Paul -

I had an electrician to do some other work, and asked him to add two outside circuits for Christmas lights. He said "you mean two outlets? No problem." I said "No, two 20 amp circuits." I had to show him a picture of what I had outside at Christmas, said I was popping the breakers with what I had, and he asked if two circuits would be enough. I said yes. I wish I had gone four.

I ran into him at Lowe's up the street after that year's display. He said the show had looked really good, and suggested that I install a dedicated sub-panel outside just for the coming year's display. I told him I am trying to switch to LEDs (I am, slowly) which he said would actually be better.

Mike has that portable panel. That is a very good idea. Have a 220 volt 60 or 80 amp motor home output put outside your house, and use Mike's idea to connect to that.

What I'm doing now......I have a stand-alone two story garage in my back yard that has a 100 amp feed. There is an outside outlet to run my above-ground pool pump. I run a 20 amp 75' cord from that up to where my 21' mega tree is to run that (4,800 incandescent lights, about 17 amps full-on) and another 20 amp 75' cord out the second story window over to the peak of the house, along the peak of the house to the front, where I have a LOR controller mounted to a couple of 2x4's laying on the roof. Those 2x4's are tied with rope to another pair of 2x4's over on the other side of the peak. One side has the controller and a blow-mold Santa mounted to it, the other side has two wire frame leaping reindeer (Dasher and Dancer.)

The LOR controller has the Santa, 4 reindeer, a wire frame sleigh, a Walter Star, 1500 white incandescent icicle lights, 1500 incandescent multi-colored icicle, the same length blue LED icicle and blue LED spear icicle lights; I'm thinking it's about 14-15 amps total (have to get the kilo-watt out)

Nothing wrong with pulling from other locations in your house; it doesn't have to be all outside outlets and dedicated circuits.