Our Christmas lights aren't elaborate. We put up icicle lights every year and have added a few pieces here and there but nothing to crazy. Normally, we plug everything into a timer or two which turn the decorations off and on based on a schedule.
This year, we decided to use SmartThings and put our outdoor Z-Wave enabled plugs to use. It is one of the items on spreadsheet.
The device pairs easily and has a convenient manual override button on it. The people at SmartThings also include several festive images to differentiate the switch from your other devices. They are available in the "Seasonal Winter" section of the icons.
One simple way to make this a step up from a simple timer is to customize and control the plug with "Turn on using a schedule", "Turn off using a schedule" or "Turn off after a period of time". That gives us the option of turning the lights on at sunset and then off a few hours later which is exactly what we want.
Now hipster Santa can make his appearance at just the right time each evening and be turned off automatically. Additionally, we can remotely turn the lights off.