Our most famous holiday decorations come at Christmas, with Halloween close behind. Do you wonder why so many holidays fall at the end of the year? First Thanksgiving, followed by a busy month celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and a week later there's New Years.
My favorite holiday is Christmas with all the decorations, lots of singing (or listening to Christmas carols) and hoping for my first winter snow in New Hampshire. With Christmas lights, you get to enjoy not only your own decorations, but those put up by friends and neighbors. We've got some great tips for how to use what you already own to make your front door sparkle with holiday spirit!
Decorating Tips for Holiday Lights
There's no escaping our love of holiday lights. Some homeowners like to keep it simple with lots of white lights. Others prefer red or blue lights, and many people like lots of color and shapes in the form of trees, reindeer, candy canes and presents. One could write a book on Christmas lights and that's not the focus of this article but given their popularity, I wanted to recommend you look at Saving Energy with LED Christmas Lights and LED Lights and Why They're Great.
Some other safety tips for holiday lights. Make sure the lights you use are UL rated for outdoor use. Traditional light bulbs draw considerable energy so you can easily overload the circuits you're plugging the lights into. To prevent problems, calculate how many watts you can safely plug into a single 15 or 20 amp circuit at CentsibleHolidayLighting.com. Hanging Christmas lights often involves climbing up a ladder. You should consider calling a handyman who is used to working on tall ladders or install permanent, stainless steel hooks to minimize the time spent on the ladder each year.
Decorating with Lost Treasures
My decorator, Jennifer Myers (see how wonderfully Jennifer dressed up my house), is amazing to watch and learn from. She keeps teaching me how to use unusual things, what I call decorating with our lost treasures, to decorate during the holidays and almost any time of year. Here are just a few photos of Jennifer's work and some ideas of the lost treasures you might find in your attic, basement or garage.
- Children's sports equipment like sleds, ice skates, hockey sticks or camping equipment.
- Unused pottery can be filled with all sorts of evergreens which you can find in your backyard … or during a leisurely winter hike (but only cut what you are sure you'll use).
- Outdoor fixtures like bird houses and bird baths when your feathered friends are gone.
- Old antiques you've collected but aren't displaying anywhere at the time, i.e. the lanterns shown below.
- Look at your home – do you have a porch, a fence in front or some type of garden feature like an arbor that you love? The house shown below has the porch columns wrapped in greenery and ribbon. What's difficult to see are the large urns on the left that were also decorated.
For other decorating ideas, visit these articles in our series of Holiday Photo Ideas …
- Adding Holiday Cheer to Your Front Door … you're here now!
- Welcoming Holiday Guests to Your Home
- Decorating Tips for the Living Room
- Decorating Kitchens for Baking & Entertaining
- Holiday Decorating with a Decorator
- Holiday Decorating and Tablescapes
- Kitchen Decorating for the Holidays