by Debra Hale-Shelton, Chicago, 2003
By Lighting Up The Holidays
If you want to brighten the season with holiday lights but don’t want to reenact
Chevy Chase’s lighting
nightmare in National Lampoon
Christmas Vacation, don’t worry.
Now you can hire someone to perform the task for you.
Kelly Fitzsimmons, owner of Chicago-based Light Up Your Holidays, and her crew of roofers, landscapers and painters do all of the planning, Decorating and climbing required to hang holiday lights. The company’s services start. at $400, and they even remove the decorations once the season has concluded.Also, avoiding the physical dangers associated with tJ1e job requires some skill. “Depending on the weather, even the easiest house can be difficult wltl the winds,” says Fitzsinimons. “It’s so dangerous in the winter to be putting up lights.• While none of her employees have had an accident on the job, Fitzsimmons made sure her company was insured to protect her clients and her employees.
While they don’t sell decorations, Light Up Your Holidays can hang just about any kind of decor that a customer owns, such as garland or wreaths. Since the cost of every job depends on the size of the home and number of decorations used, the company offers free estimates.
Fitzsimmons uses staples rather than nails to hang lights. I lot glue and clip For someone whose work depends on holiday spirit Fitzsimmons is often put off by the commercialism of the season. Her job, however, gives her something to celebrate.
“It’s different from the hustle and bustle of people shopping and trying to get the best gift,” she says of her job. “This is more like a celebratory way of spreading holiday cheer because the neighbors also get to enjoy this. It brings a mile to people’s faces – they really feel proud of their home. That is, for me, tl1e essence of family and the score of the holidays.”