Why is it that an indoor Christmas tree seems perfectly natural, but an outdoor one qualifies as a unique holiday decorating idea? Pondering this holiday quirk I came up with my family’s favorite Christmas tradition. I create a Christmas seating area in my yard, with a Christmas tree, weatherproof presents and a fire pit for heating Christmas cider. On Christmas afternoons we gather round the fire and open our outdoor Christmas gag gifts. Here’s how I do it.
Yard Christmas Tree
I start by creating the illusion that I have a fir tree growing in the middle of my lawn. To implement this unique holiday decorating idea for your yard, choose a spot that will be perfect for gathering round the tree and sipping cider, then follow these steps.
1. Bury a plastic Christmas tree stand in your yard so your Christmas tree will seem to grow naturally out of the ground. Buy that really tall Christmas tree you’ve always wanted but couldn’t fit in your living room and set it firmly in the stand. Toss mulch above to conceal the Christmas stand completely.
2. Wrap outdoor Christmas lights around the tree then run an outdoor extension cord back to your house. I spray painted my orange extension cord with green outdoor paint to make it blend into my lawn.
3. I have an outdoor electrical outlet on my porch, so I just plug my tree in. If you don’t, just slip the extension cord through a slightly open window, then tape a clear plastic bag over the crack to keep cold air from getting in your home.
4. Decorate your yard’s Christmas tree with ornaments hung on fishing wire, which disappear from sight amid the leaves.
Weatherproof Christmas Gift Display
Even a decorated Christmas tree looks barefoot without gifts all around it. So I create a cluster of giant waterproof Christmas gifts with funny, gag gifts inside them. Here’s how you can implement this unique holiday decorating idea for your yard.
1. Put the names of every family member in a hat and draw lots to see who will buy an outdoor Christmas gift for whom. In my home we spend our money on the “real” indoor gifts, so for the outdoor ones me buy good old-fashioned gag gifts.
2. Make sure every family member gives you the gag gift concealed in a cardboard box so you can’t see it. At a party store buy a cheap nylon Christmas tablecloth and use it to giftwrap the boxes. Tie a large Christmas ribbon in a cross-pattern around each wrapped gift and finish with a large bow. Be sure to use a ribbon with wire at both sides, so your bow will stay perky even in the rain or snow.
3. Cluster the gifts around your outdoor Christmas tree.
Yard Christmas Fire Pit
I have a simple cast iron fire pit in my yard with a grill on top, so I can heat up a pot of cider. If you don’t have a fire pit and can’t afford to buy one, here’s how to make a temporary one for the holiday.
1. Dig a 2×2 hole in the ground and make sure it is 3 feet deep and 6 feet away from your outdoor Christmas tree.
2. Line the fire pit with lava rocks and cover the hole with a large metal grill.
3. When you’re ready to gather round your Christmas tree, lift the grill and place a fire-starter fire log (the kind sold at supermarkets) inside the pit. Use an old pot to heat up cider over the grill and don’t let kids too near the fire.
Yard Christmas Seating Area
I created a seating area just for Christmas using cheap plastic chairs. Here’s how to make this unique holiday decorating idea for your yard.
1. At a home improvement store buy cheap white plastic chairs, one for each member of the family. If you can’t find tiny chairs for kids, look for them at a toy store.
2. Spray paint half the chairs in red outdoor paint and half in green.
3. Since the backs of cheap plastic chairs have an opening, use it to thread the same Christmas ribbon you used for the outdoor gifts. Tie a beautiful, large bow at the back of each chair.
For more of my unique holiday decorating ideas, here are 10 Dazzling Thanksgiving-Dinner-Table-Decorating Ideas as well as 10 Glittering Christmas-Table-Decorations You Can Make Yourself.