To begin with decide how large you want to build your Christmas decoration display; it can be as big or as small as you want and great just the same. Either way you should envision the display in your mind considering themes, colors, decoration types and layout, and how much work you want to put into it. This way you can begin buying and locating the types of Christmas lighting and decorations you will need. You will also need plenty of extension cords of all sizes 6 ft up to 100 ft as well as three way plug ins (for plugging in multiple lighting cords into a single main extension cord). Make sure your home’s electrical wiring set up is sufficient to accommodate your display. You should not attempt to purchase everything at once, but plan to purchase a little at a time along the way as you get the display built, because until you have started building the display it will be difficult to really have a good idea as to how much or what exactly you will need. Buying at after Christmas sales is a great way to stock up on supplies to save money and prepare for the next years display.
With such a variety of outdoor Christmas decorations available you have a lot of choices to pick from that you can add to your display. A really nice display will likely include a little of each of these. Some of your best options include the following:
MINI LIGHT STRANDS:
These small bulb strands usually start at 35 lights stretched over 15 ft with some sets having up to 200 lights stretching up to 100 ft. These strands are available with incandescent lights or LED lights. Incandescent lights tend to be more widely available, much cheaper, but use more electricity and are less durable. LED lights are growing in popularity and available in many retail locations, available with the soft light glow look just like incandescent lights, they may be a bit more expensive (but prices are coming down) but use less electricity and are very durable. This type of lighting strands works well for illuminating trees and shrubs, outlining homes and buildings as well as for making metal wire frame lighted spheres to hang in trees which if they are white resemble snowballs. Ths applications in design for mini light strands are numerous and have few limitations.
C7 AND C9 LIGHT STRANDS:
These very large bulbs look great but are quite heavy and most likely suited for being placed on homes and buildings and trees with very sturdy branches. These like the mini light strands are also available in incandescent or led light strands with the same previously mentioned benefits and drawbacks. This type of lighting strand can be found in many large scale retail and online locations.
Airblowns are figures made of an airtight finely woven fabric with an electric fan that inflates them given the figures their shapes. If you take care of and maintain your airblowns they will easy last for you over 5 years, the fan motor is the likely culprit to fail first and if it does it must be repaired or replaced for the airblown to inflate. Christmas airblowns come in nearly any figure shape or size imaginable and can be found at large retail and online shops.
WIRE FRAME LIGHTED FIGURES:
These figures are made from metal (if they are of plastic, do not purchase them as they can be easily damaged and may not last very long) and are fashioned into a frame lined with lights (often mini lights) that creates figures like a nativity, snowman, etc. They can either create a 2 dimensional shape or a 3 dimensional shape. These are usually quite sturdy figures that will last you many years to come and they can be quite inexpensive or high depending on quality and can be purchased at many retail or online specailty shops.
Blow molds are lighted plastic figures that have been produced since the 1940’s. You will find them in all different shapes, sizes, and figures. There are blow molds that have been made by various companies depicting the nativity, angels, santa claus, candles, etc. Blow molds have been around for a long time but in recent years many manufacturers have quit producing them. There are a few out there that produce some great quality molds and you can find these in some large retail as well as online stores for reasonable prices. The great benefit of blow molds is that they are made of a durable, hard plastic and if taken care of (kept out of direct UV sunlight rays) they will routinely last in great shape for decades. Flea markets and thrift shops are another great place to find blow molds and it would not be out of the ordinary to find a mold in great condition made in the 1960’s. Care should be taken to properly secure blow molds in your outdoor display as high winds can cause damage to them. No other Christmas decoration can come close to matching the durability of blow molds. If damaged, the light socket in blow molds can easily be replaced and the only real drawback is that they are large and take up additional space. Several large retailers do not sell blow molds probably in part because of their size and the fact that if you buy a certain blow mold from them, you would probably not ever have to buy it again unless you wanted a duplicate. Christmas blow molds are an excellent additional to outdoor display.
These are by far the better types of outdoor Christmas decorations you would want to include in your display. As explained above, they offer you a durable product and give you a great value for your money.
A couple of quick tips for your display:
If you can, include in your display prominently a nativity scene to represent the birth of Jesus as this is the reason for the season.
If you are decorating a tree or bush with say a few strands of mini lights, use a solid color, such as white, blue, green, etc. Muli-colored strands tend to blur the various colors together whereas a single color shines brightly creating a deep contrast when there are multiple objects (each with different colors), and looks great.
Solid white lights or any other solid colors look great on buildings.
At the store, pick up plenty of lighting clips to secure light strands to gutters, shingles, etc. Experiment with a few types to see which ones work the best. On wood surfaces (preferibly unpainted surfaces, and never on vinyl) duct tape may also be used to secure light strands where clips will not work, just be sure to check on the tape every one to two weeks to make sure it does not become loose, which can happen when there is a high level of moisture in the air.
Try hanging lighted wire frame spheres of different colors in trees. You will of course have to purchase or make the frames yourself.
Try making messages in lights on building walls, such as: Happy Birthday Jesus, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, etc.
Really try to balance out the display by mixing up different colors and decoration types throughout.
Have fun creating your outdoor Christmas light display and have a joyful season.