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When Tree Tops Glisten

It’s a tradition in many homes. Get the kids in the car and drive around town one night to see and be amazed at the holiday displays. Some lawns have an entire Santa’s workshop, with elves hammering away at last minute gift, while reindeer toss their heads, eager to take to the skies. Some displays have a sweet, religious theme.

Whatever the display, palms and coconut trees in Florida are ablaze with hundreds of lights, and wreaths adorn front doors and lamp posts.

It’s an exciting, even heartwarming time of year. But then it’s over.

Time to take it all down, carefully wrap each light stand, box the wreaths, toss the bedraggled ribbons, and find a place to store it all for another year. (And that’s just the outside of your home. Make room to store all the glistening goodies from inside too.)

You could give yourself an early present and call a professional trimmer to make your exterior come alive each and every holiday season. Then lie back in your hammock and take all the kudos for a gorgeous front yard.

Trimmers Holiday Decor, holiday lighting and design specialists, meets with the client, suggests a décor plan, installs it, checks it three times a week to make sure it’s all working perfectly, then takes it away for you when it’s all over.

“We try to get a balance from one end of the front yard to another,” said Bill Kilgus, Trimmers Holiday Decor owner. “We don’t want to cover the entire landscape, just have a nice balance.”

He prefers to light plants, like palms or coconut trees, in groups of three or five – two of anything is not as attractive as the odd numbered things.

“We talk about the homeowner’s electrical needs,” he said. “If you want to go crazy with lights, you may have an electrical issue. We look at how many amps will be required and how many outdoor outlets you have.”

If you need more, Kilgus will meet with your electrician to ensure you get all the power you need.

“If you want 150 sets of lights, you’re going to need 28 to 30 amps, and you need to spread it all out,” he said.

To makes gates or columns stand out, Kilgus uses greenery and ribbons – usually red or gold ribbons. And not to be overlooked are the lamppost, mailbox and front entrance.

A garland may well be the choice for the entry doorway of porte-cochere, or perhaps wreaths or vertical sprays and bows.

“We drape garlands over both sides of the doors so they flow into the entrance,” Kilgus said.

Trimmers Holiday Decor installs premium quality, high-end decorations, and goes through 45,000 sets of lights during a holiday season. Custom ribbons and bows are hand-made exclusively for each customer. Designs are individually created to suit property needs. His work can be seen all over town, commercial and residential.

“We started working in August,” he said, “to make sure everything is ready.”

The real work begins in September, when he installs commercial lights. Requests for residential decorations start flooding in by October.

“We are a complete service company,” he said. “Lights and ribbons are replaced yearly, all wreaths and trees are replaced as needed, so everything constantly looks new.”

He also decorates commercial establishments, making sure the theme complements the company’s image.

Kilgus has been drawing oohs and ahhs for 15 years. People – and business – must like his work; he is now franchising and already had Lee County and Sarasota franchises. His list of commercial and residential properties includes banks, malls, and shops, premier hotels, large residential and gated communities, and more. By Judy Lawrence, SPECIAL SECTIONS WRITER From the Naples Daily News - November 25, 2006

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