How to Tell Your Christmas Story
Christmas magic is all about mystery.
When will Santa arrive? Do reindeer really know how to fly? And how do elves make all those gifts in the North Pole anyway?
Christmastime should be enigmatic. Planning your commercial Christmas program should not.
When it comes to commercial holiday decorating companies, we’re the pros. But you don’t have to take our word for it. At Dekra-Lite, we believe the proof is in the figgy pudding. We compiled this comprehensive guide, a master key of sorts, to unlock all of the mystery behind Dekra-Lite’s turnkey services. Keep reading to learn about each step in the Christmas planning process so you know what to expect when partnering with Dekra-Lite for the big day!
Before we can start crafting holiday excitement for you, you’ll need to set up a consultation with one of our sales representatives. These meetings are crucial in understanding your Christmas vision and budget. We never hold back on any project — regardless of budget — but it’s important for our team to be realistic and creative with the décor we present for your property. This consultation is also the perfect time to mention any décor you already own and would like to incorporate! Our team has experience refurbishing, repurposing, and reusing all types of décor, and we’d love to help you include your tried and true Christmas collection into your display.
Our teams will discuss various elements of your project including:
- Your vision:
Props and embellishments
- Your goals:
Increase foot traffic
Plan a walk-through show
Stage a Santa set
Highlight your property’s stand-out features
- Your property:
Size of your space
Existing structures to work around
Existing décor to incorporate
Installation timeline and needs
- Your budget and approval process:
Need to run designs by your City Council, Board of Directors, or decision-making committee? Our team can present at City Council meetings, board meetings, and more to field questions and make sure your whole team is involved in our partnership!
Once we’ve discussed your project, we can start brainstorming the specifics.
With so much to discuss, the consultation process is rarely complete after just one meeting. We’ll consult back and forth with your team until we know your project like the back of our hand!
- Feb - June
- Four to eight weeks
Your role in the consultation:
- Vision and design input
- Clearly defined goals
- General property and demographic information
- Budget and approval process
Once we understand your goals and vision for your holiday décor, it’s time for our best-in-class design team to bring your vision to life. Most of our turnkey clients incorporate our existing décor options into their programs for ease of planning and affordability. Many of our stock decorations can be easily customized to better fit your brand’s color palette or messaging.
When our design team creates a render –– also known as a mock-up –– of your display, you’ll be able to see your décor in action right on your property! This helps you envision the scale of your program before it’s set up. This also helps you provide the best feedback possible to make sure our vision is aligned with yours.
- You can expect to receive artwork four weeks post-consultation
- This is typically a back-and-forth process with our teams communicating and refining your design to perfection.
Your role in the design:
- Nothing! Sit back, relax, and await our team’s proposal
A well-rounded proposal includes more than just pretty designs. (Even if the pretty designs are the best part.) Elves from our production, sales, and creative teams come together to craft this presentation which includes:
- Production timeline
- Milestone timeline
This includes our inside tips on:
When you should evaluate your existing décor
When you should start talking with your preferred commercial decorators to start planning
Planning custom décor deadlines
When you should install your program
When you should remove your program
Any other important milestones for your specific project
- Site maps
- Any custom fabrication required
The design we present is based on your preferences and will be placed on your property, and who knows those better than you? This is a great time to communicate what you like, what you don’t, and what you think will be the best fit for your property.
- Two to six weeks post-consultation (depending on your program’s scale)
- This meeting usually lasts one hour, with follow-up phone calls as needed
Your role in the proposal:
Once your sales rep receives your final design approval, our fabrication team gets to work.
From decorating your foliage to printing your graphics and even building your custom pieces, our fabricators are like the elves at the North Pole — they build Christmas magic from the ground up!
Once they finish building and prepping your décor, our logistics team will reach out to coordinate any necessary deliveries. While we handle installation for all of our turnkey clients, we occasionally need to deliver products ahead of time for our customers outside of California. This phone call will address any delivery specifications including the number of pallets your décor ships in, whether a lift gate is required to unload your products, and any other delivery technicalities so there are no surprises the day of your décor’s arrival.
Our team of representatives will regularly provide photos of your décor throughout its development so you are always up to date and included in the process.
- Production begins as soon as we receive your final design approval
Your role in fabrication:
- Nothing! Sit back and prepare your property for receiving (if necessary)
To prepare for installations, we complete a full survey of your property so our operations and project teams can build a comprehensive site map and installation guide for our elves to follow.
When the time comes to bring your display to life, we’ll send our team with site maps in-hand to install your project overnight. We prefer to work when we won’t be in your — or your customers’ — way. But this also means you get to go home, get a good night’s rest, and wake up to a property covered in Christmas cheer!
It can take anywhere from one to five nights to completely set up your display depending on the size of your project, available timing for your property, and any other obstacles that could prevent our team from a seamless install.
The best way you can help us prepare is by making sure your property is ready for our arrival. This could mean trimming trees before we light them, making sure power sources are available and easily accessible for our team, or simply notifying security of our presence.
- October - November
- One to five days
Your role in installation:
- Schedule special events and routine maintenance around our arrival
- Make sure your property is ready for install
Throughout the season your décor may need routine –– or emergency –– maintenance. We send Dekra-Lite team members to conduct regular rounds at our local installations to make sure all your lights are on and your décor is looking good all season. But if you catch something we don’t, call our maintenance team at 714-556-5218 to schedule any necessary repairs.
During the season your sales rep will plan a walk-through to review your program and discuss your Christmas decorations for next year. Since your project is such a big investment, you’ll likely continue using your project’s main focal points for more than one season. But we can also discuss design upgrades and décor enhancements so your guests can enjoy new elements in your commercial Christmas display for years to come!
Your role in maintenance:
- Take nightly rounds & keep stock of your décor
- Make timely maintenance calls
Removal & Storage & Refurbishment
Christmas isn’t over until the jolly man brings the gifts, and shortly after he does we’ll be there to remove any trace of Christmas from your property.
We schedule removals on a first come first serve basis. Starting January 2, you can select a range of dates for our team to come remove your décor. Once we get everything safely packed up and delivered back to our warehouse, we’ll pack your décor up and store it until next season!
During the off-season we take your décor out of storage, plug it in, and evaluate the quality of your lights, foliage, and embellishments. Any props that need touch-ups will get a fresh coat of paint, dim light strands are replaced, and wonky foliage is set straight. We’ll keep you in the loop during this process, too, so you’re always in the know about recommended and completed repairs as well as potential upgrades and enhancements to your décor.
The refurbishment process allows our team and yours to rest assured that when it’s time to decorate again, your décor will be ready with bells on!
- Dec. 26 - Summer
- One to five days
Your role in removal & storage & refurb:
- Schedule special events and routine maintenance around our arrival
Just like that, your décor has made it through one full Christmas season and is ready for the next! If our turnkey services sound like they could save you a year’s worth of headaches, call our team to start building the commercial holiday program of your dreams today!