How to hang Christmas tree lights like an expert – without just wrapping them around

Mother and son hanging Christmas tree lights, pictured in front of the decorated tree. (Getty Images)
How do you hang your Christmas tree lights? (Getty Images)

With the start of Advent on Sunday, you may well have already pencilled in 'decorating the house' this weekend.

But while putting up the Christmas tree is a lovely activity, hanging the lights isn't something many of us look forward to.

Everyone has their own tactic, be it draping them vertically, horizontally or another way entirely, but what do the pros recommend?

We combed through the source of seemingly every hack in existence – TikTok, of course – for some tips to make life easier.

Woman's hands untangling Christmas tree lights spread across floor by her feet, wearing Christmas socks. (Getty Images)
All methods start with untangling those lights... (Getty Images)

How to hang Christmas tree lights

The zig zag method

"If you're coiling your Christmas tree lights, you're doing it wrong," says one TikTok user who went viral for her hack. Instead @mrsclairehoops recommends the 'zig zag method'.

This approach allows you to use less lights, helps brighten your tree beautifully, is easier to hang and remove, and means you can make quick adjustments if a set breaks. Hoops' three-step approach is as follows:

  1. Turn your lights on to better see what you're doing (no doubt, glass of fizz in hand)

  2. Hang them up and down vertically (some prefer to start at the top of the tree), creating a sharp zig zag

  3. When finished, push them slightly further in to make room for decorations

Hang lights along the full length of the branches

This solution proves that the small details can go a long way. Here's how to "properly light a Christmas tree" and "make it look like it's glowing from within" by utilising the full length of the branches, according to TikTok user @casey_lee90.

  1. Make sure your lights are plugged in and on

  2. Start with the light strand at the front of a branch (the bit closest to you) and coil it all the way around to the back of the same branch (where the trunk is)

  3. Repeat to cover the tree – perhaps doubling up to bring the lights back to the front each time

  4. Hide plugs and wires at the back of branches (to protect any pets and little people in your life)

Hang lights on the tree trunk before the branches

This hack will truly illuminate your tree. It looks like it needs quite a lot of lights so it might not be for everyone, but if you already have an extra long set (that doesn't tangle easily) it's worth trying. TikTok user @kellyfitzsimmons recommends the following:

  1. Push the lights into the base of your tree

  2. Lay them on top of the branches surrounding the trunk all the way to the top

  3. Don't just walk around the tree, go from left to right, and right to left

  4. Next, wrap each branch in a zig zag shape, again going from left to right and right to left until you reach the base of the tree