman said. “Everyone is a little bit happier. When we go out to these homes, we’re bringing a little bit of Santa to them.”
Jimmy Tompkins, owner of JT’s Landscaping in Wake Forest, said his company began offering holiday decorating services so he could keep his staff busy during the off season, when lawns don’t need much care.
He expects to decorate 220 properties this season.
“It’s just a change in scenery,” Tompkins said. “It’s exciting to bring it to the homeowners. They get so excited, and it’s a break from the daily routine from planting the dirt.”
Clients buy lights and decorations through JT’s Landscaping, and workers assemble and hang them. After Christmas, they take it all down and store the decorations.
The first year, Tompkins said, customers can spend more than $1,000. Then the price falls to about $700 a year, he said.
The company has seen some complicated orders, including a recent $15,000 project on a 6-acre property, Tompkins said.
“We usually work with the people who have expendable income and they want to be festive, but their house is generally very large and they wouldn’t have the resources to tackle that independently,” he said. “And we have the people who love Christmas and love lights.”