My DH came up with this great idea. Take the cardboard tubes from the wrapping paper and use them to wrap your Christmas lights around. Here's how:
1. Tape one end of the lights to the tube. (This will prevent the lights from sliding around.) Also for ease of putting them back on next year, you might want to start with the plug end. That way the beginning of the lights will be on top. It just depends on how you like to string your lights. It was easier to take them off by starting with the non-plug end and wrapping directly off the tree. But this may make it harder to put them back on. Either way, they won't be tangled and that will save time and frustration right there.
2. Start twisting the tube so that the lights coil around the tube.
3. Done. I store my lights directly in the Christmas Tree box so that I know where they are next year.
4. When you put them back up next year, the kiddos can hold the tube and untwist it as you hand the lights. What a great way to get them involved!!
I did this with DD1. It was so easy and fun that she kicked me off and finished it herself. I'm not complaining about it. :)