Halloween has past again and so its time to start planning your outdoor Christmas display for this holiday season. Of course, we all have our own ideas about how elaborate, what theme and how much to budget when it comes to decorating the front yard for Christmas.
We’ve got some great ideas, whether you just want to put a wreath on the front door, string up lights around the front window and call it quits, or if you want to get really creative and do something that gets passersby to stop and gawk a little!
From lighted candy canes to giant snowmen, flying reindeer, outdoor energy-saving LED lights, window decorations and more, read on to find everything you’ve ever dreamed your outdoor Christmas decorating could be.
Know Your Neighborhood Rules and Consider Safety First
Start by investigating what is allowed in your neighborhood; if you have a Homeowners Association, be sure the display you’re planning won’t be considered a nuisance or you could incur an unwanted fine. Most neighborhoods are fine with lights and other yard displays but check it out just to be on the safe side.
Not to frighten you too much from doing outdoor decorating, but the statistics on visits to hospital emergency rooms due to people falling off ladders while decorating for the holidays are staggering, so be cautious! Also, it should go without saying that all lights and yard art you use in creating your display should be designed for outdoor use. Decorate at your own peril and use some common sense; if you can’t reach that eve to hang the wreath or lights either get professional assistance or rethink your plan.
Planning Your Outdoor Christmas Holiday Display
Do you want your display to be understated and traditional, or do you want something glitzy that will be the envy of the neighborhood this Christmas? The myth is that it costs a lot of money to decorate your yard for the holidays, but with a little planning and wise shopping you can actually operate on even the tightest of budgets.
While the best time to shop for outdoor decorations is January, if you missed last year’s sales, start early and you can still find some great deals. Another way to save money is to make your own outdoor holiday decorations; a little creativity and ingenuity can go a long way to making your holiday display a true one-of-a-kind showcase.
Make a drawing of your yard and plan the placement of your holiday display items, taking advantage of your home’s architecture and landscaping. Decide what you want your focal point(s) to be, whether it’s a specific area in the yard, a large picture window you want to light or even a complete Santa’s sleigh and flying reindeer on your roof.
Try to group your yard art and lights to create one or a couple of focal points; if you place things without grouping them according to theme, color, etc. your display will attract the eye with a pleasing result rather than distracting or ‘fight’ with each other for attention.
Remember to plan for lighting; if you want to put up a lot of lights you may want to add a circuit to your electrical wiring and run a few outdoor receptacles; nothing is more frustrating than having your outdoor Christmas lights continually trip the circuit breaker.
Traditional Outdoor Holiday Displays
A wreath on the door, some electric candles in the window and white lights are typical of a classis outdoor Christmas display. You can find great prices on lights and electric candles for the windows over at Christmas Depot; for example they have 12×9-inch Electric Candy Canes on sale for only $12.
If you’re lucky enough to have a front porch with railing, you can use red bows and garland to give it a nice holiday touch. If you like the candy cane theme, check out the Lighted Holographic Candy Cane Yard Art, available online for $69.99.
Snowmen and Santa are also classic yard display items, or you could put up a nativity scene. Any of these traditional holiday yard art displays are easy to make from plywood and paint yourself; Free Woodworking Plans has links to lots of great outdoor Christmas displays you can make yourself.
Adding a Little Christmas Bling
Now, if you want something a little more glitzy, you may need to increase your budget a little. Flashing lights and animated Santa Claus figures will add character and a bit more ‘wow’ factor to your outdoor Christmas decorating project.
If you really want to go all out, look at the Animated Santa’s Workshop display sold by Holiday Lighting Specialists (hang on to your wallet when you see the price tag on this set up) or go to Walmart and pick up a few of their Animated Reindeer Light Sculptures for only $34.96.
Outdoor Christmas Lighting
Now, the centerpiece of most outdoor Christmas displays is the lights. Whether you like the old-fashioned colored large bulbs, candle lights, icicle lights or classy white Christmas lights, the variety available these days is truly amazing.
One trend in recent years has been LED lighting; they cost more but they don’t tend to burn out as quickly as traditional incandescent lights and they help conserve energy.
You’ll find a great selection of outdoor Christmas lights and accessories available online at Holiday LEDs. Outdoor lighting controls are another consideration; you don’t want to have to wander all over the house plugging in various strings of lights if you can avoid it, so you might want to consider timers or remote controls to make things simpler.
Lighting Walkways and Driveways
Candy cane lights are a great way to decorate walkways, adding color and form and giving your guests a little extra light on those dark winter nights. You can also string lights in trees or shrubberies to help light the way from your driveway to the front door.
Tie your lighting together with the overall theme of your display; for instance you could use all white lights or lights all the same color blue, green or red. Or, you could use the classic multi-colored lights to outline a large front window and hang white icicle lights along the roofline.
Decorating the outside of your home for the holidays can be great fun for the entire family. It’s a great creative outlet and something that will add joy to your holidays and provide lasting memories of the holiday season.