Photo: Duane Romanell
Especially if your block goes all out when it comes to decorating for Christmas, you'll need to put together some creative displays to make your home stand out. While lights provide a solid backdrop, you should add other types of decorations to create a truly engaging display.
You have plenty of Christmas yard decorations to choose from, and the best strategy is to pick a theme and incorporate it in several different places, rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to use every type of decoration. Put the decorations in your self-storage unit and add to your collection each year, slightly varying your displays to keep things interesting.
Inflatable Outdoor Christmas Decorations
One of the easiest ways to get a big visual impact is to use inflatable outdoor Christmas decorations. These are very compact for storage, but as soon as you turn them on, they balloon up to a huge size. Plus, you can find so many different kinds to fit in with any theme.
Inflatable characters are especially popular, so whether you are into Star Wars, Santa Claus, or the Peanuts gang, you can find decorations to fit your style. A more classic option is to get one or two inflatable snow globes, which have a magical effect. Many of these decorations are animated as well, which draws more attention to them.
Rooftop Christmas Decorations
Your roof is the easiest place to see from a distance, so it is the ideal location to put some large outdoor Christmas decorations. If you have a chimney near the front of your home, consider putting Santa Claus right next to it. Lighted displays of Santa in his sleigh being pulled by reindeer are also popular to install on your roof.
If your roof has a steep slope, you can also use traditional strings of lights to write words on your roof. Another idea is to create flat displays, like a wreath made from strings of small green lights with a few larger red lights interspersed. If you have lots of white lights, a giant snowflake, or a few smaller snowflakes, can create a magical effect. A large star is another simple roof decoration to make yourself.
Garage Door Christmas Decorations
If you have a garage door that faces the street, this is prime real estate for your outdoor Christmas decorations. Pre-made lighted displays are easy to hang on your garage door for immediate visual impact, but if you have a little time, you could make your own. Just use strings of lights and electrical tape that is the same color as your garage door to spell out a simple word like "JOY" or "MERRY" and surround it with a simple border of lights.
Christmas Yard Decorations
Photo: Karol Franks
Outdoor lighted Christmas decorations are easy to find, or you can actually make them yourself. You have probably seen 3-D wire frame reindeer or snowmen with pre-strung lights that you can just plug in. If you are at least a little bit handy and have some artistic skill, you can bend wire to make your own frame. Chicken wire is easy to form into spheres to make outdoor snowman Christmas decorations to weave a string or two of lights through. Consider making a whole family of snowmen, with each one designed to look like one of your family members.
Nativity scenes are popular Christmas lawn decorations if you want to highlight the religious significance of the holiday. If your set is not lighted, you can use floodlights or other outdoor lights to showcase it after dark. Even subtle lighting set up in the right places can draw enough attention, and it makes it feel like a more peaceful and almost magical scene.
If you live in a cold climate where temperatures during December tend to stay below freezing, you can use ice to create some stunning Christmas lawn decorations lining your front walk. Just fill buckets with water, put them out to freeze, and take them out of the buckets when you have a solid shell but there is still water in the center. Then place a real or battery powered candle inside to show off the beautiful ice shells you created. You will have to replace these homemade outdoor Christmas decorations every few days as they melt (especially if you are using real candles), but they are fairly easy to make and look so pretty.