A professional events vendor--someone who sets up venues for dances, proms, parties, and all sorts of fol-de-rol--taught me this: to prevent your Christmas lights from tangling up, roll them into a ball. Start on the non-plug end and roll the cord around your fingers, then extract your hand and continue until you've got a tightly packed sphere. Leave the plug dangling, and the next time you use the lights you can plug in the string and unreel it across the room.
No tangles, compact storage, works like a charm. Try it this year, thank me next.
*Today's title is meant to invoke and rhyme with the old "Hints from Heloise" newspaper column. Then it occurred to me that it's possible nobody remembers dear old Heloise's homemaking tips and advice. That would make me sad.
By the way, I'm still posting my webcomic, the Last Mechanical Monster, twice a week. You'd better check it out! That would make me happy. Consider it compensation for forgetting Heloise.