Christmas lights of today can light up trees and window frames with tiny twinkling lights of many colors—or cause frustration with their long and tangle-prone cables. But the first such lights, introduced to the holiday world in 1882 by Edward Johnson, a friend and partner of light-bulb inventor Thomas Edison, were a different story.
3 tangle-free ways to store your Christmas lights
Use the box
For an even simpler solution is to use the box the lights came in, if you still have it. Simply wrap the cord around the box instead of stuffing it back inside. To keep the strand from slipping off, stab a wooden meat skewer through each end of the box.
Roll in plastic sheets
The above method really work best for standard strand lights. But if you happen to have icicle lights, you may find wrapping methods don’t suffice. However, there’s a simple trick that works really well for icicle strands.
Buy a 1-foot-wide (30-centimeter) roll of plastic. Roll out a length of plastic sheet equal to that of the strand lights and cut the plastic sheet from the roll. Place the strand on top of the plastic sheet and roll the plastic sheet and strand lights together. This will keep the icicle strands from tangling and bundle everything neatly inside a sheet of plastic.
If you don’t have enough cardboard on hand but you do have some excess clothes hangers, you can use those instead. Take one of the loose ends of the strand and hook it through one of the strap holders. Then, while keeping the strand taut, begin wrapping it around the clothes hanger vertically, keeping it as neat as possible.
When you’re done wrapping, either hook the other end in the other strap holder or plug it into the other end of the strand. Then you can hang them in the storage closet. How convenient.
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Displays of Christmas lights in public venues and on public buildings are a popular part of the annual celebration of Christmas, and may be set up by businesses or by local governments.