I love decorating my house for Christmas. I think most people who don’t even celebrate the religious holiday still tend to do the fun cultural christmas things like the decorating, the cookies, and even the presents. Even if you aren’t celebrating any aspect of the holiday though, you likely have something you celebrate around this time of year. One great way to celebrate with your entire community is to deck out the exterior of your house so all your neighbors can enjoy your aesthetic efforts.
I think for myself as I love Christmas trees so much I’ve been very happy since I started to decorate the trees I had outside as well. Sure, just putting the lights up on the edges of my roof and around the front door as well as putting random lit up reindeer in the yard is fun, but there’s just something special about Christmas trees and I kind of want the evergreens in my front yard to take a more festive appearance this time of year.
If you don’t have evergreens in your yard or region of the world, palm trees or any type of tall rounded structure really in your yard can be decorated just like them. Let’s begin!
A popcorn garland is a classic to decorate the indoor Christmas tree. Why not do the same thing outdoors though? You can put other things besides corn on a garland if that would be expensive for you though- stringing berries, seedheads from your garden plants, cubed suet, or dried fruit would be popular with the birds and would look very pretty as well. If you use a compostable thread this is also a super lazy diy as it will be picked apart by the animals and should disappear right around the time you’d normally have to manually remove your decorations inside.
Whether you call them fairy lights or Christmas lights, these are a classic way to decorate indoor or outdoor trees. You can even buy these colorful lights with bigger bulbs so they stand out more on a large outdoor tree. Keep in mind that the lights you choose should say on their packaging that they are safe to use outdoors, and as you are using a living growing tree to decorate on I’d recommend using LED lights so there’s a low to zero fire risk. Also if you don’t have a safe outdoor rated outlet already outside your house that you may want to choose a solar powered outdoor light strand instead.
Just like oversized lights tend to work best with outdoor trees, oversized ornaments that are four inches or even six inches in diameter tend to stand out best on giant outdoor trees. Be sure to buy used or new plastic ornaments, as using glass outside is kind of asking for heartbreak and shattered baubles. I also like to use twine to tie the ornaments up and wrap it tightly around a few inches of the actual branch and knot it so there’s a better chance the ornaments will stay put even when it gets windy outside.
For The Birds
An alternative to pre-made ornaments is that you can do classic birdfeeder ornaments! I remember making these throughout the year with my mom growing up, but it’s a great thing to do during the Winter when food is more difficult for birds to get. All you do is slather peanut butter, or a different nut butter, on pinecones, and then you roll that in a bowl full of bird feed. You can switch up what birdfeed you use and make some ornaments with a seed mix, another with grubs, another with millet and grains… there’s so many choices available. If you aren’t sure which mix you want to use, Google bird feed for your area in this month and it will give you some ideas. If you have children, this is a good activity to do with them.
What do you think?
That’s all the ideas I have for decorations that are safe for wildlife and humans to be put outdoors in medium or no snow weather. Several of these options are also zero waste and you can probably just leave them out all season and depend on the animals to clear everything away for you, like the garland or bird ornaments. That said, I think if you have heavy snows or intense winds where you live probably skipping any decorations would be best.