No matter how small your abode, no doubt you’re thinking about putting up Christmas lights once November rolls into December. And if you love that magical look, there’s good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your house a holiday glow. Use normal candles — even electric ones — in groups and you’ve got a bright display in seconds. You can string miniature white lights on anything: trees, both indoors and out; potted plants; mirrors; picture frames; other lampshades or covers, and — of course — a fireplace mantel. Wrap a giant “N” and “L” in lights, and form the “O” from a wreath and the “E” from a sculptural piece for a unique greeting. Colored lights are perfect outdoors: string some on your garage or shed, line a walk, or surround your front door.
If you’re adding to your display this year, you’ve got lots of choice — large round globes, “snowballs,” stars of all sorts, even elves, Santas, or Nativity scenes. For a truly unique setting, group silver balls in a lighted centerpiece with white starfish, trail white “icicle” lights from a mantel or a wreath, or find a word (such as “Peace”) spelled all in lights. You can even dress up a reflecting ball or birdbath with a string of lights and evergreens; lighted “birdcages” and baskets can hang from branches or poles for a stunning effect. No matter what sort of “wonderland” you want to create this year, you can do it with lights — so try a few of these ideas on for size and make your Christmas season bright!
Outdoor Christmas decorations are one of the best parts of this time of year, and that’s true no matter whether you’re in the tropics or in three feet of snow! Wrap your banisters with evergreens — even if they’re artificial — and you’ll get the holiday spirit going fast; tie a few red bows around them and it’ll already start to look like Christmas, no matter the temperature. Lights, above all, are the best Christmas décor for any climate: string lights everywhere — on bushes, on evergreens, on bare branches. Wrap tree trunks with white light and enjoy the glow! Is your garden your pride and joy? Decorate it: string lights on hanging planters, trim baskets with silver stars, stack a giant pyramid of “gift boxes” surrounded with lights, or put letters spelling “Merry Christmas” along one of your fences.
Deck your front door with Santas, wooden soldiers, or nutcrackers; the combinations of evergreen, light, ribbons or bows, gold or silver ornaments, and a few lighted snowflakes or bells can make your front entrance magical. Attach bright red bows to silver reflecting balls; and don’t forget garages, sheds, or pool houses — a green garland strung with silver ornaments and red bows will brighten them instantly. And, for a truly breathtaking display that tells the true story of Christmas, large Nativity sets can take pride of place in a spacious front or side yard; with the proper background, they can be the finest Christmas decoration of all. Use your imagination — and some of these images — to create your very own Christmas wonderland. Then set out the cookies for Santa!