My mother's favorite lights are the little white twinkly strings that crisscrossed the ceiling of the Italian restaurant in Chicago where she celebrated her 16th birthday. Italians, she calls them to this day.
From my mother I inherited a general craving to drape strands of white lights from branches—and a specific urge to adorn the pear tree in my backyard with strings of tennis-ball-sized wrapped bulbs. Etsy to the rescue:
Above: Made in Thailand, the lighting ships with an adapter plug (specify your country when ordering).
Above: A 20-light strand of rattan Hanging String Of Light Balls is made of wrapped cotton and recommended for both outdoor and indoor use; $15.50 from Cottonlight.
Above: For more outdoor lights, see String Lights from Portland's Pigeon Toe Ceramics.