Former Christmas tree decorator shows the ‘right’ way to add lights

Dec 19, 2020
"If you’re coiling your Christmas tree lights, you are doing it wrong," the professional decorator said. Source: Getty.

With Christmas tree decorating typically an annual habit, you might think you’re pretty pro at it. But one former Christmas tree decorator is here to let you know that you’ve probably been doing it wrong this whole time.

Clare Hooper, 46, sparked controversy online after sharing her tips on the “right” way to hang Christmas lights on a tree. Although many would immediately head for the coiling technique, in which you simply wrap the lights around the branches in a circular motion, Hooper suggested people try the more efficient “zig-zag” method.

@mrsclarehoopsThis method saved me so many times ????##christmasdance ##mumslifeinlockdown ##festiveness♬ Rocking Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

In the quick snippet shared to the video-sharing platform TikTok, Hooper demonstrated the alternative method, saying it would help people hang their lights more easily. She showed herself looping the string of lights around the high branches and then running them vertically down the length of the tree rather than hanging them horizontally.

Once the lights reached the bottom, she simply looped them around the lower hanging branches and made her way back up to the top before repeating the process over and over again until the tree was full of festive lights.

Hooper can be heard in the clip saying, “If you’re coiling your Christmas tree lights, you are doing it wrong. Decorating Christmas trees used to be part of my job. We used the zig-zag method. It means you don’t waste lights round the back of your tree and if a set breaks you can take them off really easily.”

Since being posted, the video has been watched millions of times, with viewers having a mixed reaction to the new tip. Some were extremely upset, feeling that it made it easier to see the wires. “But I think zig zag looks tacky as hell, soooo,” one wrote. Another angry viewer said, “I’ve never been so enraged by anything in my life. The tree is supposed to have lights ALL around it. We don’t skip a section.”

However, others respected the process, even saying they were keen to try it later. “OMG I never thought of this. Buzzing to do mine now.” While another said, “How have I never known this? Makes total sense. Thank you.”

One fellow Christmas tree decorator explained it further, saying, “Up and down each individual branch … Takes a LOT of lights. But looks stunning. I still do this for a job.”

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