I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers and bloggy friends a simply wonderful Christmas. I'll be taking a nice vacation to enjoy my holidays!
The Holiday Home: Inexpensive Outdoor Decorating
With Christmas just a week or so away, the tree is decorated, the lights aglow, and the stockings hung by the fire, ready for a visit from friends and family. But for many, there is one last element to welcoming the holidays, and it isn't a grumpy uncle or a bunch of wild nieces. It's the entrance through which we welcome these loved ones to our home.
No matter how close it is to Christmas, it is never too late to address the outside of the home, and additional decorating doesn't have to dip into the money that has been carefully saved for gifts. The spirit of Christmas can make its mark on the outside as much as the inside with a few key ingredients: greenery, decorations, and bows.
Following are simple, inexpensive, and tasteful ways to welcome Santa Claus before he even sees the Christmas tree:
- Repurposed Ornaments: Anyone who celebrates the holidays with a Christmas tree likely has more ornaments than even the most agile evergreen can hold. And a box is no place for a decoration to spend the holidays. Whether adorning the limbs of the front-porch potted plants or hanging out with class and style from the cedars that guard the front door, the spirit of a Christmas tree can easily tie together the interior and exterior of the home. For larger trees that populate the front yard, seek out oversized ornaments from your local holiday store and use them to make a strong statement. Christmas is an oversized holiday, and it doesn't take too much to bring the larger-than-life vibe to the front yard.
- Christmas Greenery: Artificial or natural greenery? The choice is yours. The truth is that holiday greenery will suck the air out of any inflatable lawn decoration with its dignified appearance. The perfect balance of greenery will not only add character to the front door, but it will have the columns, porch railings, and lampposts celebrating.
Artificial greenery is available from most any store with a holiday section, but those looking for something more natural and aromatic can simply check with the local Christmas tree farm to purchase natural garland or a classic wreath. Take a string of twinkling lights – whether white or multi-colored - and wrap it around the greenery to add sparkle to the natural beauty.
Assuming that the Christmas tree has already been purchased, outdoor greenery may be only a chop away. Snip off some of the evergreen branches from the base of the tree, tie them together with an understated bow, and a tasteful welcome awaits the next reveler to knock on the front door.
- Decorative Bows: The aforementioned bow isn't simply an accent for the greenery that adorns the front door or the porch. A festive bow can stand on its own, bringing beauty to the entryway of the house, and even the grand oak that stretches its noble branches across the front yard. Most holiday stores can provide a pre-made, vibrant red bow to meet any decorating needs, but to truly add a unique and personal touch, head to the craft store and find the material that is right for your own home. By choosing the perfect material, the right length, and a welcoming color, the only limitations for this holiday bow are the imagination.
There was a time when holiday decorating meant a well-lit and decorated Christmas tree situated near a window to allow passers-by to view it. These days, the tree is just one component of the celebration, and the outside of the home – from the front door to the lawn – is a winter canvas ready to be adorned. With a classic mix of holiday decorations, from greenery to bows, any home can sing with the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.
Chris Long is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, where he has been helping customers since 2000. Chris also contributes to Home Depot's Home Decorators.com website. His home-décor interests range from home furniture to patio furniture.
Thanks for the timely article Chris, and Merry Christmas everyone!