How to Fix Christmas Animated Decorations

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Animated Christmas decorations add color and movement to your decorating scheme but need a consistent power source and properly working parts.

These moving decorations bring flash to your front yard decorations, and indoor moving decorations add entertainment to your holiday decor. Whether you have modern or vintage Christmas ornaments on your Christmas tree, you can find animated decorations that suit your home decor.


Video of the Day

Video of the Day

Depending on the type of moving Christmas decorations, there are a variety of different ways to troubleshoot and fix them, and you don't need to be a professional handyman to do so. The most obvious thing to check first is the connection. Is it plugged in and turned on? Assuming that's not the problem, try other troubleshooting efforts to keep your animated decorations working for next year.


Things You'll Need

  • New battery

  • Multimeter

  • New switch

  • Replacement light bulbs

  • Warranty and manufacturer contact information

Fix moving Christmas decorations yourself

1. Check the power source

Some moving decorations work with batteries, so the first step is to try putting in fresh batteries to see if that brings them back to life. If the decoration plugs into an electrical outlet, check the outlet to make sure it is working.


2. Check the switch

If the batteries are not to blame, the switch in an animated decoration could be the problem. Take apart the switch, cut off the leads and touch the two wires together. If this turns on the decoration, you'll know it's the switch that is bad.


Using alligator clips, connect that switch to a multimeter. Multimeters have connectivity testers that show numbers to indicate if a switch is working. If your multimeter shows the number "1," you'll know that the switch is broken.


If you don't understand electrical work or feel comfortable doing electrical work, don't attempt this on your own. Either replace the decoration or send it to the store or manufacturer for repairs.

3. Repair the broken switch

If testing shows the switch is broken, remove the batteries from the decoration and replace the switch. Remove the switch from its housing. Order a replacement switch from the manufacturer or from an online store like Amazon. Then, install the new switch and replace the batteries. This may fix the problem.


4. Replace broken or burned-out holiday lights

In some cases, a few bad bulbs can cause the entire decoration to stop working. This is one reason decorations like outdoor wire lawn deer or other animated Christmas yard decorations stop working.



On the bright side, light repair and replacing broken LED Christmas light bulbs is cheaper than buying a new deer. In some cases, the decorations come with a few replacement bulbs, but if not, you can usually use a new rope of 100 white wire lights. Make sure you select outdoor Christmas lights as an indoor string of lights isn't safe to use outside in inclement weather.


Check each bulb on the decoration and replace any burned-out bulbs. If you have a light tester or bulb tester, that can make the process of finding the bad bulbs easier. Be sure to work carefully; otherwise, you could break some of the lights that are working.


To extend the life of these kinds of holiday decorations, set them on timers that shut off at night or remember to turn them off yourself. You can set a timer on your phone if if you want to turn them off manually.

5. Troubleshoot the animatronics app

Christmas animatronic figures are much more complicated than wire lawn figures and range from small moving figures to life-size versions. Popular favorites include Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, elves and Harry Potter. Some are controlled remotely through your computer or smartphone.


If your animatronics are not working, you can check the program for glitches and run a virus scan. These apps may also have wizards that come with them to help you with the troubleshooting.

Contact the manufacturer for repairs

The larger types of animated Christmas figures can be quite expensive, many costing well over a few hundred dollars. Some are sound- and motion-activated as well. If yours is still not working after you have done the DIY troubleshooting and made minor repairs, it could be a broken part.

Given the price of these items, it may be worth your while to contact the manufacturer and explain the issue in detail. The company may guide you through additional troubleshooting to get to the root of the problem.

You may be able to order a replacement part and if your decoration is still under warranty, you may be able to send it in for repairs.


Don’t wait too long to order new parts or request repairs as shipping times are notoriously slow around the holiday season.

Animated decorations and animatronics are fun additions to your holiday decor but with all the moving parts, repairing a broken decoration can be difficult. Take these simple steps to troubleshoot the problem.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...