31 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas to Really Bring the Cheer

lit Christmas tree near red bench and gifts on holiday front porch
Photo: John Granen

Make your home's exterior as festive as the inside with these outside Christmas decoration ideas. Get inspired by gorgeous greenery, twinkling light displays, and other outdoor Christmas decorations that bring seasonal cheer to your doorstep.

01 of 31

Colorful Surprise

vintage sled, ornaments and gifts displayed on brick front porch
David A. Land

You don't have to limit your outdoor Christmas decorations to traditional red and green. Unexpected hues like fuchsia, teal, purple, and royal blue can lend an equally festive air to your front porch. Flank your front door with pretty wrapped packages and oversized lanterns filled with multicolored ornaments for a vibrant burst of seasonal cheer.

02 of 31

Welcoming Windows

three grapevine wreaths hung with burlap from windowpanes
Marty Baldwin

Hang grapevine wreaths in each of your front windows for outdoor holiday decor with simple charm. Wind string lights ($7, Walmart) around the wreath forms to add sparkle, then hang them from burlap ribbon for a rustic touch. Tuck pine sprigs into the ribbon to add seasonal color and fullness.

03 of 31

Seasonal Skates

vintage personalized ice skates with holly and berries hanging on door
John Granen

Dig up your childhood ice skates for a DIY outdoor Christmas decoration that embraces nostalgia. If you don't have your own set, peruse antique shops or flea markets for a vintage pair. Tuck fresh greenery, such as sprigs of cedar, pine, and holly berries, into the tops of the shoes and between the blades, then hang the skates by their laces from a hook on your door.

04 of 31

Have a Seat

lit Christmas tree near red bench and gifts on holiday front porch
John Granen

Welcome guests with a front porch decked in bright reds and emerald greens. Cozy up patio furniture with a throw blanket and pillows, then add a brilliantly lit evergreen tree to create an inviting outdoor seating area. When setting up a tree on your porch, swap the skirt for a sturdier basket that won't blow away in the wind.

05 of 31

Classic Black and White

daybed with black and white winter linens underneath wreath with ice skates
Kip Dawkins

Dress up your existing outdoor furniture with holiday accents to create a wintry patio retreat. Buffalo check and reindeer pillows in a black-and-white palette dress up this daybed. Sprigs of greenery on chairbacks and a wreath adorned with vintage ice skates supply color.

06 of 31

Gorgeous Greens

Door wreath made of evergreen, holly, and pinecones
Jay Wilde

Create a bountiful Christmas swag to hang on your home's exterior. Start with lush greenery like eucalyptus and evergreen branches, then tuck in pinecones to add visual interest. Top off the swag with faux berries and a festive red bow for an outdoor Christmas decoration that adds holiday curb appeal.

07 of 31

Holiday Spin

colorful christmas lights strung around blue vintage bicycle
Greg Scheidemann

Everyday items can become festive outdoor holiday decorations with a bit of imagination. Wind vintage-style Christmas lights on an old bicycle to create a seasonal work of art. Wrap from the handlebars to the spokes, then park the bedecked bike along an exterior wall or against a fence.

08 of 31

Cranberry Luminarias

cranberry luminarias decorating snowy steps
Peter Krumhardt

This inexpensive outdoor Christmas idea is a cinch to execute. Layer stocky glass vases with faux snow and real cranberries (or fake, if you're worried about attracting animals), and tuck a pillar candle into each vase. Arrange bundles of fresh holiday greenery along your front walkway and top with your pretty luminarias.

09 of 31

Pretty Porch Decor

porch display of candles and greenery
John Granen

Make the most of sheltered porch corners with an impressive (and easy!) display of candles and greenery. To get the look, top a small table with patterned holiday fabric, assorted candles, and pinecones. A festive holiday wreath and bucket of birch branches complete the look.

10 of 31

Reindeer Wreath

wreath around white ceramic reindeer head
Michael Garland

This festive front door starts with a faux reindeer head ($58, Walmart) surrounded by green leaves and branches. The look leans more modern than rustic with an all-white paint job on the head. Anchor the wreath with a neutral ribbon and pops of bright green berries.

11 of 31

Holiday Mailbox

snowy mailbox decorated with holiday garland
Michael Partenio Productions

Prepare a merry welcome at the curb to greet guests and passersby. A swag of mixed pine tied on with wire adds a flourish to your mailbox. Embellish it with red accents and pretty pinecones. The first snow will only enhance the look.

12 of 31

Seasonal Railing Planter

porch railing decorated with festive planter
John Granen

Add seasonal greenery to your outdoor planters for a festive and bright entrance. Here, we used a mix of berries, evergreen sprigs, and pinecones in various sizes. Then we tucked clementines into the arrangement for an extra dose of vibrant color.

13 of 31

Cute Candy Canes

large white flower pot containing decorative candy canes
Cameron Sadeghpour

Take inspiration from classic Christmas candy for your outdoor holiday decorating. Fill a white planter with decorative candy canes for a unique front porch display. Store-bought plastic canes and weather-treated ribbon mean this front door decor can last throughout the season.

14 of 31

Tannenbaum Planter Holder

potted evergreens holiday decoration on porch railing
Peter Krumhardt

A wrought-iron planter holder features miniature dwarf spruce and other evergreens for a Christmas treelike display. Enhance the arrangement by adding glass ball ornaments between the planters. Tuck fresh-cut boughs of cedar and pine into the mix for a fuller effect.

15 of 31

Christmas Light 'Burning Bush'

bush decorated with christmas lights
Bob Stefko

Light up winter nights with a glowing outdoor planter. Lay coiled Christmas light strands on top of soil, then insert branches to create a bushlike appearance. Last year's lights all tangled up? Instead of buying new ones and coiling them by hand, just use your tangled ones to create this outdoor holiday decor.

