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You’ve watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation a million times. You’ve decided this is the year you’re going all out on your yard’s Christmas decorations. You’re not going to stop until you have the brightest, most elaborately decorated yard in your neighborhood. Ready to be the champion of all the neighborhood kids?
If you’re looking forward to making your neighbors have to wear sunglasses at night, here are the Christmas decorations your yard needs.
Decorations to Bring the Bling
To have the best-decorated yard for Christmas, you need lights and sparkle. That’s where it starts. It’s what will get your yard initially noticed, and it lays the groundwork for all the other items. Whether you love those big, traditional bulbs you saw at your grandparents’ house decades ago or you want lights with a modern flair, this list has something for you.
These 1950s-style retro lights will take you back to your Christmases when you were younger when you spent the weeks before Christmas Day worrying about whether you made the Naughty or Nice list. We’re partial to the traditional multicolor light set. But if you’re sticking to one main color scheme for your decorations, you can opt for lights in only one color, such as blue, green, or white.
- Retro look
- Long lifespan
- Nickel coasted base
View The Novelty Lights Store Multi-Ceramic Christmas Light Set on Amazon
If you think variety is the spice of life, you’ll love these lights which give you the ability to use eight different lighting modes. You’ll get to choose which style of lights you want to see on any given night, including options such as steady, slow glow, twinkle, sequential, and more. Since they’re energy-saving LED lights and come with built-in auto timers, you won’t have to turn into the Grinch when you get your holiday electricity bill.
- High durability
- Cool light modes
View Twinkle Star Outdoor Christmas Lights on Amazon
Projector lights continue to be a huge trend when it comes to exterior Christmas lights. There’s no shortage of what you can choose to project when you buy a projector. But one of our favorites is this holiday snow projector. You can’t always bank on having a white Christmas, and if you live in an area where you have no chance of snow, this can make a great substitute for the real thing.
- Indoor or outdoor
- Great projection
- Easy to install
View Yinuo Candle Store Snow Projector on Amazon
When you have a big house, you can quickly lose all your Christmas spirit by trying to put a bunch of small lights together in your yard. Sometimes, you just want a really long strand to make your life easier. This set of lights measures 115 feet long and has an easy end-to-end hook-up so you can add additional sets to it for more length.
- Memory function
- Long length
View QUWIN Waterproof LED Christmas String Lights on Amazon
If you have kids living in or near your house, your house will become legendary in their eyes if you add this showstopper — a seven-foot lighted Santa Claus. He’s joined by an adorable dog at his feet. It’s easy to inflate and is just the epic kind of attraction you need to take your yard to the next level of Christmas spirit.
- Festive look
- Excellent quality
View Twinkle Star Store Seven-Foot Lighted Santa Claus on Amazon
Non-Glittery Decorations to Heighten Emotion
Sometimes, you need to dial back the sparkle and twinkles. To avoid sensory overload, it’s a good idea to put some more subdued items in your yard. This is where you can shine the spotlight on points of interest like nativity scenes. Having pieces like the ones we showcase here can give your display more depth and emotion to balance the glitz.
Help people remember the reason for the season with this complete nativity set. This set is great for those who want to focus on the religious aspects of the holiday or create an area of quiet reflection in their otherwise over-the-top festive yard.
- Easy to store
View Outdoor Nativity Store Nativity Set on Amazon
For some, the best part about Christmas is the joy, sense of togetherness, and holiday spirit it inspires. If you want your yard decorations to remind people to find the bliss in Christmas, this yard sign might be right for you. It’s also a good choice for people who have difficulty hanging lights, but still want to celebrate.
- Vibrant look
- Quality construction
- Great display
View Big Dot of Happiness Joy Sign on Amazon
This welcoming double-sided yard flag can usher your guests into your home for a holiday party, setting the right tone of warmth and friendship before they even set foot in your house. Place it near your front door or your sidewalk, or even by your mailbox to spread Christmas cheer to those driving past.
- Artistic design
- Machine washable
View Selmad Merry Christmas Yard Flag on Amazon
These three kings make a fantastic stand-alone decoration or pair beautifully with a nativity set. During the day, they are understated reminders of the birth of Jesus, but at night with a light shining nearby, they become even more magical.
- Stunning look
- Perfect height
- Built to last
View Front Yard Originals Three Kings on Amazon
If you have children in your home or simply want to complete your Christmas look, you shouldn’t neglect your windows. Watching your children having fun hanging up window clings or putting them up yourself will remind you of your own Christmases past when you eagerly tried to stay awake at night to hear the pitter-patter of reindeer hooves on your roof.
- Sticks easily
- No glue needed
View CCINEE Window Clings on Amazon
How to Decide on the Best Decorations for Your Yard
With so many decorations available, it can be hard to narrow down what you want. But it can be difficult to create an attractive, cohesive yard without giving some thought to what you’re doing. These questions will help you decide what to buy.
What’s Your Budget?
Creating an extravagant yard at Christmastime is going to require a significant investment. You’ll need to come up with an overall figure you feel comfortable spending. From there, look at how much each purchase will require of your budget. You may feel comfortable spending a large portion of it on one showstopping piece, such as a giant Santa Claus or a truly inspiring nativity set.
Do You Have a Theme?
Are you going to showcase any item that strikes your fancy, whether it’s a reindeer, angel, or Santa? Or would you rather have an underlying theme, a cohesive plan that will tie all your decorations together? Before buying, you can look online for inspiration if you’re not quite sure what look you’re going for.
How Many Outdoor Outlets Do You Have?
Before you get too carried away with the outdoor lights or blow-up decorations, you should take a hard look at your outlet situation. If you’re trying to plug in 15 items on a single outlet, it’s not good — even with an extension cord. Knowing what you have to work with will help you stay safe from overloading your electric capability.
What Will Your Display Do to Your Electricity Costs?
The spirit of Christmas can’t be measured in dollars, but you don’t want to create more holiday stress for yourself by having to take out a part-time job to pay for your display’s electric usage. If you have a tight budget, it might be wise to start with a smaller display this year and use energy-efficient LED lights whenever possible. If you don’t break the bank on your display this season, you can always add more next year.
An alternative is to buy decorations that don’t have to be plugged in at all.
Am I Overdoing It?
If you’re channeling your inner Clark Griswold, your first inclination might be to say no to this question. But if you have a tiny yard, you might unwittingly be buying more than you’ll be able to put up. To make sure you’re not acquiring more decorations than you have space for, draw up a small map of your yard and plot out where you plan to put each decoration.
Do You Want It To Shine at Night or All the Time?
It’s fun to buy decorations that have a ton of lights because they look so gorgeous at night. And that’s fine if you only want your yard to have that wow factor after dark. But if you want it to look outstanding no matter what time of the day it is, you should also focus on the non-twinkly decorations, like blow-ups or nativity sets.
Do You Want Long-Lasting Quality or Cheaply-Made Decorations?
It can be tempting to head to the nearest dollar store and stock up on a lot of Christmas decorations. The trouble is, many of those items won’t survive the harsh outdoor weather. They’ll last for one season if that. It might be better to spend a little more — and cheaper in the long run — to choose decorations that will last many years, instead of one season.
Do You Have Storage Space?
Once the holiday season has ended, it’s time to take down all your decorations. This can be a challenge if you don’t have much storage space available to you. That’s why it’s a good idea to think about storage space before you buy an item, just to make sure you aren’t tripping over those plastic storage bins all year.
Unleash Your Creativity
Once you’ve considered all the angles, it’s time for the fun to begin. You can start amassing your Christmas collection. With a little planning and a lot of time, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood for decades to come.