Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.View Slideshow
Christmas lights are sure to illuminate your holiday spirit! Decorate your home this season with our creative and classic outdoor lighting solutions that can only be described as magical.
Christmas Light Tip: Vintage Christmas lights are an easy way to add fun and festive flair to your outdoor decor. Use alone or pair with simple white lights.
These glowing globes create a picturesque holiday scene right in your front yard. Scatter them around or bundle them up for different looks and light intensities.
Make hanging baskets sparkle all winter long by lighting them from within. Use coiled vine baskets without liners, and push a 100-bulb string of small pearl lights from inside to out around each basket. Place clear plastic ornaments in the basket as filler. On top, pile a 50-bulb string of small white lights and a string of prelit metal stars to shine above.
Old-fashioned lantern posts are classic, but this holiday season wrap them in lush garland and glowing globes for an ethereal holiday look.
Tips for Christmas Lights: To save power and keep your lights burning longer, try using LED Christmas lights.
Build tall floral arrangements by tightly wrapping white and red lights around pillars along your entryway. Top the pillars with twig and evergreen wreaths. Then add green mesh material and red curly twigs found at crafts stores for a fun, earthy entrance.
If wrapping endless strings of lights around tree branches leaves you tangled up in knots, try something simpler. Wire trees that come with prestrung lights are ready to be "planted" indoors or out. They're available in several heights and colors, so you can vary the look from natural to whimsical. Hardware stores often carry the widest selection.
Clustered on a pine table, a mix of new and antique lanterns greets holiday guests. Be sure to include a range of styles and sizes. Elevate some lanterns on pedestals to vary heights. As a final touch, sprinkle in natural elements, such as moss-covered twigs and evergreen sprigs. Be sure to never leave an open flame unattended.
Turn paper bags into dramatic luminarias by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punches, and scissors.
Reminiscent of a circle of carolers, candle-filled buckets ring an evergreen tree for a luminous display. Fill the buckets with snow (or sand) and insert cylinder-shape glass globes to keep the wind from blowing out the candles. A variety of bucket, candle, and globe sizes gives the grouping a quirky quality. If you don't have enough buckets of the same color, spray-paint them.
Make a topiary of light and air by wrapping tiny white bulbs around a wire form. Perch the lit orb in a garden urn.
Windows outlined in white lights stand out in the darkness, illuminating a home full of welcome and cheer.
When creating an outdoor light display, work with the layout of your home, fence, or gate. Light swags work perfectly on the fence shown here, accented by a slender twig tree that sits in front of the tall brick pillar.
This mound of shimmering spheres looks like snowballs just waiting to be thrown. Arranged in an urn beside the front door, the spheres are plugged into a power strip hidden inside, then stacked and accented with boxwood greenery. A single strand of fishing line wrapped around the spheres keeps the stack secure.
Coils of white lights loop over the rails of a garland-draped fence. Choose strings with large frosted bulbs for a nostalgic feel. While making the coils (use one string of lights per coil), twist the cord and adjust the loop lengths so the bulbs face outward, spaced unevenly. Secure the coils with plastic cable ties. Simply toss them over fence posts where the garland swoops upward. This effect can also work on a porch rail or stair banister.
Hung from the roofline of a shed or garage, lanterns herald the holiday season. Hooks for hanging baskets keep the lanterns a safe distance from the structure.