The beautiful thing about the Christmas season is that we can transform our yard or front porch into a fairyland of twinkling lights easily, reminding us of the wonder and splendor of childhood memories. Multicolored or simply white mini or large luminescent globes of light fill our senses and create for us a specialness which draws us to look and enjoy the winter whether there is snow or not. Lights on rooftops, garages, bushes and trees, battery operated lights in tin cans perforated with snowflake designs, lining the driveway, spotlights with spots, color and movement getting the neighborhood into the spirit of the season and harkening back to the origins of lanterns in winter to welcome the weary traveller from his journey. Musically smart lights dancing to a joyful Christmas beat. The more the merrier to create instant drama and inspiration.
Outdoor Christmas Décor can be as simple or glorious, traditional or trendy as we like and the sky is the limit when it comes to ideas.
Here are a few favorites and perhaps a few “out of the box” ideas to capture the imagination and get the creative juices flowing starting with the humble potted winter arrangement. Pots of large or small proportions can be wrapped in burlap for a natural textured look and stuffed with sprays of pine, cedar, red dogwood and birch logs. Shiny balls and generous bows inserted inside the arrangement set the stage and welcome you and your holiday guests home and to the season ahead. Brightly wrapped packages propped up on top of each other in large urns in a frenzy of fun glued together will bring a smile.
The front door is always a great place to hang a lovely traditional wreath with the real smell of the forest, or try the bold modern look of feathers, glittering lights, or a wire form of any shape spray painted to contrast with your door color, the choices are endless and your imagination stretched. Another idea is to change up the door décor with a pair of vintage skates tied up with a sumptuous bow or bells. A weathered picture frame wrapped in white lights is a fresh idea and adds a bit of interest to the door or siding of your house. Put over your civic numbers highlights your house for guests to find their way.
A front porch can house an old rocking chair dressed up for Christmas with greenery and lights welcoming the visitor and promising sanctuary inside. Thrift stores are a treasure-trove of abundance with chairs, plaid throws and lanterns that can adorn an outdoor space, baubles can be found for a front yard tree in all sizes and colors, and which don’t cost a lot and can weather the elements nicely. A vintage toboggan with a bright bow, a galvanized bucket flanking either side of the doorway filled with evergreens to be planted next spring and topped with burlap ribbons.
A walk in your local forest will offer varying naturally colored branches in yellows, browns and reds, holly berries and pinecones large and small to please the eye and the pocketbook.
Big Box stores have a myriad of large jolly snowmen and smiling carollers to adorn a corner of the yard or porch and we can always count on the simplicity of the nativity to remind us of what the season really is all about: giving, loving and sharing with others.
For those of you into epic and larger than life statements, there is a new generation of inflatable Santa’s and Grinch’s and Reindeers to choose from. Be prepared to spend a little more on your Hydro bill, but today’s electrical motors that blow up these large plastic figures, are as electrically frugal as they have ever been. With ever increasingly sophisticated technologies, comes the capabilities to combining sound and music with these inflatable characters, including various automated motions and gestures to go with the tunes.
Speaking of sophisticated technologies, if you really want to provide a stand-alone exterior Christmas phenomenon, without peer amongst your neighbors, consider animatronic Santa themed characters whose eyes open, arms and legs move, and whose mouths can sing to a song script. Costs have come down in recent years, though they are not the cheapest exterior décor item by any means. A choir of choristers or a jolly old Saint Nicholas can provide wonder and delight to family and friends and neighbors (whom hopefully you have some as friends) through your neighborhood.
It should be apparent by now, that exterior Christmas décor can be as simple or as complex, as you or your pocket book are willing to make it. Don’t go into exterior Christmas décor purchasing blindly. Check out magazines, go online, look at other houses, talk with your friends, and establish an exterior Christmas décor budget before you actually commence to purchase. In today’s Christmas world, the sky really is the limit.
There are no longer any commercial boundaries to what is considered acceptable for exterior Christmas décor. Simply put, it can be as individual as you are.
Some will consider putting old memorabilia out on display. Some may consider putting out themed decorations. What about a Star Wars themed Christmas display with Darth Vader holding a wreath and candle, or a replica of the Millennium Falcon all dusted with snow? Others will go with the more traditional look.
Speaking of traditional, have you noticed that exterior lighting is both old and new again? Combine new colors with ever increasingly sophisticated lights that change color and intensity. Or, go retro and stick to the old colors and for those of you who are really daring, go Uber retro, and pull out the old exterior Christmas bulbs and put them on display.
Lastly, when considering your exterior décor budget, consider whether you want to do it yourself or hire an exterior décor specialist to come and do the work for you.
Merry Christmas One and All and a Happy New Year to Everyone 2016