11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips
Christmas is a magical time and many families have traditions that may reach back many decades. One of the things families love to do at Christmas is to take a ride in the family car visiting homes that have spectacular outdoor light displays. Below are some Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips that can spark your imagination to create your own display.
Great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas Need Imagination and Planning.
We all know people who are not only lovers of Christmas, but are thrilled with the specialized design of Outdoor Christmas Lighting. Their yards look like their decorations were planned and executed by senior Disney Imagineers. Objects blink, whirl, splash and glow. Children squeal with delight and adults of every age are entranced by the Christmas magic.
While we join the traffic slowly gliding by their homes, we think on one hand about their utility bill, while on the other we are consumed with the desire to enhance our own front yards with some of this celebratory cheer.
Here are 11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips, using some traditional and other, very creative Outdoor Christmas Light Ideas.
1. Make everything’s light except your pocket.
There’s no reason why Outdoor Christmas Lighting should cost a fortune. Here are some steps to take to help save the planet by using less electricity and save your wallet by spending much less.
- Switch your incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. LED means light-emitting diode and LED lights are available in many colors and can be used in many functions. The homeowners who are termed “enthusiastic decorators” use an average of 18,332 Watts costing an average of $310.73 per season. If they switched to LED lights, the savings would amount to 2,369 Watts and cost $40.15. An LED bulb uses from 80 to 90 percent less electricity than an incandescent bulb.
- Use timers to control costs. When timers are used, you totally control the cost of electricity. You can have the lights turn on at 5:30 p.m. and shut off at 9:30 p.m. The neighborhood show will have appreciated predictable hours and you can be sure lights are turned off so that your neighbors can sleep undisturbed.
- Use extension cords to stretch your display. Use extension cords rather than light strings to lengthen your display in less visible areas.
Pick a new and unique theme each year.
You have the lights and the temptation is to use them in the same way in the same places each year. When you think about it, it’s obvious that your lights can be used in any way you choose.
Make your home exciting! Your neighbors and the “lookieloos” will begin to eagerly anticipate your new and exciting displays. Use some of the Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas below for inspiration.
2. A Cowboy Christmas.
Who doesn’t love the Wild West? The trail boss and his crew can celebrate Christmas on the Goodnight Trail, tending their herd and sitting around the campfire, sharing stories of Christmases past. The camp cook, always called Cookie, can be pouring coffee or stirring a black iron pot on the back of his chuck wagon.
3. A Child’s First Christmas
The charm of one of the very littlest whose eyes widen in surprise and wonder at the unexpected lights and ornaments, plus the miracle of Santa. A parent might be nearby taking an old-fashioned photo with a bulb that flashes as part of the display. Perhaps a puppy is sitting with them or mom is serving cookies. Use your imagination!
4. Christmas in the South Seas.
For originality and interest, you can’t beat this total flip of the North Pole. Palm trees, fire dancers and ukuleles playing Christmas songs will be a one-of-a-kind celebration. A fire pit roasting a pig, the sound of the waves crashing on shore and a large harvest moon add to the exotic appeal. This is one idea that almost requires (non-irritating) sound effects.
5. Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s House.
This nostalgic trip will trigger memories of the special places grandparents hold in their grandchildren’s hearts, even when the grandchildren are in their 90s. Cookie baking with Grandma and all the kids will bring back nostalgic memories, with an oven door opening and closing after the baking sheet is put inside. Grandpa can teach the boys how to tie a fly, hit a line drive with a baseball or build a tool box. Perhaps a story being read at bedtime will be a charming addition to the scene.
6. Santa’s Workshop.
Make sure that your North Pole workshop is unique. There is nothing quite so exciting as showing an old idea in a totally new and exciting way. This is the time to go wild with your imagination. Is there anything wrong with having the reindeer playing cards or checkers? The elves can help Santa with toy making, but what about changing the expected toy trains with iPhones, ATVs or big-screen TVs. How about a scene where the elves have their feet up drinking hot chocolate while the reindeer are making the toys instead? The workshop almost demands a comedic treatment.
7. Christmas Among the Forest Animals.
Let your inner Disney shine forth! Baby forest animals are adorable and everyone will love the display. How about a Christmas celebration that is held by the unpopular animals? Skunks, porcupines and even Bigfoot would be amusing and show that everyone deserves the chance to celebrate Christmas with those they love.
8. Religious Themes.
The best displays among devout Christians are those that demonstrate one of the Christmas stories. Read through the four disciples’ accounts of the day of Jesus’ birth with a new, creative eye. Try to think of more than the usual manger scene. A great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tip is to “visit” another country each year, using the Christmas traditions of each. Ideas for countries like Germany, France, Great Britain, Greece and Jerusalem will jumpstart your planning for the next five years!
Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk or Rumpelstiltskin, they will all charm and delight youngsters when they see their favorite characters come to life.
10. Decorate Your Car or Boat
Look around your property with a new eye. You can decorate any object that stands still in the early evening hours. Playhouses, tree houses, jungle gyms and a child’s wagon: each of these would make a charming display.
11. Highlight Your Occupation.
Whatever the occupations of the folks in the house, celebrate them with your outdoor display. An accountant putting numbers in an old-fashioned adding machine and a large paper ledger will be a lot of fun. Have Santa’s elves secretly looking over his shoulder and add other touches of Christmas. Teachers, doctors, librarians and housewives would all make charming scenes.
Regardless of how you celebrate the season, the important thing is to celebrate it with friends and family. Planning and executing outdoor Christmas decorating ideas together can create indelible memories for all.