Want incredible Christmas lights like Highland Park Village? Hire a professional. (Photos: Sarah Beauregard)

Want incredible Christmas lights like Highland Park Village? Hire a professional. (Photos: Sarah Beauregard)

The cool weather has set in, Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season is upon us. That means it’s time to pull out your festive sweaters, create your party menus, and make a plan for your holiday lights. Of course the exquisite Highland Park Village lights come to mind as we think about our city’s most stunning holiday display. That’s why we chatted with Christmas Light Company, who annually installs the Village’s lights, and many of our city’s grandest displays — the Galleria, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and the Hilton Anatole — to learn the ins-and-outs of Christmas light installations.

“Right now LED Lights are popular,” General Manager of Christmas Light Company, Antonio Garcia says. “They use 90 percent less power.”

He explains that it’s important you hire a professional company that knows the difference between LED and incandescent lights, because to the eye, the lights look the same.

As far as hiring contractors is concerned, Garcia suggests you do your research before letting someone install your lights.

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Of course, with a design repertoire like Bernadette Schaeffler’s, you know that when Christmas comes around, she pulls out the stops. Still, her decor is both traditional and glamorous, with metallic accents adding to the wow-factor of her bright red ornaments. Considering her home’s palette, this is a natural combination.

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Christmas in my home country of Germany is very different from what we know here in North America. Even though I have to admit that I see more commercialism back home, our tradition is more the focus on the actual religious part of Christmas.

Image 3Christmas starts with the fourth sunday before Christmas Eve, and therefore we have an advent wreath with four candles. Every Sunday one extra candle is lit. When the fourth candle burns we know Jesus will be born soon. Children have advent calendars with 24 doors, too.

With the first Sunday I also start to put my Christmas decorations out. It tends to be a lot of traditional stuff, like nutcrackers and pyramids

In my country we have no Christmas tree until the 24th of December! I got a little Americanized. My decoration is very traditional — straw ornaments and apples. To get a little glitter I added golden reindeer this year. Traditionally, we still use real lit candles.

The results of Schaeffler’s combining her traditional German christmas decor with more modern motifs is just incredible. Find out more about Schaeffler’s collection and the inspiration behind it at her Design District showroom.

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