Residents “deck the halls” for the holidays

Black Friday shopping was not the only pastime occupying Fort Worth residents November 24. Citizens began decking their halls post-Thanksgiving, streaming garlands on fences and lights on trees. Now, with ribbons, wreaths and inflatable snowmen, holiday spirit can be seen around neighborhoods from Overton Woods to Park Hill.

One survey from statistics company Statista found that the average American spent about $53 on holiday decorations in 2015. However, professional light installations can cost between $200 to $400, according to the remodeling website fixr.com, with extra charged for light removal.

A house on Park Hill decorated the day after Thanksgiving. (Photo: Erin Ratigan)

Christmas decorating is typically considered a fun family activity, but decoration-related injuries have some healthcare groups and government agencies on high alert. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reported last year that in 2015 there were six fatalities and 14,000 injuries sustained while holiday decorating. Common dangers include falls from ladders, cuts, electrical shock and fires from candles and Christmas lights.

The CPSC report recommends using safety tested lights, artificial trees labeled “fire safe,” and following safety warnings on ladders.

Falls are common problems during the holidays, said Mary Ann Contreras, violence and injury prevention manager for Trauma Services at John Peter Smith Health Network.

She said falls usually occur when patients hang lights, trip over toys or hang lights.

“We have already admitted patients with falls from hanging Christmas lights,” she said in an email. “Typically those types of admissions begin just after Thanksgiving.”

To prevent injuries Contreras said to use step stools when reaching for things, keep heaters away from Christmas trees and store medication out of children’s reach.

A house on Park Hill decorated the day after Thanksgiving. (Photo: Erin Ratigan)

Park Hill resident Mike Tyson hires decorators to put up his lights but said he still tries to be as involved as possible. Usually, the process takes several days. Tyson started decorating inside and outside his house the Monday before Thanksgiving.

“If I’m actually working at it and not postponing it usually takes about three days,” he said of the outdoor decorating.  

Tyson goes for a traditional look, with garlands and white lights wrapped around shrubbery. He said the outdoor decorating typically takes about three days to complete.

Mike Tyson’s Park hill home decorated the day after Thanksgiving. (Photo: Erin Ratigan)

Despite the added cost of hiring decorators, Tyson said he doesn’t consider decorating expensive. The main issue is replacing broken or finicky lights, he said.

“That’s always the prayer you say before, is that the lights are working,” he said.  

Katie Grimes lives in University West and planned to start decorating over the Thanksgiving weekend. She said it usually takes a few days to get set up.

Katie Grimes’s house on University West decorated Nov. 27. (Photo courtesy of Katie Grimes).

“I like to wait until after Thanksgiving because I usually have décor up for that,” she said.

Decorating the house after Thanksgiving was a family tradition for Grimes, though she said she didn’t appreciate it when she was a child. Now decorating is creative outlet she enjoys, she said.

“I don’t particularly recall enjoying decorating, but I do enjoy it as an adult,” she said.