TikTok Video Of Christmas Tree Lighting Hack Goes Viral

by Madison Vanderberg

A TikTok user’s unique Christmas tree lighting technique goes viral

For as long as Christmas trees have been a thing, the standard way to put lights on them is to wrap the string lights around the tree, going in circles, until the entire thing is wrapped. Or if you’re super-eager you wrap each strand individually starting at the trunk and working outwards, to ensure every cubic centimeter of tree is wrapped in lights. However, a new TikTok trend for lighting Christmas trees has emerged and it’s changing Christmas tree decorating for good.

According to TikTok user Clare Hooper, who says she used to decorate Christmas trees at her job (cool job), she says we need to abandon the “coil method” (i.e. wrapping lights around the tree) and adopt the “zig-zag method.”

In the zig-zag method you place the tree up against the wall in your home and then ONLY dress the portion of the tree that faces outwards by stringing the lights in an up-and-down vertical manner, or zig-zags, as Hooper describes this.

You use fewer lights this way and don’t have to do that awkward thing of reaching around the tree when it’s pushed up against the wall.

It’s also apparently easier to deal with if any lights break after dressing the tree.

Some people were suspcious and thought that the back of the tree would look dull where there aren’t any string lights, but Hooper shared some videos of her tree at night and you can’t tell that she didn’t put any lights on the rear of the tree.

Another TikTok user Liz Lovery shared the same hack and said she felt “the lights are better distributed this way.”

A commenter shared that she had been doing this for years and felt like it made the tree more “sparkly.”


Although the hack is blowing people’s minds on TikTok, it’s apparently how designers and decorators have been doing it for years. The Today Show did a segment on it in 2015 and spoke to designer and Today tastemaker Francesco Bilotto who also said you should start at the top (with the end of the light that doesn’t have a plug) and work your way down in vertical lines.

“The reason I like doing this is if you go around in a circle, the lights tend to go in,” Bilotto said at the time. With the zig-zag method, the lights hover at the outer edges of the branches, making it easier to see.

It’s clear the hack saves you time and money and tbh, I can’t look at a well-lit Christmas tree the same ever again. The power of TikTok.