Decorating the exterior of your home for Christmas is one of the most festive ways to kick off the holiday season. And with so many products available to choose from, it’s never been easier to get your hands on everything from beautiful wreaths to wondrous string lights. "Explore what works for your home and your joy during the holiday season," says Leigh Lincoln, co-founder of PureSalt Interiors. Drew Scott, the founder of Lone Fox, echoes this when he says, "I love dabbling into a new one each year to change things up."
We researched and vetted countless decorative pieces, considering design, installation requirements, and price point. The clear winner is the Lighted Faux Pine Garland from Joss & Main. Not only is it designed to be used outdoors, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing as it invokes a sense of nostalgia for a traditional Christmas. Plus, the holiday lights leave a lasting impression on anyone who enters your home.
Here are the best outdoor Christmas decorations of the year.
Joss & Main Lighted Faux Pine Garland
Might require extension cords
Nothing compares to the classic holiday decoration that is this Lighted Faux Pine Garland from Joss & Main. This staple is beneficial for several DIY decorations and acts as a cohesive thread that ties together various elements of your holiday-adorned home. On the exterior of your home, particularly your door, this garland becomes an inviting sign to all guests that you're ready for the festive season.
The pine-like garland stretches 108 inches long, giving you enough faux greenery to cover plenty of square footage, and it’ll last for several years compared to fresh garland. Adorned with twinkling holiday lights and natural elements like pinecones and gilded elements like golden berries, this electrical-powered staple won't leave you without holiday cheer.
Price at time of publish: $59
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 108 inches | Material: PVC and PE blend | Power type: Electrical
Balsam Hill Outdoor Big and Bright Ornament Set
No power needed
Multiple color options
Small amount per set
Balsam Hill is well-known for its artificial Christmas trees, but did you know that the brand also offers a wide selection of outdoor decor, too? Turn your home into a festive scene with the Outdoor Big and Bright Ornament Set, a trio of shining oversized holiday ornaments. With three different color options, there’s bound to be one perfect for your exterior aesthetic.
While each set only comes with three bulbs, the size variation is enough to make each stand out on your porch or front yard tree. Plus, they’re outdoor-ready with shatter-resistant construction that enhances their durability. The price is a bit high, but the site often runs sales, so be sure to keep an eye out for a holiday discount.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 6, 8, and 10 inches | Material: Not listed | Power type: Not applicable
Frontgate LED Merry Christmas Nutcracker
Energy-efficient LED lights
Made to withstand elements
Frontgate’s LED Merry Christmas Nutcracker is a truly special piece of holiday decor. The hand-painted nutcracker sparks a jolly feeling in anyone who catches it in their gaze. With a shiny metallic finish and nearly life-sized stature, this LED figurine takes up vertical space (not horizontal), making it a perfect option for anyone with a small entryway or porch.
One downside to this lovely holiday piece is the price isn't for the faint of heart, so be sure to double-check your budget before making your purchase. Fortunately, though, it’s well-built and made to withstand outdoor wear and tear, meaning it’ll last you well beyond one holiday season.
Price at time of publish: $459
Dimensions: 58 x 17 x 22.5 inches | Material: Polyresin | Power type: Electrical
Michaels Lighted Christmas Lamp Post
Suitable for indoor/outdoor use
Might require extension cords
When wandering through old towns during the holiday season, you might notice lamp posts decorated with festive lights, garland, and other classic staples, which begs the question: Why can't your home have the same? This Lighted Christmas Lamp Post from Michaels is only four feet high, making it a cute addition to your outdoor display. With its enchanting mix of holiday greenery and berries, this pre-lit lamp post is sure to make a cheery statement.
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, this versatile decoration can be used anywhere. Just keep in mind that its cord runs a bit short, so you may need to have an extension cord handy to plug it in where you’d like to place it.
Price at time of publish: $107
Dimensions: 48 x 12 x 12 inches | Material: Not listed | Power type: Electrical
Pottery Barn Peanuts™ Light Up Snoopy On House
Outdoor- and weather-safe
Classic, recognizable character
Celebrating Christmas classics is one of the many joys of this festive time of year—and what’s more nostalgic than a Peanuts™ holiday? One of those iconic characters comes to life in this Pottery Barn Light Up Snoopy On House decoration. A colorful, warmly lit rendition of the beloved pup Snoopy will illuminate your yard in all the right ways.
It isn't oversized like many inflatable characters you see in most displays, and the sturdy building materials mean that you won't have to worry about it popping over the years. It truly is a staple for the unconventional exterior decorator. However, with a higher price, it is more expensive than other decorations.
Price at time of publish: $224
Dimensions: 41.5 x 27.2 x 18.2 inches | Material: Iron, polyester, string lights | Power type: Electrical
Home Accents Holiday Glimmer Ornament Arch
Metal frame may rust
Brighten up your outdoor space, and illuminate walkways with some festive spirit this year and add this Home Accents Holiday Glimmer Ornament Arch. Designed to emulate a Christmas ornament, a piece like this feels universal and fits in perfectly across most outdoor holiday displays. Plus, the durable metal frame and solid structural integrity won't leave you questioning whether this arch will withstand the heavy snow that inevitably happens during this festive time.