16 of 31

Tiny Frosted Trees

silver bucket containing white brush fir trees
Andy Lyons

Bottlebrush Christmas trees look like miniature frosted evergreens when arranged in a wintry bucket or planter. Scatter votive candles around the planter to add a calming, flickering glow. Set the display atop a bench on the front porch to complement the rest of your outdoor Christmas decorations.

17 of 31

Red Door Garland

garland of pinecones and ornaments around red door
Cameron Sadeghpour

Dress up your entryway with a festive Christmas garland for a welcoming and of-the-season look. To make this outdoor holiday decorating idea your own, customize a ready-made pinecone garland with ornaments that coordinate with your front door color. Position the garland outside the door frame and secure it at the top and sides with self-adhesive hooks or brick clips.

18 of 31

Twig Sculpture

outdoor pot decorated with twigs and faux bird
Michael Partenio

Stick painted twigs into potted juniper to make a small container stand tall. Snowy-white Mitsumata branches lend a striking profile and contrast with a festive red pot. Insert shimmery red ornaments and natural pinecones into the greenery for a colorful and textural impact. A faux bird resting on a branch injects a bit of whimsy.

19 of 31

Outside Ornaments

outdoor planters containing colorful ornaments and greenery
Peter Krumhardt

Outside Christmas decoration ideas aren't just for a tree! Give your outdoor planters a holiday makeover with a few round ornaments, birch branches, and grapevine balls. We used plastic ornaments to avoid breakage.

20 of 31

Wintry Candles

outdoor red holiday candle votive display
Michael Partenio

Turn inexpensive glass cylinders in various sizes into miniature Christmas luminaries. Place a cranberry-red candle inside each cylinder, filling the space between the glass and the candle with miniature red and silver ornaments. Set atop moss in a planter outdoors for instant holiday spirit.

21 of 31

Sporty Wreath

holiday wreath with ice skates hanging from a red door
Jay Wilde

This fun outdoor Christmas decoration idea welcomes visitors with a snowy sports theme. Two white ice skates command attention from inside a foam wreath that's wrapped with sleeves of an old sweater. A decorative bow and snowflakes add pizzazz to this DIY Christmas wreath.

22 of 31

Natural Holiday Container

potted containers decorated with pinecones and a faux cardinal
Michael Partenio

A supersize cone from a sugar pine brings star power to this container display. Set the pinecone upright amid a bed of moss and spruce sprigs dotted with small pinecones. Top the pinecone with a faux cardinal for eye-catching impact. A potted evergreen in a complementary green, such as this compact 'Blue Star' juniper, creates a striking combination of natural elements.

23 of 31

Snowy Planter

planter decorated with glowing snow globes
Bob Stefko

A mix of bistro and mini lights brightens any winter arrangement on your front porch. We secured some strands to a trellis with zip ties for a simple outdoor Christmas decoration. More lights are tucked into evergreen boughs that cradle magnolia leaves.

24 of 31

Wintry Windowsills

wintry window sill planter with wire stars
Peter Krumhardt

Turn your dormant window planters into decoration space until spring arrives. Plant hardy shrubs that will remain beautiful throughout the winter. Simple wire stars and white lights add a festive glow to this outdoor holiday decoration.

25 of 31

Jingle Bells

greenery decorated with jingle bells and ribbon
Michael Partenio

This hanging holiday decoration couldn't be any easier. All you'll need is fresh greenery (we like spruce branches), striped ribbon, and bells. Hang it on the front door, the mailbox, or anywhere that needs a holiday touch.

26 of 31

Christmas Light Orbs

grapevine spheres wrapped in christmas lights
Peter Krumhardt

Spheres of grapevines wrapped in Christmas lights become shimmering orbs on a coat of freshly fallen snow. Place these magical globes in birdbaths, urns, or on stairsteps to cast an ethereal glow on your outdoor landscape. Be sure to use an outdoor-rated power cord, and check the tag to verify it's safe to use outside.

27 of 31

Holiday Bench

bench decorated with greenery pinecones and orbs
Quentin Bacon

Give your porch bench some holiday spirit with a festive arrangement. Line the seat with greenery, oversized pinecones, gazing balls, and ornaments. Spray the arrangement with a light dusting of fake snow for extra winter flair.

28 of 31

Watch: DIY Outdoor Christmas Ornaments

front porch with christmas trees
Jeff Herr

This year, trim your Christmas tree for all to see. Set decorated evergreens in galvanized tree collars on your covered front porch. Add a touch of farmhouse style with buffalo check ribbons and red berries.

29 of 31

Glowing Frosted Globes

glowing holiday orbs atop snowy birdbath
Peter Krumhardt

Glowing frosted globes (available in large and small sizes from home-improvement stores) take the edge off a chilly winter twilight. Scatter the spheres around your yard to create an ethereal winter landscape. You can also group them in a birdbath or other outdoor winter container for maximum impact.

30 of 31

Snowy Sled Display

snowy vintage sleigh decorated with garland
Kathryn Gamble

When not cruising the snow-covered hills, an old sled does double duty as a welcoming Christmas decoration. Embellish the sled with pine sprigs, pinecones, and fruit before setting it next to the front door. A bright red ribbon on top ties the look together.

31 of 31

Fun Front Porch

Festive front porch with Christmas tree, bow, and dog
Adam Albright

A cohesive color scheme is the key to creating this Christmas front porch. Here we paired shades of evergreen with neutral wood tones. To make the festive display, bring the indoors out! Arrange decorated trees, wrapped gifts, and greenery around your front door.

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