How to decorate your backyard for Christmas

9 December, 2014

The Christmas season is fast approaching, and many folks start adorning their homes in holiday cheer immediately after Halloween. One area frequently void of good tidings and great joy, however, is the backyard. It may not get a whole lot of public visibility, but with a little sprucing can really round out the festive vibe of your home. Whether you're a Nov. 1 decoration fiend or insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving, we've got a few decoration trends you might want to check out.

Cover your tree trunks with twinkle lights
Though this is stealing an idea from your front yard, it's a great way to add a little winter whimsy to the back of your house. You'll be able to enjoy the view from your kitchen or living room, even if the neighbors can't.

Put Christmas ornaments on branches
Outdoor Christmas ornaments are usually much larger than their indoor counterparts and look wonderful hanging from outdoor tree branches. A variety of colors are available, meaning it won't be difficult to match them to your outdoor furniture.

Decorate the fence with wreaths
Whether your fence is wrought iron or wood, it will serve as a beautiful backdrop for festive wreaths. Some come with lights to provide visual appeal after the sun goes down, but it's certainly not a necessity. This technique looks particularly alluring when there are half a dozen hung in a sequence.

Drape garlands on your outdoor furniture
Few things will emulate "Winter Wonderland" quite like an outdoor sofa framed in evergreen. Garlands can also be used in arches and doorways to up your backyard's holiday vibe. 

Add twinkle lights to the rim of your patio umbrellas
Connect them to an source of electricity by twining them around the umbrella base all the way to your patio floor. 

Turn a shed into Santa's Workshop
A decorative extra that is sure to put a smile on your kids' faces, a backyard shed that looks like the North Pole only requires a few extra items. A "Santa's Workshop" sign is a necessity, of course, along with a lighted reindeer and snowman. Taking the theme all the way into the interior might be difficult, but would quickly become a popular stop for all of your neighbors and their families.

Create poinsettia centerpieces
This could also be done by filling a bowl with pinecones. Both options are easy to find in stores and won't die with the rest of your outdoor plants.

Arrange plastic candy canes in empty planters
Barren backyard planters can be filled with a bouquet of plastic candy canes or small faux Christmas trees.

Fill bird baths with fruit
This outdoor decorating trick is one of the most visually interesting, but it will only work if you live in a perpetually frozen area. Fill an empty, clean bird bath with water and then add winter fruits, such as cranberries and orange slices, arranging them in a cool pattern. They will freeze that way within a few hours and stay there all season long. 

String lights around gazebos and arbors 
Gazebo and arbor legs are just one more opportunity to wrap things in festive twinkle lights.