Holiday Lights & Garland

In partnership with Hive!

meg biram drinking tea

Since we bought a house this spring (an end row home to be exact) it was our first year doing something festive on the exterior. We’ve lived in apartments or condos since we moved to DC almost 8 years ago until buying this home, so I haven’t had the opportunity to do anything festive outside for a long time.

brick home with holiday garland

The first home we owned when living in Kansas City, I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think we ever put lights outside. We had a tree in our big front window, but I think that was it.

pine tree with lights

When it comes to holiday decor I’m typically a minimalist. My husband and I don’t celebrate the holidays in a religious sense, but I do love family and personal traditions, and LIGHTS!

garland over front door

This year I was feeling really festive when it came to holiday decor, but we don’t have a ton of room inside our small home to add much, so I decided to keep the holiday decor outside and only a few candles and scented pinecones inside.

lights on pine tree

I’ve always had a thing for lights. I love it when people put lights outside. I don’t care if they are minimal or borderline ridiculous a la Griswold’s Christmas Vacation. I don’t even care if it’s a bunch of cheesy blowup Santas (unless they are next door to me…). I just love it when people make the effort to get festive and put lights up in some fashion.

meg biram - lights

With the excitement of living in our new home, we decided to go (what I consider) all out this year. Actually my husband really made that decision. I was totally fine with real garland with lights on our front fence and around our front door. But we just happen to have a large approximately 30-foot pine tree in our front yard and my husband couldn’t resist putting lights all the way up it.

garland with lights

I wasn’t too excited about the ladder situation and his personal safety so I clung to the bottom of that ladder for dear life to keep it as stable as possible while he strung lights around the top of the tree and I held my breath down below.

holiday lights on tree and garland

But the finished product has been something of (in my opinion) a neighborhood sensation. Okay sensation might be a strong word, but I did overhear a dad tell his child (while I was walking Hemingway down the street) that they were going to go look at the lights on the big tree (as they walked toward my house). And multiple neighbors have stopped me while outside to tell me how good the tree and our home looks with all the lights and garland. Now I think we will disappoint if we don’t do it every year! Might need to rent an arbor ladder next year.

meg biram in fuzzy popover

I knew I wanted real or very real looking garland. Nothing wrong with the fake stuff, but I love the organic natural feeling of real garland. Also, less for me to store. The garland alone only cost me around $75 so I’m happy to spend that each year for the real stuff. I love how it looks imperfect and wild.

garland with lights

holiday lights - tree garland

holiday garland with lights

The lights on the other hand…good lights aren’t cheap! Hopefully ours will last a few seasons! We thought we had enough and ended up only having about half of the amount we needed to do the tree and the fence and door. Let’s just say I don’t have to use GPS to get to the hardware store anymore now that I’ve been several times for lights!

meg biram in fuzzy pullover

While I was perfecting the garland on my fence my neighbor asked me if we put a timer on our lights, and I told her that they are on a schedule and that I can control them from an app on my phone! The Hive app!

hive app

hive plug

We have the lights plugged into an outlet right inside our front door, but not just any outlet, a Hive Active Plug. Remember how we made our home smart with Hive, and again how I spy on Hemingway while I’m gone? Yep, I can easily turn the plug on and off using the app.

hive app scheduler

I set my lights on a schedule using the app so I don’t even have to think about! I like to leave them on a little later on Fridays and Saturdays because people are out later.

holiday lights

meg biram holiday lights

Even though putting up the lights and garland took about 8 hours and multiple trips to the hardware store, it was well worth the time and effort. The lights make me (and my neighbors) really happy. I love that because of the Hive Active Plug and the Hive app, I can literally set the schedule for the lights and forget about it. I don’t have to physically be home to turn them on or off.

holiday lights

Hive has extended 10% off to you with the code MEGHOLIDAY10 on any Hive pack on their site! Check out all the packs on their site here!

garland with lights

Once our backyard is finished next spring I’ll have another entire yard and patio to decorate for the holidays!

holiday candle and lights

Find the cozy pullover I’m wearing in this post here. I got the XS/S size and is huge and super warm.


Photos by Emma Weiss for

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive Home. The opinions and text are all mine.