Start to think about what you want to do outside for your Christmas lights before the holiday season arrives. If you live in a very cold and snowy climate, plan on beginning this process in late August or early September when the weather is still nice.
Screw in hooks right under the roof area if you're planning to hang icicle lights around the top of the house. That way the lights can be put up in a matter of minutes and there's no way you'll staple through the wire. If you're planning to hang lights around the porch or deck, the same can be done.
Make the hanging into a family project by getting the kids involved by letting them untangle the lights while you are up hanging them. The lights are easy to hang with the hooks in place. Just slip the wire over the hook and they'll stay in place without staples that could go through the wire.