When it comes to over-the-top Christmas decor, designer Taniya Nayak has seen it all.

The Milton-based founder of Taniya Nayak Design is the third season co-host and judge of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" on ABC. The seasonal series tasks teams of neighborhoods and families to create extreme and creative holiday light displays for the chance to win $50,000.

Nayak said she wasn't well schooled in the art of pushing the limits of Griswold-inspired Christmas decor before the show, but she can offer a few tips on how to keep your own display under control. She laughed, "I’ve learned quite a bit about Christmas lights."


“LED lights can save so much on the electricity bill, you really are saving a ton of money and energy, too,” said Nayak. “Also, with LED there are so many options with color. There are some 14 million variations in shade. 14 million, and that’s a conservative estimate I go with.”

Keep your trimming on track

“Some artificial trees come strung with lighting and that saves so much time. Pre-lit trees are a game changer,” Nayak said. 

“If you still [favor] string lights though, there are ways to make it easier. Try stringing them vertically and go up and down instead of round and round. There’s less running round and round the tree and it’s easier to get them even."

Don't be a basket case 

“The worst thing with lights is when they get tangled,” she said. “One of the easiest ways to store them is to take a desk style waste paper basket and wrap the lights around the outside and tape the ends in place. Then you can use the inside to store the ornaments and it’s all together, ready for next year.”

But how much is too much? 

“There really is no wrong way to do it, it’s all about the Christmas spirit,” said Nayak. “It’s the holidays, so light it up!”