When you head outdoors to shoot some holiday lights, make sure your camera is ready. You can get good results with almost any sort of camera (you don't need a digital SLR), but I recommend using a tripod. Nighttime exposures are always somewhat slow, and it's just not possible to freeze the action when the shutter is open for a whole second.
If you don't have a tripod, consider propping the camera on top of a bean bag (or a bean bag-like gadget, such as The Pod). Bean bags are handy because they conform to the shape of the camera as well as to the shape of whatever you’re placing the camera on.