Sprucing Up: 10 Outdoor Holiday Decor Ideas for the 2022 Season

‘Tis the season to make your house merry and bright. When considering your holiday decorations this year, why let your creativity stop at your front door? While there are many wonderful, whimsical designs you can achieve with your indoor holiday decor, this season is the perfect time to allow your design to spill into your outdoor spaces as well.

Embracing the holiday spirit in your yard is a way to welcome guests and instantly put them in a cheerful mood – something that may be particularly important if they have braved long-distance travel to join you for the holidays.

When it comes to outdoor holiday decor, considering the natural elements is just as important as aesthetics. If you’re in chilly New England, like us, your decorations need to withstand wind, freezing temperatures, and perhaps even snow!

Here we explore the key elements of outdoor holiday design. Whether you choose to go all-out or incorporate a handful of these holiday decor ideas, these festive elements will immediately bring joy to your outdoor space.

1. Front Door Holiday Decor

The front door of your home is the portal to welcome guests into your holiday world. A decorated front door is the perfect preview of what’s to come once they get inside.

A simple wreath is a classic element of holiday decor, and we are firm believers in the adage “less is more” when it comes to your wreath design.

A collection of cedar boughs with one or two other design elements – perhaps simple pinecone adornments and a cranberry red bow – makes for an elegant holiday statement.

If greenery is not your preference, a set of antique, patinaed sleigh bells is a whimsical option. Each time you hear the jingle, you know more of your loved ones have come to celebrate this special time with you.

2. Outdoor Staircase Holiday Garlands

If your home features a staircase out front, you may wish to incorporate some holiday decor elements to guide guests to your door.

A simple strand of cedar garland with classic white lights is a tasteful way to add some joy to your staircase.

When hanging garland, our team prefers to swag garland rather than wrap it. This allows the garland to widen at the center and taper at the ends, which creates a draping effect.

To secure the garland to the banister, we prefer zip ties, as they do not leave marks behind. To hide the zip ties, you may rearrange the garland to provide coverage or incorporate a simple, two-inch wired ribbon over the zip ties.

If you wish, you may add simple lights to your garland design. If you require an extension cord to connect your lights to your outlet, select a forest green cord that will blend seamlessly with the garland. Zip ties come in handy again in securing the cord to the back of your banisters for a clean look.

3. Landscaped Trees and Shrubbery

If your front yard features shrubbery and trees, you may wish to adorn those plantings with holiday lights.

The technique for applying lights will vary depending on the type of tree. In the Northeast, deciduous trees have lost their leaves by the time the holidays roll around, so holiday lights are best wrapped around the trunk and branches.

To wrap your deciduous tree with holiday lights, ensure you have the proper tools and a spotter to keep you safe on the ladder. Take care to test the lights in your garage before you begin hanging them – there is nothing worse than carefully wrapping your tree only to discover afterward that half of your light strand isn’t working!

You need not decorate every tree in your yard. Instead, opt for a tree or trees that serve as a focal point in your yard. Consider the tree’s shape and size. Selecting a tree with a pleasant silhouette makes your design look more appealing. But remember that if you opt to decorate your largest tree, you’ll need to spend considerable time on the ladder decorating its highest branches!

If you like the look but are disinterested in the DIY approach, contact your landscapers. Most teams are more than happy to help you put up your outdoor holiday lights.

4. Front Porch Holiday Tableaus

For homes with a front porch, there is an opportunity to create a festive tableau leading up to your door. 

Front porches that feature year-round seating can be brightened with holiday-themed pillows or cushions. Cranberry red, forest green, and metallics call up the joy of the season.

You may wish to add other holiday elements to your front porch decor. A small potted conifer dressed with simple bulbs or an antique wooden sled are just a couple of ways to infuse the holiday spirit into your front porch decor.

No matter what design elements you choose to incorporate, be sure to select materials that are outdoor-friendly. This is especially important when you live in colder Northern climes.

Swap out your delicate glass ornaments for their plastic cousins. If you add any pillows or upholstered elements, select items with fabric designed to withstand rain, snow and cold.

5. Holiday Lights for Your Home’s Eaves

Adding a string of holiday lights along the roofline of your home can be an elegant way to frame the top of your festive yard.

The technique to decorate your roofline safely is much the same as the approach to wrapping lights on your tallest trees. Be sure to have a partner watching as you scale the ladder.

We recommend that you avoid using staples to fasten the lights to the roof, as the staples may puncture the wire’s insulation. Instead, select specially-designed clips that attach the light string to your gutter or shingles with ease.

6. Holiday Candles in the Windows

While candles in your window may technically be indoor decor, people driving or walking past your home will enjoy the warm glow emanating from every window.

When selecting the proper candles for your window, consider the wide range of features available. You can choose between candles with a plug or those that are battery-operated. Some have timer features built in, so your candles will turn themselves on when the sun goes down – even if you’re visiting family elsewhere for the holidays.

Additionally, consider the depth of your window sills and whether you might wish to affix your candles to your sill.

7. Adorned Outdoor Planters

Outdoor planters are another way to add holiday cheer to your decor. You may opt for two smaller potted conifers to flank your entryway, and then decorate each with a simple strand of lights.

When it comes to selecting the best type of outdoor potted tree, we suggest a dwarf variety of spruce or cedar – the miniature cousin of your indoor tree! Some varieties of juniper also grow vertically, making them another evergreen option for outdoor plants.

While outdoor pines are a timeless option, selecting other plants with a holiday color theme can also provide a festive nod to the season. If you live in a climate that will allow for non-conifers to thrive outside in December, selecting a variety of greens and incorporating a pop of red is a pleasing alternative.

8. Walkway Holiday Decorations

If you wish to continue the holiday decor beyond your front stoop and into your yard, hewing close to your walkway can help keep your design contained and elegant.

For walkways that already feature permanent light fixtures, you may wish to incorporate decorations on the existing lights. An unadorned wreath can be a simple holiday addition to your existing post lights.

If your home does not already have lights along the walkway, you may add some for the holidays. Candle lit lanterns can guide the way. Here, we recommend battery-powered tea lights for safety and practicality.

9. Mailbox and Window Box Holiday Decor

Why not incorporate holiday cheer into design elements that are attached to your home year-round?

While the perennials in your window box have succumbed to the last frost, now is the perfect time to add winter-friendly greenery to your window boxes. Mini-garlands can be secured with wire ribbon to the front of your planters.

Meanwhile, mailbox garlands add festive greenery at the foot of your driveway. If you opt to incorporate lights into your mailbox holiday decor, select a short battery-powered string since it’s likely a long journey from your home’s outlets.

10. Poolside Holiday Decor

If you’re headed to warmer climes to celebrate the holidays, you may be spending time outdoors by the pool. Why not dress up your pool deck with some holiday decor?

Adding holiday pillows to your poolside lounge furniture is always an option. You may also swap out your standard upholstered cushions or umbrellas for ones in a winter holiday palette.

Embracing the spirit of the season through your decor is one of the great joys of the holidays. As the temperatures drop and days grow shorter, adding holiday decor inside and outside your home can lift your spirits and help you get into the holiday mood. And when your guests finally arrive, they’ll be greeted by festive surprises from the moment they round the corner on your street.