It’s finally December, which means Christmas is just around the corner. Between all of the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s important to take a step back and allow yourself to enjoy this wonderful season. One of our favorite family traditions around this time of year is bundling up, hot cocoa in hand, and driving around to take in all beautiful holiday lights and displays. Spread the cheer this year by decorating your landscape for you, your family, and your neighbors to enjoy!
Outdoor Christmas Lights
Bright lights are essential when it comes to decorating, especially outdoors. Whether you illuminate your landscape with festive, colorful patterns or stunning white lights, your home is sure to look brilliant at night.
If you’re shopping for new lights this year, we suggest opting for LEDs. Not only are they brighter, but they last longer, too—and at a fraction of the cost! LED lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lights, meaning your electricity bill isn’t going to skyrocket during one of the most expensive seasons of the year.
Putting up string lights is probably the most common way people tend to decorate their homes for the holidays. You can use them to outline your windows, doors, and the frame of your house, wrap them around posts and railings or drape them around the trees and shrubs in your front yard. And although they’re technically indoor decorations, putting up window lights can make the outside of your home look more festive—especially if you find it too challenging to decorate the top story of your house outdoors.
Laser light projectors are probably the easiest way to decorate your home and landscape for Christmas. Just install one simple projector on your lawn (usually it comes attached to a lawn spike to help you secure it), point it in the right direction, and turn it on! The projector will beam a light pattern onto your home with impressive brightness. You can choose from all sorts of stationary or dancing designs in festive colors and patterns. Some devices can even switch between more than one!
Outdoor Holiday Decor
Lights are essential, but there are other components to outdoor holiday decor that will really tie your holiday landscape design together. Here are some of our favorite outdoor Christmas decor ideas:
You can’t go wrong with a simple, classic wreath made from fresh-cut evergreens. Feeling crafty? Add some personality to your wreath by attaching your favorite decorations like Christmas ornaments or bird figurines from the craft store. Or, make your own wreath with non-traditional materials like grapevine, magnolia leaves, or eucalyptus.
Winter Porch Pots
These winter standbys are lots of fun to make and are perfect for replacing your front-yard container gardens through the season. When making a winter porch pot, use the ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ technique by layering evergreens with different textures, like spruce, pine, and cedar cuttings. Insert festive decorations like holly berries and ribbon bows for a few pops of color. When designing your porch pot, keep a plan in mind for transitioning your design out of “holiday mode” after New Year’s Day—there will still be plenty of chilly weather to follow!
If you really want to make your yard into a holiday destination, consider adding some lawn ornaments to your front yard. Pre-lit wire reindeer, candy canes, or nativity scenes are mainstays that always look sweet and elegant. Or, if you like to have some fun with your decor, try an inflatable ornament or two! Whichever ornaments you choose, we recommend coordinating them with the rest of your decor, either in color palette or theme.
Typically made from pine, these long garlands made from fresh greenery are perfect for decorating along windowsills or wrapping around porch columns or railings. A simple, high-impact way to get your home in the holiday spirit!
Winter Landscape Design
We couldn’t talk about landscape design without mentioning some of our favorite, festive plants! While these “decorations” are more of a long-term commitment, their winter beauty will make them valuable additions to your holiday landscape every year. They’re even more gorgeous covered in a light blanket of frost, and they’ll bring you joy long after the new year. It may be a touch too late in the year for planting in Maryland and Virginia, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for next year! Consider adding some of these winter-friendly beauties to your list of new additions this spring:
Conifers are essential pieces of Christmas decor that look great all year—but especially during the holidays! Eastern White Pine, Thuja Green Giant, and Skyrocket Juniper all perform well in the Lothian, MD and Alexandria, VA areas.
Holly shrubs make great hedges for your front yard. Their distinctive red berries add awesome winter color, and they can be clipped and added to your outdoor holiday decor. Try Nellie R. Stevens Holly.
Winterberry is another spectacular shrub for adding some life to your winter landscape. Throughout the winter, the leaves fall away, and only the abundant clusters of bright red berries remain. Winterberry also attracts birds!
Outdoor Christmas decor makes your home look as festive on the outside as it is on the inside and gives your landscape and warm and welcoming impression. Are you feeling extra creative this year? Go all out with an entire theme for your landscape, taking inspiration from the North Pole, Dr. Suess’ Whoville, Candyland, or any other festive themes you can think of!