Up until about a week ago it was 24°C (75°F) here in Ontario so it wouldn’t have mattered what outdoor Christmas decoration idea you threw in front of me, I wouldn’t have been biting. For a Canadian it’s hard to get excited about taking a bite out of Christmas when a mosquito is taking a bite out of you.
my house showing off its Christmas spirit
Things have CHANGED though and there are even flurries in the forecast so now – BRING ON THE RED VELVET BOWS, EVERGREEN TREES, TWINKLE LIGHTS, FRUSTRATION & FROSTBITE. I’m ready.
I thought you might need a little boost getting inspired for Christmas this year and nothing boosts better than cocaine. But I don’t have any cocaine so instead I have a bunch of pictures for you. On the downside you won’t be quite as speedy today, on the upside you won’t have to spend all your Christmas present money on rehab.
Personally, my top 3 outdoor decorating things are copper wire lights, red velvet ribbon and sugar pine cones. I use them over and over in different spots every year and you’ll see them in a lot of these photos from other beautiful Christmas homes too.
Outdoor Christmas Decorating
It’s easy to get stuck in a decorating rut especially at Christmas when we just get used to putting up the same wreath, the same decorations on the same front door in the same neighbourhood. So, take a quick look at these photos to see if it stirs up a little something inside of you that might lead you in a new and exciting direction (but not towards drugs, drugs are bad.)
Front Door Christmas Decorations
- If things don’t seem impressive to you, go BIG. Get rid of the 5 small things you have by your front door and have just 2 BIG ones. It’ll have more impact and not look so cluttered.
Starting with, more is MORE. Seriously, the swags under the lanterns (which look like genuine gas lanterns by the way) are MASSIVE with huge sugar pinecones; and that is why they look so great.
I almost didn’t share this next photo of my front door from a few years ago because it features the antique wood sled that was stolen straight off of the porch.
- If you’ll be sad if it’s stolen, tie it down or NAIL it to the porch. And keep your security camera batteries fresh.
I’m actually not a fan of words on things other than books. But I do like this. Perfectly simple, n’est pas?
There are so many elements here but it still ends up looking relatively simple because each element is very plain. The garland with simple ribbon, the unadorned lanterns, and the tiny trees. Double your impact by using two Christmas wreathes.
Just a whole whack of tall twigs with tangle of tiny lights. If you don’t have 8′ tall willow branches handy, Amazon has these prelit 8′ willow branches.
It could be the lack of cocaine talking, but this building below makes me feel all quiet and still and calm.
Front Porch Christmas Decorations
It doesn’t have to be expensive. Cheap burlap normally used for covering up trees in the winter can be turned into a thousand different things, and when in doubt? Throw a blanket on it.
photo of my porch by Donna Griffith for Canadian Living magazine
Very Scandinavian, very nice.
Nobody’s sitting on that bench in the middle of winter anyway. Cover it.
O.K., granted this next porch has a lot going for it and for Christmas it could have nothing more than a big bell on the doorknob and it would look gorgeous.
But part of what makes it so inviting (and the part you can copy) is the stack of wood beside the door. Stacks of wood ALWAYS look inviting and Christmassy. The Golden Retriever helps with that too. You can see the entire house decorated for Christmas in this Elle Decor post.
Porch Christmas Trees
I remember the first time I saw a tree on a front porch. It wasn’t even that long ago. Maybe 10 years? My neighbour had one up near the front door of their very small porch and I was immediately smitten.
A small tree in a wicker basket looking charming on my porch last year. You can see the full post with all the pictures of my porch from last year here.
I mean, come on, look at that. It isn’t all crazy done up and styled it’s just a tree on a porch. And it’s beautiful.
It’s literally all here. Porch tree, stacked wood, sheepskin, cute kid in red plaid, lanterns, garland, candles, berries and more!
Outdoor Christmas Planter Ideas
Have any tomato cages or obelisks? Put them in planters, run some greenery and lights down them and call it a day. Simple but effective.
Another year those same outdoor planters looked like this; filled with plain, old, logs of wood surrounded with cedar.
I liked this so much I did it a couple of years in a row.
Here wood is used again in a planter with some twinkle lights to make it look like a fire’s going.
- You don’t HAVE to fill every planter with evergreen boughs, pine cones and bows. Think of other things to put in your planters.
Imagine the idea they’ve used for this small firepit, in two large planters on either side of a door. In fact, just as I type this I’m thinking it might be what I do this year. SEE? Even I’m getting inspiration from these photos. This is a good time to point out that you don’t have to copy everything you see exactly, but you can take an idea and use it a different way.
Quick & Easy Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Pay attention to detail. This light tree works especially well because it’s a dark cord against a dark background.
Outline the shape of a Christmas tree with regular outdoor Christmas lights. Easy and effective.
Not many things are a better Christmas decoration that freshly fallen snow, but you can help mother nature out with fake spray snow (like in the corners of the window panes) if you have to.
photo of my backyard by Donna Griffith for Canadian Living magazine
And yes, the rest of the snow is also sprayed on. Just kidding. That’s 100% genuine Canadian snow.
Guess what? You don’t have to cover your house in sparkles and garland for it to look Chrismassy and beautiful. You don’t have to spend hours hanging lights and setting them to music.
This is my friend Carol’s house. It COULDN’T be more beautiful and it couldn’t get any easier. A wreath on the fence door and candles in all the windows. In fact I love it so much I just bought window candles similar to these for my windows. God bless the person who invented battery operated candles on a timer.
I don’t know where I’ve been living (other than not on a rural road) but there’s such a thing as a mailbox swag. It’s true.
K, this next one is a pretty specific look that very few people will be able to do but if you can, DO IT.
A Christmas tree in an antique wheelbarrow! Please don’t try this with a plastic wheelbarrow. Please DO try it with kids wood wagon.
Always loved wreaths on windows? Try them on the shutters.
Always loved words on things? Try them on your door. I’m not a huge fan of words on things as I mentioned, but I know this would look superb on a lot of your houses.
Not sure why you like this next picture? It’s because of the red behind the windows. You can easily do the same with just red tissue paper or wrapping paper.
- Add red paper behind your garage, shed our outhouse windows for instant Christmas. Don’t do your car windows.
I’ll leave you with a photo of my backyard from a couple of years ago. It’s what I look at out of my kitchen window and what I see when I walk in my back gate. In fact, I see this view way more often than I see my front yard. A mixture of real and fake Christmas trees with twinkle lights just dotted through the backyard.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to slap a little calamine lotion onto my bug bitten ankles from last week so they don’t get agitated by my wool socks and snow boots of today.
I hope you got a few ideas, now get out there, get your stuff and decorate until you feel so Christmassy you get brain freeze.
→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←