8 Days of Christmas 2011: Easy Outdoor Decorating

When we moved from the town where our children attended high school into our empty nest home, we decided that we needed to simplify our outdoor decorating at Christmastime along with many other parts of our home keeping. If you’re one of those people who spends days getting ready for the holidays and don’t really enjoy it, you might want to consider our solution.

We bought a five-foot fake wreath and a big red bow. Every year we take down the wrought-iron gate that is usually against our front brick wall between the windows and put up the wreath. It takes about five minutes to get it out of the shed, about one minute to tie on the red ribbon, and about two minutes to hang it. This year, we decided to forego the fairy lights and just have it lit from our normal spotlights under the eaves.

We hang two matching fake wreaths on the lights on either side of our garage door. Pretty simple.

Santa appeared in the boxes of Christmas decorations that came from my mother-in-law’s estate. He’s been sitting on our front porch at Christmas ever since. We belt him to the chair now, because one Christmas he decided to go on a little stroll through the neighborhood in a strong wind.

We were feeling so good about our easy decor that we decided to light up the redbud tree. Its new growth looks especially beautiful with the light accenting the shapes. You can see that the neighbor down the street has traditional lights on bushes, and I love to see other people’s elaborate lighting schemes, but for us, our two-hours-at-the-max outside decorating is just right.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, that is snow. Big fluffy flakes were coming down this morning when I got up and darling husband even went out and shoveled a little so that it didn’t freeze as ice on our brick driveway. It was a nice start to winter vacation.

I hope you are enjoying the run to the manger. Now that I’m on winter break from school, it seems more real to me. The progress we are making in our decorating is also inspiring me to do more and more, but I’m trying to keep it all in perspective. I do love Christmas, though. Thanks for stopping by and reading my stories!

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