When I was young, there was a community about twenty-five minutes away from where I lived wherein virtually every household decorated their lawns for Christmas. It was a subdivision of relatively new homes and the escalating decoration battles grew out of a friendly competition between two neighbors in the center of the neighborhood. At first, it was just the two houses competing to outdo each other, staging ever-more-elaborate yardscapes. Pretty soon, the spirit spread to the other houses on that street before bleeding over into the surrounding streets.
My family, along with many, many others, used to make the trek at least once a year to drive around the subdivision and marvel at the incredibly involved setups. People would use a combination of store-bought and hand-built, including some figures standing fifteen feet tall, all trimmed with Christmas lights. The whole place shone with lights and cars lined the streets to get a look. It was one of my favorite traditions.
Whether or not you live in a neighborhood so inclined to decorate impressively enough to draw a crowd, putting up some sort of outdoor Christmas decorations will make your home feel cheerier and more festive. People like me who still lack yard space and a home to decorate appreciate seeing your display when we drive by.
You don’t need anything as elaborate as, say, the Johnson Family Christmas Light Show or even the OG holiday light show house, but there are still plenty of lovely options for your yard. Reindeer, Santa sleighs, signs, and, of course, lights, all add to the magic.
Whatever you decide, you’ll likely need electricity. These light sensor power stakes should provide all the outlets necessary to plug in inflatable figures and lights alike. There are several different timer settings so your display is only powered when you want it to be.
For those considering dressing up the outside of your house this year, here’s our list of the top ten best outdoor Christmas decorations.
1. Elegant White Glittering Lighted Christmas Sleigh
The snowbound sleigh is a fixture of Christmas yard decorations. This one features glittering mesh and is lit with 70 clear bulbs. It measures 41 inches long, which is big enough to be seen at a distance without dominating your whole yard. You could create a whole scene by incorporating a reindeer set or even something more angelic. Makes for a great contrast with colored displays or to coordinate with an all-white light scheme.
Need more options? Browse more outdoor Christmas decorations here.
2. Star Shower Laser Lights Star Projector
If you don’t want to fuss with climbing on ladders or reaching over hedges to ensure full light coverage on the front evolution of your house, consider a laser star projector. Available in both static and motion models, this will cast a field of red and green starlight over your home. As with the power stake at the top of this post, this unit has a light sensor in it so that it only comes on at dusk. Another option is to get a projector with themed slides, which will superimpose holiday-related images on the walls. Most of them come with 12 slides, so you’ll be able to use it throughout the year.
Need more options? Browse more landscape lighting here.
3. LED Light Show Tree
These tree-like light show towers have a more modern feel to them than a lot of yard decorations. In my mind, they’re right up there with inflatable characters in terms of when they really became popular. This model features 200 LEDs, so this is bound to last a good long while. It’s a lovely, cooler look, which would be a nice counterpoint to either all white or all blue lights. It stands six feet tall and folds down for easy storage.
Need more options? Browse more Christmas trees here.
4. Inflatable Lighted Santa in Sleigh with Reindeer
Those inflatable figures have really become quite elaborate. Once upon a time, it was a simple inflatable snowman. Now, though, you can get crazier with it. This santa sleigh with three reindeer is 16 feet long. It would easily anchor any elaborate yard display. It is lit internally, but you might consider throwing some additional lighting around it, as the reindeer are a little darker than pictured. They also make an inflatable Santa’s workshop if you want to add to the look. If the old inflatable snowman is your thing, he’s available with his whole family, complete with pet penguin. Oh, and lest you doubted it, there is a Star Wars option.
Need more options? Browse more inflatable holiday decorations here.
5. Teak Isle Christmas Outdoor Nativity Set
If, for you, Jesus is the reason for the season, a nativity scene is an important fixture. This simple, yet detailed scene can be purchased just with the centerpiece of Jesus in the manger, Joseph, and Mary, along with a couple of sheep. If you want to expand it, however, Teak Isle have additional pieces featuring angels, a shepherd, camels, and wise men. You can also buy both a standard set that includes a few more pieces, or the large set with everything. All the sets are made with marine grade plastic to withstand years of harsh treatment by the elements.
6. 36 Inch LED Folding Outdoor Christmas Snowflake Decoration
For homes with a peak or other large area without a window, this lighted snowflake makes an excellent accent piece. Measuring 36 inches, this snowflake is lit with 105 LEDs to shine brightly throughout the season and many more after that.
Need more options? Browse more lighted snowflake decorations here.
7. Prextex Christmas Candy Cane Pathway Markers Set
If you plan to have a Christmas party this year, why not greet your guests at the driveway and all along the sidewalk with this set of lighted candy canes? The set includes ten canes, each 12 inches tall. You can stake them directly into the ground and string them together as you would with regular light strings, up to five sets per string. You could also use these to mark a walking path through your other decorations to create a veritable winter wonderland. You can also get gingerbread houses or Christmas trains.
Need more options? Browse more Christmas path lights here.
8. Merry Christmas Holly Foil and Sequins Burlap House Flag
Perhaps the rest of this list is too involved or even over-the-top for you. A simple house flag will suit you best. This burlap flag features a lovely holly design, accented by the sequin berries. The flag measures 28 inches by 44 inches, which is large enough to be seen from the street. Good for more of a rustic Christmas look. Along the same lines, I quite like this Christmas tree burlap flag. If you don’t have one yet, be sure to pick up a garden flag stand.
Need more options? Browse more Gifted Living products here.
9. National Tree 9 Foot Frosted Berry Garland
Especially effective for framing doorways or lining the tops of fences, this lush garland comes prelit with 100 white lights. You can use this both indoors and out, so it will work just as well on your mantle as it will on your gate or around windows. This has a classic, high-end look, suitable for farmhouses and penthouses alike. They also make a lovely matching wreath to pair with the garland.
Need more options? Browse more National Tree Company products here.
10. J & M Home Fashions Three Snowmen Christmas Vinyl Back Coco Doormat
Regardless of whether you decide to deck out the rest of your yard with festive decorations, the judicious application of a holiday doormat is a simple way to liven up the out-of-doors. This particular design works throughout the winter, not just at Christmas. Naturally, they have Christmas-specific designs, as well. These mats measure 18 inches by 30 inches and are made of natural coconut fiber, backed by PVC. Greet guests all season long with a fun doormat.
Need more options? Browse more Christmas products from J & M Home Fashions here.
Price: $14.44 (15 percent off MSRP)
Now that you’ve decorated the outside, don’t forget to make sure the tree inside your house is ready for the big day, too. Check out our list of the best Christmas tree toppers or best wooden ornaments.