$65,000 for Christmas lights? Yes, that’s a real estimate

Can you put a price on holiday cheer?

If you’re paying to have your home professionally decorated with lights, you can.

“I can’t think of another place in the country that goes as big on Christmas as North Texas,” says Bill Rathburn, president of The Christmas Light Company. “The economy is strong now, but even in times of despair, people might give up a family vacation, but nobody’s giving up Christmas lights.”

Let’s consider the trees — you’ve certainly seen them — wrapped up to the tips. That’ll cost you: Rathburn says the price for a “giant, well-established live oak” is between $20,000-$25,000 if it’s wrapped completely.

The Christmas Light Company wrapped this stunning tree in Dallas, but Rathburn declined to give a price beyond "well above our average."

Tree wrapping is “probably the most expensive thing, the most labor intensive thing you can do with Christmas lights,” says Cody Gilcrease, marketing manager of The Perfect Light, based out of Coppell.

His numbers differ from Rathburn’s. “On a large, 100-year-old oak tree, you could spend $3,500-$7,500 … it just depends on how high you want to go,” he says.

Another factor that drives price up is LED lights, Rathburn says. They dramatically reduce power input. They also increase cost — in fact, they’re five times as expensive as regular lights.

Here are a few other cost estimates on Christmas light pricing:

Minimum price: $1,000 per home. (But “the sky’s the limit,” Rathburn says, if homeowners want to get fancy.)

Biggest home this season: For Gilcrease, 35,000 square feet.

Most expensive residential job: $65,000 for one home, says Gilcrease. Rathburn said he’s had a handful in the $20,000 range.

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