Outdoor Christmas Decoration Ideas

Christmas display in Bolzano, Italy

Each year, millions of people take time to decorate their yards and the exterior of their homes. Holiday decorators are always looking for unique outdoor Christmas decoration ideas. Some even compete to see who has the most "Christmas spirit".

Outdoor Christmas Décor

Although wrapping colored lights around trees and bushes or placing electric candles in your windows looks festive, if you want your outdoor holiday décor to stand out, you'll need to go above and beyond the basics. Consider the following outdoor decorating ideas to help get your family, neighbors, and community in the holiday spirit.

Nativity Scene

Show the true meaning of the Christmas holiday by using nativity-themed décor in your yard. There are several nativity scenes available to choose from in a wide range of designs and sizes. You may choose to just feature the holy family or you can include wise men, shepherds, and animal figures. Enhance the look of your scene by surrounding the nativity with lighted angels. The following are some items that can help you create this look:

Outdoor nativity scene
  • Lighted nativity figures: Choose from the holy family and manger; three wise men, or a shepherd, lamb and staff. You can also add a single camel and additional lambs. Each figure is illuminated and made of hollow plastic. Prices vary per piece, ranging from around $40 to $200.
  • Nativity inflatable: Add a fun twist to your outdoor nativity scene by choosing this inflatable featuring the holy family, lamb and donkey. The price is near $100.
  • Lighted angel: This four foot angel holds a trumpet and is beautifully illuminated. She's also animated and moves her head from side to side, and costs around $150.
  • Window angels: Give the illusion of heavenly hosts by placing these angels in every window of your home, so everyone can see them from outside your house. Each is around $10, so feel free to get one for each window.
  • Holiday star: Hang this wire and pine star on your covered porch to represent the star of Bethlehem. The cost is around $55, and it will truly pull your outdoor scene together.

Christmas Tree Forest

Christmas trees are a classic holiday symbol. Instead of just decorating outdoor Christmas trees, create a "forest" of festive Christmas trees by purchasing several styles of pre-lit trees and placing them strategically throughout your yard. Place lighted packages under the trees for added sparkle and fun, and add lighted mini-trees in pots or urns on either side of your front walkway or front porch. Bring this decorating idea to life using these items:

  • 9' LED lighted Christmas tree: Use this beautiful tree as the focal point of your yard decor. The tree is available in blue or green and costs near $200.
  • Gift box set: Place these lighted gifts under your outdoor trees to add whimsy to your holiday forest display. A set of three gifts costs around $30.

  • Christmas tree gel yard art: This fun outdoor decoration stands five feet tall and is fully "decorated" -- it even includes a star on top. Cost is approximately $50.

Gingerbread Display

Create a gingerbread display that looks good enough to eat by decorating with gingerbread themed items. Place an illuminated gingerbread house in your yard and put lighted gingerbread people nearby. Flank your walkway with candy canes and lollipops, and outline doors, windows, and wreaths with candy ornaments and gingerbread lights.

  • Gingerbread boy: Set this sweet lighted gingerbread boy in front of a gingerbread house for a great look. Cost is around $125. A gingerbread girl is also available.
  • Lighted candy canes: This set of eight candy canes comes with a remote control to control eight lighting functions. Consider using them to line your sidewalks or outline your yard. Cost for the set is approximately $45.
  • Christmas lollipops: Surround your gingerbread house with these lollipops or place them along your walkway or porch. A set of four costs about $32.

Santa's Workshop

Traditional décor can make your yard look like the entrance to Santa's workshop. An illuminated Santa, reindeers (don't forget Rudolph!), penguins, and candy canes can all be used to create the look. Add welcoming lighted plastic or inflatable snowmen and line your walkway or porch with toy soldiers. Surround your front door and windows with lighted garlands and wreaths. Start your North Pole experience with some of these items:

  • North Pole sign: Direct visitors to the right North Pole department with this fun sign. It's priced around $20; place it at the end of your sidewalk or driveway to direct everyone to the rest of your yard.
  • Toy soldier: This impressive toy soldier stands 32" tall. Place an entire regiment along your walkway or use two to flank your front porch. Cost is around $15.
  • Mrs. Claus: No Santa's workshop scene is complete without Mrs. Claus. This illuminated version is 40" tall, made of blow molded plastic, and costs around $60.
  • Happy Holidays penguins: These cute penguins hold a festive holiday greeting. The penguins and the sign are illuminated and the entire decoration is 36" x 60" in size. It's priced near $100.

Rustic Holiday

If you love the country and decorating with natural elements, consider a rustic décor theme. Outline doors and windows with lighted garlands decorated with pinecones and berries; hang fresh wreaths in every window, and place several lighted deer in your yard. Line walkways with pails filled with pinecones and berries and consider hanging a rustic star on your garage door or the side of your house. The following items can help you achieve the look:

  • Fresh wreaths: If you're not fortunate enough to have natural botanicals available or if you just don't have the time to make your own wreaths, consider purchasing these fresh wreaths from Maine. During the Christmas season, wreaths are available in a wide variety of designs and sizes and range in price from around $25 to $60 plus shipping. Swags and garlands are also available. Line your porch with wreaths that match the rest of your decorations.
  • Grapevine tree: This three foot grapevine tree is illuminated with clear mini lights and is a great way to add country flair to your outdoor Christmas décor. Each tree costs around $40.
  • Lighted grapevine reindeer: This regal looking standing deer is lighted with 200 clear lights. The price is approximately $230. A seated version and grapevine sleigh are also available. Add the reindeer to your front or backyard for a
  • Rattan snowman: This unique snowman is decorated with holly and berries and holds a lantern and present. It costs around $160.

Not all decorations have to be purchased. Decorate the trees in your yard with homemade pinecone bird feeders and strands of popcorn and cranberries. You can also create a natural wreath for your front door from pine boughs, pine cones, and berries and add a vintage sleigh that you used as a child to your front porch.

Christmas in the Tropics

If you live in a warm climate or just long to spend Christmas in the tropics, consider decorating the outside of your home with tropical themed items. You can warm up the chilly holiday weather by adding these decorations to your yard:

  • Lighted flamingo: Who says only reindeer live at the North Pole? Add some fun to your tropical Christmas scene with these rope light flamingos. Each flamingo is two feet tall. Each flamingo costs around $25.
  • Illuminated palm tree: This seven foot palm tree features green and yellow rope light and holographic effects. It costs around $140. Use the trees as a way to designate your decorating area if you don't want to cover your entire yard.
  • Tropical Santa flag: The image on this cute banner shows Santa catching some rays while he checks his naughty/nice list. It costs about $20 and is sure to bring a smile to anyone who passes by.
  • Tropical floral wreath: This wreath welcomes your guests with exotic flowers such as birds-of-paradise and anthuriams instead of pine boughs and berries. Each wreath costs around $65.

Outdoor Decorating Reflects You

Whether you only put lights on a few bushes or you go all out and decorate every inch of your yard, your outdoor Christmas decorations are a reflection of you. Thankfully, no matter what your decorating style, Christmas décor is available in a huge variety of themes for every budget. With a little research you're sure to find just what you're looking for. To make lasting holiday memories, gather your friends and family and decorate the outside of your home and yard together. With everyone bringing their decorating ideas to the table, you're sure to have the most festive house in the neighborhood.

Outdoor Christmas Decoration Ideas