Decorating a Christmas tree is one of the most exciting things that one can do during the winter season. Dressing up the tree is a bonding experience that should be shared with the whole family. Now, where does the decorating begin you ask? With the lights of course!

Does the thought of putting lights on a Christmas tree conjure feelings of dread? Dread no more with these tips on how to put lights on a Christmas tree.

Tips to make your Christmas tree the shining star of the holiday season:

Every holiday season, when you hang the lights on your tree, the crossing strands form a wire net that’s a bear to remove. But there’s a solution: “The trick is to go up and down, not around and around,” says David Stark, co-owner of Avi Adler, a Brooklyn floral and event design company. Here’s a pro-tested technique that ensures orderly wires and a dramatic display.

When hanging tree lights on a fresh Christmas tree, you should plan on using three 100-light sets for every foot of your tree’s height. Before you start, plug in the lights to checks if all the bulbs are working. Leave them on while you work so you can see how they look on the tree.

  • Divide the tree vertically into three sections and string lights by section.
  • Plug the lights in before you begin, to weed out defective strands. Leave them plugged in as you place them so you can spot dark spaces in the tree.
  • Beginning at the bottom, weave each string in and out of the branches, to the top of the tree and back.
  • Step back from the tree and look at it with your eyes crossed, or squint until the tree is blurry. Wherever you see dark holes on the tree, rearrange the lights as necessary to fill in. To remove the lights without tangling them, work in reverse.

Unattended, lit trees are a serious fire hazard — especially dry, brittle ones. So always be sure to unplug your lights before you go to bed and before you leave the house.

If you prefer the traditional method of wrapping the lights around the Christmas tree use these tip from Real Simple.