Tasteful or Tacky?

Your guide to Christmas light do’s and don’ts

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Cassie Santella

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Cassie Santella, Editor-in-Cheif


Animated Lights


Projector lights are out, animated lights are in. What I mean by this is no more red and green dots projected all over your garage or lawn. As a less horrific alternative, invest in some animated lights. Decorations that change color or give the illusion of moving around look way better and are fun to watch.





St. Augustine, Florida (Cassie Santella)

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about wreath decorations. Pictured on the left, is a wreath lit with one solid color. One solid color is the only way to go about doing wreaths. Pictured on the right, both multicolor and white lights are on this wreath and as a result, it looks awful. The multicolor lights would have been beautiful if they had reached all the way around.


One green, one red light bulb

Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

A Christmas light decoration that will never fail: the one green one red light bulb. This option is superior to all others in so many ways. Christmas lights are expensive, and I’m a big believer in all houses having some sort of holiday spirit. Buying just two light bulbs is a cheap option for anyone’s Christmas light expense problem. Additionally, putting up tons of lights and decorations is hard work and not everyone has the capabilities or time, putting in two light bulbs is quick and easy.


A Florida Christmas

Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

A Floridian can never go wrong with the classic Floridian holiday front yard. Complete with sunbathing Santa and sea creatures this yard is funny, tasteful, and creative. If blessed with palm trees in your front yard, decorating them with lights is a must.



Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

Let’s get one thing straight, minions do not belong in Christmas. These big yellow blow-up creatures are not cute but rather disturbing. They have nothing to do with the holiday and do not belong whatsoever. Get rid of the minion blow-ups and the minion Christmas pajamas. Putting Santa hats on non-holiday-related cartoon characters does not make them fit.


Light up Archways

Tarpon Springs, Florida (Cassie Santella)

One of my all-time favorite light decorations is these light-up archways to walk through. They make walking through neighborhoods looking at lights more fun than it already is. I run through these things at least 4 times every time I see them. Every neighborhood should have them because they are perfect and have no downsides.


Purple Lights

Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

When you think of winter holiday colors, what comes to mind? Red, green, blue, white, silver maybe? Purple most likely doesn’t come to mind because it’s not a color associated with any of the winter holidays. Purple lights belong during Halloween. Purple lights could possibly pass in every few bulbs in a set of rainbow lights, but covering a house in all purple is wrong. It doesn’t work and it never will, stop with the purple!



Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

Reindeer decorations are simple and cute and all-around perfection. If going for a more classy less playful lawn, these are a must-have. However, the animatronic reindeer that move their heads are slightly creepy and off-putting.



Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

Blow-up decorations are always a hit or miss. Around Halloween time they are a little more acceptable but when the Christmas season comes around they turn tacky. It is possible for blow-ups to be done right, pictured on the left are multiple snowmen blow-ups that are small and not too overwhelming. The smaller the blow-up the less obnoxious. On the right, is a giant Beethoven-themed blow-up that practically takes up the entire lawn. Beethoven isn’t all that bad considering he’s a dog and who doesn’t love dogs but he is lit up too bright and doesn’t have any blow-up friends next to him. Giant blow-up abominable snowmen or grinches should not be a thing as there are so many other alternatives. If you are considering going the blow-up route for decorations this year think again and this time think with taste.


Music-Synced lights

Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

Quite possibly the best light option is music-synced lights. This house in Palm Harbor has you tune into a radio station and syncs all of its lights with the beat of the song. How is this possible? I have no idea! However, it’s fun to listen to, fun to watch, and entertained me for a good 4 songs.



Palm Harbor, Florida (Cassie Santella)

If you have any type of tree in your yard consider adding some ornaments. Contrary to the societal norm ornaments don’t only belong on the Christmas tree inside the house. If they don’t light up that’s okay, these decorations even look good in the sunshine. However, bonus points if they light up.