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How to Make Your Home Look Festive This Holiday Season

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone, we are replacing our pumpkins and turkeys with other exterior decorations. That’s why we have collected our favorite holiday decorations that create a festive home exterior. If you want to make your home shine with holiday spirit, read these easy ideas. 

Holiday Lights 

There are few things more festive than turning down a snowy street and finding it lit with lights. Holiday lights draw attention to a home in a way that nothing else can, especially when the winds get chilly and the days get shorter.  

There are a lot of things you can do with lights. Below are some of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to decorate your home’s exterior with holiday lights. 

Outline Your Home 

Having holiday lights around the outline of your home is a great way to bring your entire yard into focus. It highlights your home and it sets the tone for all your other decorations.  

Lights come in many different shapes and sizes, and each type brings a different festive experience.  

If you’re wanting to really stand out, or if you’re wanting something more lighthearted, consider larger bulbs in an array of colors. Multi-color homes offer a more classic holiday look. If it snows, the various lights reflect beautifully off the white, snowy blanket surrounding your home.  

Soft blue or green lights add a different look to your home’s exterior. Again, against a blanket of snow, these lights make your home glow. These often come as traditional bulbs or as icicle lights. The icicle lights hang in long strands off your home and offer a lot more lights. 

Or, for a simple and elegant look, you can go for all-white lights. These are subtle lights, but they offer different levels of intensity. For a clean look and low-profile festivity, go with softer brightness levels. This is a classic look that allows you to enjoy the surrounding decorations. 

Light Up Your Hanging Planters 

If you usually have planters hanging from your home throughout the other seasons, consider keeping them up this winter. Once they are empty of their seasonal plants, replace them with winter decorations, much like a wreath. Fill them with garland or ornaments, pine cones or candles. Then wrap them in low-profile lights to give your home extra accents of holiday cheer. 

Line Your Trees and Shrubbery 

Your house isn’t the only thing you can outline with holiday lights! You can hang lights from the trees and other foliage you have around your yard. Evergreen trees can be filled with lights for a classic holiday look, as can other plants we address in the Seasonal Foliage section. But, even if you don’t have seasonal plants, you can hang lights from the limbs of trees that have lost their leaves for the winter. Wrap them around the bare limbs and stems, creating a web of lively lights and holiday spirit.  

Draping lights around your yard adds an extra layer of depth to your decorations. It fills spots that would otherwise be difficult to see at night, and it creates a unified festive exterior. The good thing about holiday lights is that there is no “right” amount. Hang as many or as few as you want. Whether you use them as accents or as central pieces to your decorating, lights bring a holiday glow to your home. 

Seasonal Foliage 

The most iconic winter plant is the evergreen tree. If you have one of these in your yard, you can easily string lights around it to give your yard a special holiday glow. But there are also plenty of plants that will bloom and add color once the temperatures drop. Depending on where you live, here are some great options for adding a little winter color to your gardens: 

Ornamental Cabbages and Kale 

These are incredibly popular annual winter annual plants. They add a vibrance of reds and greens with a leafy texture not found in most plants.  

Winter Jasmine 

This plant offers a gorgeous addition to your winter landscaping for very little hassle. Once they sprout, the little yellow blooms and lean stick stems add a delicate beauty to your landscaping. 

Holly Bush 

Along with the evergreen tree, holly is one of the more iconic winter plants. They have small, bright berries that grow in both red and gold. Holly’s sharp evergreen leaves bring a healthy glow to the garden. They are gorgeous accent plants that look great along walkways, under windowsills, along walls, and under lamplight.  

Japanese Maple 

This small tree adds a soft red, almost purple, vibrance to your decorating. Since it is slightly larger than other shrubbery you many have in your lawn, this plant is ideal for creating a subtle and unique focal point to the landscape. 

In addition to those listed above, there are many other plants you can consider that will add extra life and color to your festive landscape: Nandini, Red and Yellow Stemmed Dogwood, Witch Hazel, Winterberry Holly, Cotoneaster, Camellias. 

Cute preschooler girl wearing reindeer antlers and her mother making christmas wreath in living room. Christmas decoration family fun concept.

Winter Wreaths 

If you’re looking for a simple way to make your home look more festive from the street, consider adding a winter wreath. They are available at most craft stores and can be found in the holiday section of many other stores. Or you can make them yourself!  

Making wreaths is a fun DIY activity. And, if you have kids, this is a great indoor seasonal activity for them to enjoy. They will feel like they are really helping with the holiday decorations, and it’s also a great way to pass time on a snowy day!  

Winter wreaths are similar to autumnal wreaths in a lot of ways. A lot of people prefer keeping it rustic with dried or colored leaves, pinecones, and a variation of low-burning Edison lights. But if you are wanting to go full winter, you can change the base from leaves or twigs to pine needles and garland. An evergreen wreath is the perfect way to make your doorway look festive and seasonal. Maybe place a red bow around the base of it or place a candle in the center. Adding light to your wreath will also draw more attention to it at night, making it a focal point of your doorway and your home. Pine cones also work with winter themes, as do decorative bells, mistletoe, and fake powdered snow.  

Below is a full list of things to consider placing in your winter wreath: 

  • Berries 
  • Pinecones 
  • Holly 
  • Mistletoe 
  • Garland 
  • Pine needles and evergreen twigs 
  • Autumnal leaves 
  • Fake powdered snow 
  • A center candle 
  • A string of lights 
  • Bows and ribbons 

Lanterns and Candles 

Much like holiday lights, lanterns and battery candles do an excellent job of bringing an extra glow to your holiday décor. There is something timeless about a lantern, and there are a lot of ways to dress it up. If you have an outdoor lantern, either posted on a wall or on its own pole, you can wrap it in garland and top it with a bow. Or you can hang seasonal ornaments around it, along with holiday lights and décor.  

Battery candles are something you can place most anywhere. Create a festive look by lining your yard with candles. Add them to the edge of your yard, along sidewalks, driveways, and walkways. This works a lot like the holiday lights around your home’s outline; it helps define your yard and creates a unified look. They are also simply festive and bright, the perfect way to decorate for the holiday season. 

No matter what traditions you have or what holidays you’re celebrating, these decorations will have your home’s exterior looking festive in only a few simple steps. Be as creative as you can be, stay safe, and enjoy the holiday season! It only comes once a year, so take advantage of everything this season has to offer!

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