Holiday Decorating: Outside Country Touches

Holiday Decorating: Outside Country Touches

By Brenda Hyde

Decorating for Christmas doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. The simple touches are often the most elegant and the ones that receive the most comments. Here are some decorating ideas for outside your home which will help your family and your neighbors stay in the Christmas Spirit throughout the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Gentle Green

Christmas greens! Think of green as your base; it's deep, soft and comforting. You don't have to buy the most expensive fresh garland to accomplish a festive country look. The trimmings from the bottom of your Christmas tree are perfect, and often if you see "scrap" evergreen laying around where you buy your tree they will give it to you. Let's go over ideas for the "scrap" greens first:

*Fill wicker baskets and place on your porch.

*If you have window,porch or deck boxes that usually have flowers in, you can place greens in those boxes now.

*Many of us have old fashioned milk cans on the porch already, and they are perfect for placing a few greens.

*Large clay flower pots can also be placed along walks, on the porch or in an entry way.

If you live where all greens are expensive or not available don't forget that even inexpensive artificial greens look great outside or inside once they are decorated. Here are some ideas for garland:

*Tack on around windows with tacks.

*wrap around porch or deck railings

*Decorate mailbox poles

*Wrap around split rail fence or any fence you have in front of your home. Inexpensive garland is great; mine has lasted two seasons so far through snow and rain!

Festive Color and Accents

Now we have our base all set, how do we accent? Everyone has their favorite colors but often the natural accents are the most elegant. Small white lights strung on top of your greens are beautiful, especially on the porch railings and the fence. Large red bows, or even bows made out of red gingham for a country theme can accent the green.

Here are some things you can place in your pots, window boxes or baskets with the greens:

*Pinecones; natural, or sprayed with "snow" for a neat look.

*Red berries and interesting looking branches, which can also be sprayed white.

*Classic red and green ball ornaments

*teasel or other dried wildflowers; again natural or sprayed.

Other Accents

Do not forget the grapevine wreaths! If you look around you can find all sizes of undecorated wreaths for very reasonable prices. You can also use willow or vines and shape your own, tie with wire and set them to dry ahead of time. For outside, a wreath with some green tucked in the vine and a red bow is all that is necessary to add a festive touch. Place them on fences, above a garage or on either side of a garage door, and several on your porch.

White lights are inexpensive and can be place around windows, on a wreath or tacked along arches, if you have them, on your house or porch. Again, accent the tops of window with bows and you have turned your house into a festive Christmas wonderland.

A Final Note

Remember, if you have children, get them involved. All of these accents I have mentioned are hardy and not at all fragile. Decorating your house for the holidays should be a family project that will be remembered throughout your lives. Make hot chocolate, snacks and put on some Christmas music. Create those special memories in everything you do for the holidays!

About the author

Brenda Hyde is a wife and Mom of three, a freelance writer, and editor of


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