The holidays are officially upon us. And with all the shopping, cooking and socializing that come with the season, many people are struggling to find the time and energy to get everything done – including their holiday decorating. But is it worth it to hand over the reins and hire a professional to take care of the holiday decorating for you? For many homeowners, the answer is yes.

What are the benefits of hiring a holiday decorator?
There are at least a few good reasons to hire a holiday decorator. Not only will you get a stunning result, but you’ll also free up time to enjoy celebrating the season with family and friends. What’s more, you’ll avoid the all-too-common dangers associated with holiday decorating. Every year, more than 12,000 emergency room visits and more than 1,000 home fires can be attributed to holiday decorating, according to the Consumer Product Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Agency. And most of the falls and electrical overloads to blame could be prevented with the help of a professional.

How can holiday decorators help?
Holiday decorators can help with both interior and exterior projects. Interior decorating services can trim your trees, place floral arrangements, create tablescapes, and hang wreaths, lights and garland, for example. And some will even help with party decorations and planning.

Exterior holiday decorating services will fasten lights to your home and trees, hang wreaths, place rooftop and yard decor, and even animate your displays or join them with audio-visual effects. Landscapers, roofers, handymen and window washers often pull double-duty during the holiday season, offering help for homeowners who want to avoid the hassle – and the dangers – associated with hanging lights. And there are also holiday decorating services dedicated to nothing more than safely and professionally spreading neighborhood holiday cheer.

Of course, if your family has built traditions around trimming the tree and hanging the holiday lights, you may look forward to decking the halls yourself. But even then, you may benefit from hiring a professional to take down and organize your decorations for storage when the holiday season comes to an end.

How much will it cost to hire a holiday decorator?
Most professional decorating services will provide the decorations, put them up, take them down and store them until it’s time to get them out again next year. The cost can vary, but most experts say you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 the first year for a professional decorating job. (The upfront costs are more because you have to invest in the materials.)

For lighting installation alone, most homeowners pay between $144 and $398. It’s worth noting: Companies who offer decorating services will usually offer professional-grade LED lights instead of retail-grade lights because they last longer and better withstand the weather.

Before you hire a professional holiday decorator, meet in person to share ideas and ask to see photos of past work. Ask how the company charges – whether they determine price by the square foot or by the hour. And finally, never let just anyone up on your roof to hang holiday lights; always check that any company you’re hiring has liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

By Megan Alderton, Angie’s List (TNS). Megan Alderton is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.