I was with some friends the other night and the subject of Christmas lights came up. Some were complaining about how quickly the light strands stop working and how it seems like they have to keep purchasing new ones every year.
I’m not going to tell you how long it’s been since I purchased a new set of lights. I’ll just tell you it has been a while. Quite a while. My frugal husband replaces the miniature bulbs if they ever burn out, which is usually about 3 or 4 per year. I don’t know how he finds them so quickly, but it usually only takes him about 5 minutes.
What we have done to keep the lights in good shape and tangle free is so simple – and free – the best part in my opinion!
We roll up a piece of newspaper and wrap the lights around. That’s it. I tuck the plug end into the hole on the end of the rolled paper until I have wrapped the entire light strand. Once it is wrapped, I just plug the two ends together and store it in a box.
When it is time to decorate or undecorate the tree, my husband and I stand on either side of the tree and pass it around like a baton, unwinding all the way. The lights go on (or come off) quickly and completely tangle free.
You could also try using a paper towel roll, but I think the newspaper adds a bit of cushioning.