Enjoy The Holidays Outdoors

Enjoy The Holidays Outdoors

Holiday celebrations are as varied and unique as the families that celebrate them. Whether you and your family want to enjoy hot cocoa on the patio or roast marshmallows around your fire pit, there are a number ways to celebrate the festive season outdoors. From decoration suggestions to party ideas, here is a list of ways to enjoy the holidays outdoors.

Outdoor Decorating Together

It is always fun and festive to decorate your lawn for the holidays. This year, try making special handmade ornaments with your family and displaying them on a tree or bush outside your house on Christmas Eve. For those with little ones, your ornaments can display holiday messages for Santa. Be sure to use well lighting to create a stunning visual that will accentuate your handcrafted decorations.

Outdoor Patio Gathering

After your festive dinner, your family can meet on the patio for hot drinks and snacks while the little ones play outside. Use a combination of warm decorative white lights and inviting patio lighting to make your patio feel like a Winter Wonderland.

Christmas Film Festival

One creative way to celebrate the holidays outdoors is to hold a Christmas film festival in your yard. You do not need a giant movie screen; simply hang a white bed sheet and connect a projector to your TV or computer. Some great movie choices include It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, along with any of your holiday favorites.

Stories Around the Fire Pit

Instead of a traditional campfire tale why not read a classic Christmas Story to your guests around the fire pit? Whether you choose Twas the Night Before Christmas or A Child’s Christmas in Wales, there is nothing like a fantastic Christmas story to get people in the spirit of the season. Set up a small picnic table of snacks and drinks for your guest to enjoy as well. Use floodlights and path lights so your guests can navigate to your property during your celebration.

Dinner Outdoors

If you happen to be celebrating the holidays in a warmer climate, why not enjoy your holiday meal outdoors? Simply set up a large table on your deck or patio and adorn it with holiday decorations and centerpieces. Be sure to use flameless candles and patio lights to show off your decorations. And if you happen to have an outdoor kitchen, be sure to utilize it during your outdoor holiday celebration.

Other Ways to Enjoy The Holidays Outdoors

  • Viewing your neighbor’s Christmas light displays with your family and friends.
  • Hiding a special Christmas present from Santa outside. This works best if it is an outdoor gift such as a sled or a pair of skis.
  • Having a snowball fight or a snowman making contest on Christmas Eve. The winner gets to open a Christmas present early.
  • Sledding or ice skating

Will you be celebrating the holiday outside this year? Tell us about how you plan to enjoy the festive season outdoors in the comment section.

Staying Safe With Your Holiday Landscape Lighting

It may be Spring but are you ready to climb up into the attic and dig around for those ‘ol holiday lights to decorate your home and yard for another festive season? It’s never too early to prepare for the holidays. The holidays are a time to impress the neighbors, look at your landscape with pride, and experience the happiness and joy that accompanies the holidays.

Do you adorn your landscape with lighting? Whether you desire to add a few twinkling lights, or you are the envy of the block, any lighting addition will help to brighten up your landscape and contribute to the holiday cheer.

But wait.  How old are those holiday lights?  And when was the last time you did a test to make sure the lights were working properly? It is important to check your lighting before using them.  Before conducting a test run, check for frayed or twisted cords and broken bulbs and make sure there is no moisture that might have accumulated inside the bulbs.

If you used the same holiday string of lights for a few years, it is a good idea to replace them. It may not be worth the risk.

First and foremost, when selecting new outdoor lighting, make sure they are weather resistant, and don’t plug too many lights into one extension cord.  A weather resistant electrical strip strategically placed away from the elements of Mother Nature would be a safer option.

Have you ever considered solar for your holiday lighting? This is not only a safer alternative, but it is also a more energy-efficient way to decorate your home with colorful lighting. Most solar lighting does not require any type of wiring making it a safer set up, and the use of long extension cords is obsolete for solar outdoor lighting.

Solar lights can be used in a broad range of climates, though the best usage occurs in warmer areas where the sun is out even in the winter months. The solar lights use batteries to store the solar energy and house a sensor that turns the lights on after dusk, so a timer is not necessary. For holiday solar lighting you can also opt for LED bulbs.  They traditionally last 10 times longer. Because of our energy-conscious society, solar lighting has become more and more popular, so your holiday decorating options are more plentiful and cost effective.

In addition to the traditional walk way solar lights, use strings of tree-light type lanterns. Be creative in your design concepts and make your home festive while being safe.

Whether you decide to use traditional lighting or solar lighting or a mixture of both for your decorations, be sure to prioritize safety and you’ll have peace of mind throughout the holiday season.

Landscape Lighting and Holiday Decorating in the Spring

It may be early in the year but it’s never too early to think about decorating your landscape for the holidays, especially because of the sales. And, there is no better time to purchase your holiday decorations when the stores are selling them 50% off or more! So, consider planning your holiday décor now and you will be prepared and much richer come Christmas time.

You want to spice things up, maybe make your house the one on the block the kids both young and old would love to go see. So how do you accomplish this without being too “over-the-top” or over budget?

Choose a particular theme and design your lighting and décor around it.  Here are some ideas for themes:

  • Snowman
  • Candy Canes
  • Christmas Boxes
  • Santa & his Reindeer
  • Winter Wonderland
  • The Menorah

Whatever your delight, lighting will play an essential role in perfecting this holiday landscape. Start with an assortment of LED lights. These gems come in a wide variety of colors, fitting just about any theme, and the best part is that they are weather resistant. These lights are usually brighter, last longer and come in traditional shapes, even in the firefly type lights. Either way, LED Lighting is very versatile and cost effective.

If you are re-using your LED Lighting from last year, conduct a “light test” before you hang them.  The primary purpose for this test is your safety. You want to make sure the lighting is still operational. Second, a test will help you catch any burnt out lights you can replace before hanging.

Once you’ve selected your theme, choose the color lights that best fit that theme. For example, if you selected a “Winter Wonderland”, ICICLE LIGHTS hung around the house are a beautiful way to create that cold winter day feeling, while economically giving a subtle display of dancing ice.

If you want to “ramp up” your “Winter Wonderland” theme, icy blue colored lighting strung around a few of the bushes and trees will give a lovely sparkle to the overall ambiance.

And don’t forget about the windows. Hang little firefly lights around either the inside or outside of a window, and apply a touch of frost around the edges of the inside to give them a beautiful, snowy effect. Even if you live in a warm climate, this type of lighting will give your home a winter feel.

Once your lighting is set, place “Winter Wonderland” items strategically throughout the yard; i.e., styrofoam-shaped snowballs, sleds, fake snow on the grass, etc…

It’s a magical time of year and a wonderful opportunity to let your imagination fly by creating your landscape filled with holiday cheer. Just remember that a few lights go a long way. Don’t be afraid to brighten up your landscape. You only get one chance a year…so make it a memorable one—even if it is nine months early!