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Beyond Holiday Lights: 5 Ideas for Outdoor Decorations

It’s the time of year when decorations to celebrate the merriment of the holiday season go up in neighborhoods across the country. The standard strands of lights can seem uninspired while also gobbling up quite a bit of energy in the process. Even though not everyone has the holiday decorating skills of Clark Griswold, there are still a variety of creative ways to spruce up the outside of your home this season without using lights.

Wrap Your Door in Wreaths

Front Door Wreath
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Almost as though you’re turning your front door into holiday royalty, crown the entry to your home with a fun, original wreath. Pick up a wreath form at any local craft store and let your imagination run wild. Ribbons, garland, ornaments, the sky’s the limit. Let your wreath display your favorite aspects of the holidays.

Repurpose Existing Outdoor and Garden Decorations

Outdoor Decorations
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Pieces that you can’t wait to dust off and put up once spring rolls around might also be useful during the holiday season. Metal garden hooks can be adorned with ornaments. Place small evergreen shrubs in planters, window boxes or large urns. Set up a garden bench to look like a cozy spot for Santa to rest his feet between deliveries. You might be able to fully decorate the outside of your home using materials you already have on hand, saving you some money and time.

Embrace Unconventional Materials

Outdoor Lights
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For some, the holiday season verges on gaudy with all of the glitter and lights. If you’re looking to make a more muted statement with your outdoor decorations, consider materials that you would not normally associate with the holidays. For example, rarely would people think to use burlap in their winter season decorations, but this material can really help balance the glittering brightness of your standard decorations. Additionally, a material like burlap can be utilized in a variety of projects so the only limit is your own imagination.

Showcase Natural Beauty

Outdoor Beauty
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Take your inspiration from the beauty of winter when it comes to your outdoor holiday decorations. Snow, evergreen plants, repurposed wood and so many other natural materials can be used to make beautiful decorations that are one-of-a-kind. A family of snowmen isn’t just an adorable adornment for your yard but also a great activity to get your kids and spouse outside in the fresh air. Bunching together old branches with twine to embellish a mailbox post or railing running along your front steps is easy, inexpensive and beautiful without being over the top.

Utilize Antique Sports Equipment

Sled With Presents
Photo Credit Thinkstock

That ancient wooden sled sitting in the corner of your basement  that in hindsight was probably very dangerous for children to use, can transform into a winter wonderland decorative piece. You can paint it, decorate it with pinecones, wrap it in ribbon or just about anything else you could imagine will take that old sled from space waster to cherished seasonal decoration that gets you compliments from everyone on the block. Don’t forget about the possibilities with old skis, snowboards, snow shoes or ice skates.

Rather than stapling 20 strings of the same old lights to the outside of your home, think outside of the box this holiday season. Be safe when hanging, mounting or putting up any adornments and enjoy the fun of creating something all your own for the holidays.  

Alli Sands is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on

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