Holiday Cards, Decorating Too Tiresome? Outsource

Holiday cards, stringing up lights, decoratign the tree. It can all get to be a lot of work for many familes who celebrate Christmas.

Companies who provide these services for a fee are seeing a boom in business as busy people want to get in the Christmas spirit while maintaining sanity.

"I never would find the time to get my Christmas cards sent on time. Now, I can spend more time making cookies and wrapping gifts, doing things I enjoy," said Nancy Kirchhoff, 61, of Kirkwood, Missouri. Kirchhoff spent a few hundred dollars to pay a firm to decorate her mantle and send out her holiday cards.

Brandon Stephens, vice president of marketing for Texas-based Christmas Decor, said many of its 350 franchisees have seen a sharp spike in requests holiday services, especially light installations.

"During the recession, we had some people cutting back," he said. "We're seeing a pretty significant rebound this year. Customers are returning to buying patterns that pre-date the economic downturn. "

The average cost for an installation is about $1,400, he said.

Many simply choose what sizes and colors they want their decor to be and leave the rest to the professionals.

"We'll take care of it from there, and you won't have to worry about it," Stephens said.

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