Decorating the Chariot for Christmas

Happy Friday! I’m sooo excited this evening because tomorrow I’ll be doing one of the things I most love doing this time of year: I’ll be heading out with friends for a nearby Christmas home tour.

Each year when we attend this particular tour, we almost always buy their “combo” ticket which includes seeing three homes by daylight and three by candlelight. I love both types of tours but the candlelight tour which takes place after dark can be a bit on the chilly side. You have to really bundle up because you never know when there will be a short wait outside. It’s worth it though, because it’s truly magical seeing some of the homes lit by candlelight.

The other thing I really like about the combo tour is the relaxed pace of the tour. We always visit the three homes open for the daylight portion of the tour (and the public houses that are open) between 1 and 5 PM. Then we break for a leisurely two-hour dinner in a nearby restaurant, then head back out to see the three candlelit homes between 7 and 9PM.

As part of the fun, I love to decorate our chariot for the evening. I snapped this photo in my driveway tonight, then headed to a nearby QuickTrip to fill ‘er up so she would be ready.

Decorate Your Car for Christmas 4


While this was going on, I snapped a few pics under the lights so you could get a better look at how it’s decorated in case you have a car with luggage runners and want to try this sometime.

Decorate Your Car for Christmas 7


My old garland was looking pretty faded so I picked up some new garland in Michaels earlier today. The garland strand was quite long, so using some heavy-duty wire cutters, I cut it in half. If you like a really full look, you may want to use a full length of garland on either side.

Decorate Your Car for Christmas 3


To attach the garland to the luggage runners (or whatever you call those things) I just wrapped it around and around the runners going down each side of the car. It always stays in place so it works very well just wrapping it around and around.

Decorate Your Car for Christmas Home Tour


I added some colored lights that I purchased a couple of years ago in Michaels and this year I added a strand of star-shaped lights to either side, also from Michaels. All their holiday decor is on sale right now. I later found out they’re having a big sale tomorrow. Apparently everything you buy (including sale items) will be 20% off. Check their website for verification on that…not sure if all Michaels are doing it or not.

To attach the lights, I found the center of the strand of lights, lay it about midway the length of the luggage runner, and then started weaving it around and around the garland moving outward toward the front and then outward toward the back. The reason I do it that way is if you start at one end and start wrapping the lights, you could find yourself running out of lights before you reach the end. So, by kind of lining of the center of the light strand with the center of the runner, then wrapping around and around the runner, going out from the center, I don’t have to worry about running out of lights or having them unevenly distributed.

As I weave the strand of lights back and forth around the runner and garland, sometimes I go underneath the garland because that helps hold the lights on securely. It’s super easy to do this…promise!

Decorate Your Car for Christmas 5


Once I got back home, I took a photo of where the battery packs are on the top of the roof. I always place the end that’s attached to the battery box at the back end of the car/runner. Since I used two strands of lights on each side, I placed both battery packs at the same end. That way when we come out of the restaurant after dinner and it’s dark out, I’ll only need to open up the back door to stand up on the side/back floorboard to turn on both strands. It takes like 5 seconds to turn on each side. It would be great if I could find remote controlled, battery-operated lights, then I could turn them on anytime, even from inside the car.

You can also tape the battery box into place on the roof. So far, I’ve never had one come loose and fall off the car, even when not taped.

Battery Operated Lights for Christmas


Update: Just found this old photo where one year I taped the battery box to the cross runner. So this would be a good way to secure the battery boxes if you are worried they will slide off at some point.

Decorate Car for Christmas with Garland and Lights


This never fails to elicit giggles and smiles. I’ll leave them on all throughout the month of December. They’ll be lit when I see my son, dil and grandson for Christmas. I wonder what my grandson will think when he sees the lights.

I remember one year, my son came home from college for Christmas and asked to use my car to go see friends. The look on his face was priceless when he saw the garland and lights. He was somewhat sheepish about driving around in the decorated “Mom” car, but he later told me his friends loved it. We are all just kids at heart, I guess. 🙂

Decorate Your Car for Christmas 3


Are you going on any Christmas home tours this year? I love them so much, I may have to look for one to go on next weekend, too. Yep, I love me some decorated houses, especially this time of year!

Love a great Christmas home tour? Check out some previous Christmas home tours in these posts below:

Christmas Cottage, 2009

Christmas Home Tour, 2010

Madison Town & Country Holiday Home Tour

Victorian Cottage Decorated for Christmas

Christmas Home Tour

Victorian Cottage on Christmas Home Tour

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  1. Love it! Thanks for posting. Hope you’re having a great good time.

  2. I’ve never been on a Christmas home tour, but always thought it would be fun. I love Christmas decorations. I really like the garland and lights on your car. I wondered how you could have lights on it, so thanks for the explanation. Enjoy the tour!

  3. Cyndi Raines says

    How merry & bright! Years ago I used to put a wreath on my front grill, I’ve been thinking of doing it this year and after seeing your lights, I just might! lol The tours sound like fun and a great way to get more beautiful decorating ideas!! Wish I was going with you. Can’t wait to see your pictures (if they’ll let you.)

  4. Susan, I love your car and your new banner above! It has felt like winter in the south the past couple of days, so your snowmen are just right. Think we’ll get some snow this year?

  5. That is adorable!!! No home tours for me, can no longer do that kind of walking.

    We’ve had no snow so far and none in the forecast for any time soon, very strange for our area of NY….tomorrow in the 50’s!!!

  6. What a cute and fun idea. I would have never thought of this but it really adds to the festivities.

  7. Linda Page says

    I have never seen lights on top of a car before but I love it. How fun!!! I was thinking about attaching a wreath to the grill of my car. Lot’s of people do that. Have seen a few Reindeer antlers on cars this year. Guess I better get busy. Thanks for the idea.

