Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Deck the Walls

Nov 23, 2009 10:04AM ● By Wendy Sipple

Decorating for the holidays conjures images of snowy rooflines, twinkling lights, candles glowing in frosted windows, and the occasional front lawn reindeer and jolly man in red.

Exterior holiday décor has evolved with technology and has become more than just lights and a door-hanging wreath. With the plethora of inflatable light-up polar bears and 10-foot-tall gift boxes available, it seems that holiday decorations are becoming increasingly larger and more digital. But classics are still classics and there are definitely ways to deck your walls without being named a Scrooge or Clark Griswold by the neighborhood, unless that’s what you’re hoping for this holiday season.


Lining the roof with the classic large colorful bulbs is the timeless standard of exterior holiday décor. White string lights offer an elegant and understated response to the call for holiday decorating. Icicle lights have become the whimsical alternative to simple white. Although, relatively low-maintenance, lights are not limited to the house. The next step in exterior décor commitment is to fill the shrubbery with some sparkle. Filling bushes and lining walkways add glimmer and can help shed some light on otherwise dark areas around the home.

Energy efficient eco-friendly options are also available and range from LED string lights, to fiber optic, bubble, and illuminated LED ribbon lights. So whether your decorating style includes simply lining the house and bushes with sparkle, or spelling out “Peace on Earth” on the roof, there are lighting options to suit every style.


The holiday wreath has long been the staple in front-door décor. Visit a local florist for a fresh ring of festive greens to don your door. Deck exterior walls with additional wreaths, or swag festive greenery between fence posts to add merriment to the property. Artificial foliage is also available at home décor retailers, and chain or craft stores. Display your crafty cheerfulness and make your own, out of any material, such as fabric or plastic, or search your grounds for pinecones, to accent your door with personal touches. And if weather permits, traditional holiday poinsettias provide color to an entryway. Purchase poinsettias from your favorite floral designer, grocer, or hardware store.


Before inflatable jet skiing Santa’s and scarf-donning snowmen, there were illuminated hollow plastic nativity scenes, and before those, red velvet bows donned lampposts and wooden sleighs and reindeer lit by floodlights roamed front yards. Holiday lawn ornamentation has seen a significant transition into all-encompassing décor, with motion and music. Available now are lighted, musical nativity scenes, life-size train sets, animated reindeer and toy soldiers, inflatable Santas that sing of his impending visit, and animatronic Christmas towns complete with trains, carolers and Rudolph himself. Children especially enjoy the mere size of inflatables, and adults relish in that clean-up only takes unplugging, folding and storing for next year. Interactive and animatronic holiday scenes require more space for storage, but create added whimsy for passersby to enjoy.

This holiday season, whether your decorating style is minimalist or over-the-top, attempt to spread a little much-needed cheer.