‘Tis the season peace, goodwill and competitive holiday displays! All kidding aside, festive front yard decorations are a great way to welcome guests and spread some holiday cheer. If you’re new to holiday yard décor, we’ve got some tips. If you need inspiration, visit Sierra Vista Dec. 4-13 when our residents will compete to see whose holiday décor reigns supreme.
Start With a Plan
Before hanging your first string of lights, create a decorating plan. Go outside and really look at your home. Decide where your decorations will look best. The roof? Bushes? Porch? Take a picture of your house from across the street and print it out. Draw your decorations on top of it. Once you do, look over the decorations you have. See what you need to add. For more tips, check out this newbie guide to decorating.
Pick a Theme
Tie your outdoor decorations together with a theme. It doesn’t have to be specific. Maybe you love classic decorations. Maybe you want something very modern. Snow scenes, The Nutcracker and Santa are traditional. Get creative and pull from books or movies. A single lantern could be the start of a Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe display. Disney, the Grinch, aliens in Santa caps — get creative and have fun.
Your outdoor decorations should be safe for you and anyone knocking on your front door. Use lights labeled with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) seal of approval and make sure they’re rated for outdoor use. Light up walkways and tuck power cords away so guests don’t trip. Using power strips makes it less likely you will overload circuits. Try solar-powered decorations for cordless light.
Light ‘Em Up
Speaking of lights, there are an overwhelming number of different types. Choose lights that accent your home. Icicle lights if you have eaves. Net lights can be thrown over bushes. Rope lights can be placed around windows. Don’t want to hang lights? Use projectors to cast snowflakes, stars or other decorations on your exterior. Choose colors that will compliment your yard decorations. LED and solar lights can tamp down that electricity bill.
Shop Second Hand
Rather than spend a fortune buying new decorations, check out second-hand shops for used ones. While you don’t want to buy lights or inflatables, you can find wreaths, yard signs, porch decorations and more. If you love DIY, see if there are things you can repurpose to fit your theme.
Decorate for Day and Night
When it comes to the holidays, we tend to focus on how our home will look at night. We forget that people also see our homes during the day. Hang wreaths on your door and windows, fill a planter with decorative candy canes, pile pinecones on a porch bench.
Frame the Door
Wreaths are traditional but you can do so much more with your door. Frame it with colorful garlands. Giant Nutcrackers can stand sentry. If you have planters near the door, add festive touches with lights, ornaments or fake snow.
Inflate the Inflatables
A simple decorating option is an inflatable. They are easy to set up, waterproof and fun. You can use them as focal points and build your display around them. Purchase inflatables that are the right size for your yard and won’t obscure other decorations. Check for sharp objects that could puncture your inflatable before putting it up.
Make it Fun
Decorating your home for the holidays should not feel like a chore. If it does, you might be trying to do too much. Get friends and relatives involved. Put together a to-do list and give everyone a job. Keep everyone’s strength and holiday cheer up with hot chocolate and holiday treats. Once you’ve finished, admire your work and then head inside for a potluck dinner.