    • Linda, I was in a parking lot the other day and saw three cars with the antlers. Those are really popular this year and I love ’em! They always make me laugh.

  8. I’ve never heard of any home tours around here for the holidays so I’ve never done that before. I’m sure it’s because of the “winter weather” we usually have. The lighted garland on your car is so cute. I remember seeing a little wreath that fits in front of the grill on a car and somehow it’s wired to be lit but I’ve only seen it a few times. Have a great time on the tour!

  9. That is super cute! I used to place a set of magnets (C7 bulb shapes) along the back of my car, but I gave them to one of my kids. THey weren’t lit up like yours, though. I love it. Have fun!

  10. Love your car garland! What a cute idea! I have a wreath on the front of our SUV – haha! Really in the Christmas spirit this year!
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  11. Love the garland on your car. Have not seen a lighted one; so unique. I also love Christmas home tours. I have gone to the Marietta tours several times. Going tonight to Murfreesboro tour of homes. I have been on their tour several times also. It is a tradition of mine to go on a Christmas tour the first weekend of December for about 20 years now. Get so many decorating ideas. Enjoy your tour!

    • I’ve never been to the Murfreesboro…have to read about that one. I’ve been to Madison and Washington GA for home tours…and the Marietta one several times. Washington is a bit too far away but it was a fun tour.

      • Susan, I hope your tour was as wonderful as the one my two friends and I went on in Murfreesboro. The weather was nice (just needed a lightweight jacket). There were several musicians, costumed docents, and food vendors along the way. The tour starts at Oaklands (an old plantation manor) and consisted of approximately 10 homes, 2 churches, and an old school. Decorations were beautiful and I got a lot of decorating ideas. I am almost finished with my decorations, but may just have to sneak a few new ideas I saw into my home! I love old homes and this tour consists of all very old homes, so I really enjoyed it. I think you would love it too.

  12. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, the old buggy looks great ~ as usual. 🙂 I hope you and your friends have a great time. I like your schedule. If it’s chilly, you may need to enjoy a Hot Toddy at dinner. 😉

    I wish I could go on a Christmas Tour of Homes. It sounds so cozy! Sadly, I live in the fuddy duddy capital of the country because they are very hard to find. I guess I’ll have to go with you, in spirit. Have a great time! I hope you are allowed to take pictures!

    • They don’t have any tours where you live, Pam? I didn’t realize this was more of regional thing. I wonder if Charleston, NC has them…that would be a fun place to do a Christmas tour.

  13. I love this idea. However, on year my son put a lit wreath on the front of the grill of his car and a cop stopped him and told him it was illegal!!!! I don’t think it is but he made him take it off! Anyway, thanks so much for the details of how to do this although I am having trouble understanding about how you did the lights. I don’t have plans to go on any tours this year except the one I am in:):) It’s the neighborhood one.

    • Wow, that stinks! I used to put a wreath on my car years ago and never got stopped. You see it done a lot around here. Wonder why they won’t allow it there? Have fun with your tour, Pinky! They are going to love all your wonderful Santas!

  14. Hee hee – I have seen wreaths tied onto the fronts or backs of vehicles but I have never EVER seen what you have done, Susan. That’s just too whimsical, haha – your friends must adore you.

    Oh how I *adore* Christmas home tours. We don’t really have many around here – or at least I don’t know about them.

    I also laughed out loud reading that a GEORGIAN thinks it gets chilly at night. Bwhauahahaha. Sorry. Just this Yank thinks you peaches would freak out how cold it gets here. (winks and smiles.)

    Enjoy- can’t wait to hear/see/read all about the tours, hopefully! Hugs!

    • lol Thanks, Michele! We were sooo lucky this year…it was actually very comfortable during both the daytime and nighttime tour. I layered and bundled up like crazy, just in case. I’m always afraid I’ll be cold for second. lol I do NOT like being cold. We didn’t have any wind this year and that helped a lot…so it was really nice. Yeah, I would definitely not deal well with your weather, I know. I would become a hermit and hibernate all winter. Will they deliver groceries to your home there? lol

  15. Love your car ! I wired a plastic Santa to my front grill….it is amazing how many people smile and wave. Or let you out in traffic…or how I feel like letting others get ahead of me in merging because Santa is on front. I had a worry that he would not make it through the car wash this week…but he looks better than ever. Thanks for all your great ideas !

  16. Was it the Marietta Pilgrimage house tour? When we lived in Marietta and later Acworth that was a favorite Christmastime treat. Hope you had a good time. Because I have a horrendous cold I couldn’t go to the house tour I had a ticket for here in Independence MO this past Thursday. Bummer.

  17. How fun Susan – I’ve never gone on a Christmas house tour – not even sure if they have them here in Montreal !
    Now about those lights – YOU are absolutely brilliant – what a fun idea – oh my gosh – I’d love to do this just to flit around town at night !

  18. Susan – that is stinkin’ cuuuute!!!! Can’t wait to try this. The hubs will probably croak!

    • They are so much fun, Amy! The night of the home tour, after seeing a couple of the houses, we went through the drive-through at Starbucks for some hot chocolate. After I paid, the barista said something to me but didn’t catch it all. All I heard was something about, “Your______is so cute.” It kinda sounded like she said your purse is so cute, but she couldn’t see my purse…it was in the middle between the seats. I said, “Oh, thanks” then realized I wasn’t sure what she had said. lol Then I looked over at my friend and said, “What did she just say was so cute?” We finally realized she was talking about the lights! Dolt! I had already forgotten they were up there flashing away. lol

  19. You made me laugh out loud with that one!!!

  20. YOU ARE ALWAYS so FUN!!! EnJOY!!! franki

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