Holiday Decorating to Ring in the New Year

Let’s face it—holiday decorating can be fun—or it can be stressful. Many times we avoid putting up our outdoor lights and decorations until the last minute, and the reason is that we consider it a pain in the butt. Or maybe we are just too busy. Our suggestion this year: decorate lightly but tastefully for curb appeal that lasts into the New Year.

If you put up a giant inflatable Santa, pretty much by December 27th it is out of date. Yet you sort of feel like you spent the time putting it up and you’d like people to enjoy your decorations and your work for a bit longer, so there you are plugging it in 10 days after Christmas, with your spouse shaking his or her head. If you use seasonal decorations that are less specific, your holiday cheer can bring smiles to passersby for weeks to come.

Put up only white lights or white with just one other color. White and gold for example are winter colors and still appropriate during January.  Hang a large white wreath on the garage door or tack it to a front yard tree and put no holiday decorations on it, or stick to just blue or just gold ribbon or bulbs.  This will be pretty and festive but also says “happy new year”.

You don’t need to spend hours and having a lot of lights. Just two or three strings that you place with care, taking your time to make them follow the line or shape that you want them to, will look great without overkill. A single battery-operated or plug-in candle in every window or every other window is also very warm and holiday-ish, but can certainly illuminate the night through the end of January. Maybe just hang some snowflakes from one tree, and leave it at that.

Not everybody expects to see lawn ornaments, blinking lights of every color, or giant snow globes in your yard. Sometimes it is the more simply decorated lawns that make us slow down our cars and say, “Wow, doesn’t that look nice”? Even if you put only a nativity scene or Star of David on the front lawn with nothing else, it still shows that you’re celebrating a holiday and you appreciate the season.

Another way to make it more fun to decorate is to get your children involved. Even those hard to please teenagers will appreciate being given the responsibility of perfectly hanging their string of lights or being asked for their ideas. If you have more than one child, give each of them an area or an item to decorate. Then your lawn will reflect your family’s style and creativity.

Decorating the front of your home and your front lawn should not be looked at as a chore to be dreaded. It should be a family affair that brings you closer and shows the world that you not only celebrate the season, you celebrate life.