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Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 12/02/2011

Deck the hall: Where to find a tree, how to safely string lights and more Christmas decorating advice

It’s suddenly beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Washington.

Thanksgiving weekend marked the unofficial start of decorating, and, in the past week, tree lots and brilliantly (or, in some cases, blindingly) illuminated homes have popped up across the region.

The White House has been decked out with 37 Christmas trees and a 400-pound gingerbread house.

And last night, the Obamas joined celebs and hundreds of spectators for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

If all the lights, sparkle and holiday Bos have you itching to start decorating your own home this weekend, here are a few tips to get you started.

Where to get a tree:

DCist offers a handy guide to finding trees in the DMV.

Check out local farmers markets such as the Dupont Farmers Market, Eastern Market and Arlington’s Farmers Market; home goods stores; garden centers like Garden District, Teresa’s and Frager’s Hardware; and farms in Warrenton, Chantilly and Brandywine.

There are also plenty of options if you’re looking to cut your own tree this year, courtesy of The Post’s Going Out Guide. Just don’t pull a Clark Griswold.

How not to get electrocuted:

Stringing outdoor Christmas lights is a time-honored tradition and the source of many neighborhood rivalries. They also hold potential for disaster. (Of course, so do indoor lights.)

Here are a few safety tips:

— Make sure to use Christmas lights that are designated for outdoor use only. Same goes for extension cords.

— Avoid using the larger seven-volt light bulbs, which burn hotter than mini-lights and can cause house fires.

— Replace blown bulbs with new bulbs with the exact same wattage.

(For more safety tips, visit DoItYourself.com.)

Show off your holiday spirit:

We want to see what the holidays look like in your home. Upload photos of your holiday decorations, your holiday wins and fails, your ugly holiday sweaters, and even your holiday pets.

Related:

Holiday Guide: Gift ideas, recipes and advice on surviving the season

Instagram: #wpholidaywin / #wpholidayfail

More photos: Show us your holiday cheer

More photos: Show us your holiday pets

By  |  11:39 AM ET, 12/02/2011

 
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