If you step into my home, you will notice white Christmas lights strung just about everywhere. I've even put them into clear jars and simple vases in place of conventional lamps. People think this is clever and perhaps a little strange (and too embarrassed to tell me!), but seriously, lighting is EVERYTHING. Aside from natural light, it's difficult to create an ambiance of warmness and homeyness with a lot of the choices out there (like overhead or even florescent lighting -- yikes!)
This is why I've opted for quirky as a tradeoff to cozy nooks in my house. When my husband and I are cozied up on the couch watching a Christmas movie, there's a sense of closeness and warmth that is emanated from those lights. I've even put them above our kitchen cabinets, which warms up our white cabinets immensely and almost transforms it into a rustic-y cabin. Honestly, who cares if these white gleaming strings are out of season every other time of the year... the most important thing is to set your own ambiance and absolutely love it!
Here are some more 'stepping out of the pendant' options. (And yes, those Ball jar lights have been wanting to grace themselves on my kitchen ceiling for the longest time!)