Some homeowners leave the holiday decorating to the pros

Posted December 5, 2011
Updated December 6, 2011

— Putting up holiday lights outside is a tradition for many families. But some people are opting to leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Rhonda Rowe paid JT’s Landscaping to put up Christmas lights on her Wakefield home on Monday.

Jimmy Tompkins said not everyone asking for his company’s help is a holiday light fanatic like Clark Griswold, the lead character in the popular film "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

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“There is not a typical customer. It’s just people that love Christmas lights - the 'Clark Griswolds' and you’ve got your everyday families,” he said.

Homeowners pick the decorations they want out of a catalog, the guys come out, put it on the house and return in January to remove them.

Tompkins’ workers are putting decorations on about 160 homes this season. He said the number is growing every year.

Many people don’t have the time to put lights up, and not everyone is crazy about climbing onto the roof, he said.

“These peaks a lot of these homes have now are huge, and if you're not confident going up that ladder, you're gonna fall,” he said.

lights Pros install holiday lights

Tompkins said leaving the hard work up to the pros lets homeowners focus on holidays.

“It gives them time to do the inside,” he said.

Tompkins said the purchase of the decorations and installation in the first year usually costs about $1,800. The installation costs between $600 and $800 in subsequent years.

Tompkins said his company doesn't make a lot of money off of the service, but it keeps his landscaping employees working through winter.


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  • moreforfun Dec 6, 2011

    @ SoundsFishy: Thank you.

  • Shamrock Dec 6, 2011

    moreforfun - your house looks great!

  • righthere1234 Dec 6, 2011

    Why complain? These people are paying contractors who are able to give jobs to people who otherwise would've been laid off until spring. Those people are in turn spending the money. Simple economics.

    Now, my husband would balk if I even suggested we ever do something like this (not like we could afford it). Part of the fun of Christmas for him is putting up our lights.

  • dwntwnboy Dec 6, 2011

    I do this on the side and make close to $20 an hour with one company- to not only put up lights, but to decorate inside as well. $20 an hour to put ornaments on a tree?! I'll do that all day long!!! LOL

  • kikinc Dec 6, 2011

    If people will pay it, why not? And who are we to judge what people spend their money on? I think it's a waste, but it's not my money.

    I'm just glad that there are people out there who use these services b/c it keeps people employed through the winter.

    Merry Christmas!

  • moreforfun Dec 5, 2011

    Here is a free display to view in the Raleigh area: Yes, this is my house, family decorated!

  • jrfergerson Dec 5, 2011

    A fool and his money soon parts. If people are so bound to keeping up with the Jones in decorating they have major problems. This is how so many people have gotten themselves in debt they can't pay. I love to have a pretty decorated house for the holidays also, but if I can't do it and my family or neighbors don't offer to help I say do what you can do and let the rest go.

  • grandmagail Dec 5, 2011

    koolady, it's not always a matter of being lazy. Age may have something to do with it. I know that I love outside lights but my husband and I are just too old to climb up on the roof.

  • saturn5 Dec 5, 2011

    These people can afford it and are giving local companies business - and people complain they're lazy. If they were offered the service and turned it down to do it themselves, you'd say they were stingy. Some of you people live to complain.

  • Supie Dec 5, 2011

    another word "priorities"