Augusta-area homeowners get help from Christmas decorating businesses

 Twinkling lights, green garland and big red bows are showing up by the day as homeowners prepare for the holidays. But not everyone goes to the trouble of climbing ladders and untangling strings of lights.

Area businesses that specialize in Christmas lighting and decorations say their crews decorate a large number of homes the week after Thanksgiving. Customers want the holiday cheer without the sometimes stressful and time-consuming decoration process.

“There are some things people are going to farm out, and this makes sense because nobody wants to get on a roof,” said Dick Hadlock, the owner of Christmas and Nite Time Decors of Augusta.

Hadlock bought the franchise in 2007 and has found that his business has a reliable niche of customers who haven’t sacrificed his services even in tough economic times.

“Christmas is something people don’t want to give up,” he said.

His business grew steadily for the first few years, but only had a slight increase in the number of jobs this holiday season. Two-thirds of his customers are homeowners, and the rest are businesses, such as doctor’s offices, and churches.

Patrick and Karen Otis, franchise owners of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Augusta, expanded their year-round business to include a holiday decorating service last year. Regular customers repeatedly asked for Christmas lighting, but the owners hesitated to add on more tasks during an already busy time for their business.

“There’s a short window of time,” Patrick Otis said. “People don’t want it up before Thanksgiving, but they don’t want it up Dec. 20, either. Ideally, everyone wants it up the day after Thanksgiving.”

Customers must purchase the professional lights instead of using their own. In return, they receive the added convenience of someone else installing, taking down and storing lights, Otis said.

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