Best of all, when it’s time to stash this arch at the end of the season, its collapsible design makes it compact to store. However, keep in mind that exposure to all of the outdoor elements can lead to rust on the frame over time. Additionally, you’ll likely want to have another person’s help for setup each year.
Price at time of publish: $249
Dimensions: 112 x 117 x 24 inches | Material: Metal | Power type: Electrical
Wondershop Faux Rattan Snowman
Twinkling light effect
Fits multiple decor themes
Rattan may yellow over time
The Faux Rattan Snowman from Target Brand's Wondershop™ might not be as distinguished as Frosty the Snowman, but it’s sure to liven up the outside of your home this Christmas. The universal design allows it to work flawlessly in any indoor or outdoor scene, not just those that feel rustic or shabby-chic. The automatic twinkling light effect makes the LEDs feel warm and inviting. This snowman is moderately priced and can even stay up well after December 25th.
We suggest grabbing an extension cord to ensure this shimmering snowman always shines with a welcoming glow. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the rattan; with wear and weather exposure, its glittering white exterior can yellow slightly.
Price at time of publish: $100
Dimensions: 42 x 26 x 11.5 inches | Material: Plastic, rattan | Power type: Electrical
Williams Sonoma Noble Green Holly Wreath
Made from raw materials
Multiple size options available
Fragrant and fresh
Shipping damage can happen
Extra delivery fees
Our editors and the phenomenal teams at Pure Salt and Lone Fox agree that a holiday wreath is one of the easiest and potentially most affordable ways to decorate outside your home this Christmas. This Noble Green Holly Wreath from Williams Sonoma checks every box. Made with seasonally scented noble fir branches and vibrantly hued holly, this fresh wreath is simple and striking. It’s a total classic hung indoors or outdoors.
The use of raw materials means this customizable piece feels authentic and timeless, but that might cause a bit of stress during the delivery process. Damage can happen during shipping, and there’s an extra cost for delivery. The end result, however, is a front door that will bring a smile to your face every time you turn your door key.
Price at time of publish: $60 for a 12-inch size
Dimensions: 12 or 22 inches | Material: Noble fir, holly | Power type: None
Best Winter Wonderland
Balsam Hill Outdoor Lit Wintry Wonder Friends
Pre-lit with LED lights
Another Balsam Hill favorite is the Outdoor Lit Wintry Wonder Friends, a family of elegantly lit deer that’ll make your outdoor Christmas display sparkle and shine. Meant to evoke a winter wonderland vibe, the mother and fawn in this duo are crafted with iron and plastic and then covered in clear LED lights. What sets them apart is the quality materials used and the expert skill used to make them. A six-foot-long power cord makes it easy to bring to life your outdoor holiday decor vision.
Some assembly is required to set up these winter-ready animal friends, but they’re ready for outdoor use out of the box. They’re more costly than other illuminated deer decorations, but their durability is nicely solid.
Price at time of publish: $349
Dimensions: 50 x 9 x 26.5 inches and 19 x 5 x 14 inches | Material: Glass, iron, plastic | Power type: Electrical
Star Shower Motion Laser Projector Light
Thousands of moving lights
Indoor and outdoor use
Short power cord
Large spaces may need multiple projectors
If you’re looking to make Christmas lights a breeze this year, try a projector! The Star Shower Motion Laser Project Light shines with thousands of moving red and green holiday lights across your home’s exterior (or the walls inside your home, if you’d like). And best of all, there’s no actual light-hanging required. This projector automatically rotates and shines lights anywhere it’s directed, and the 100-yard range allows you to cover spaces big and small.
Weather-ready and pretty effortless to set up, you can plug in this projector and have instant decorations. The projector itself can withstand temperatures up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and features a built-in stake for in-ground stability. However, the power cord runs short at just 12 inches long. Larger spaces may also require multiple projectors for total coverage.
Price at time of publish: $33
Dimensions: 5.88 x 7.63 x 10.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Power type: Electrical
Wondershop Flocked Joy Stripes Doormat
Stay-put vinyl backing
Durable coir construction
Colorful printed pattern
Debris can stick
Vibrantly colored in red, green, and the brown of natural coir, Target’s Wondershop Flocked Joy Stripes Doormat will spruce up your entryway and make it totally festive. This doormat features a simple but eye-catching design of stripes and boldly printed “Joy,” welcoming visitors with its excitement for the season. It’s an affordable and easy addition to your home, and you can even keep it out well after Christmas if you’re looking to extend a little decorative joy into the new year.
The coir construction of this doormat makes it sturdy and great for brushing dirt off of shoes. However, the coir fibers can shed as the mat gets used, and debris can really stick to it—a detail that’s both helpful and a little tricky to clean!
Price at time of publish: $9
Dimensions: 30 x 18 inches | Material: Coir, vinyl | Power Type: None
Birch Lane Decorative Wooden Christmas Lawn Art
Multiple color choices
Might need reinforcement during assembly
Birch Lane offers more than just furniture—this Wooden Christmas Lawn Art is just a sample of the wide variety of outdoor decor that can help bring to life your rustic Christmas display. This trio of gifts is a standout choice for any lawn or porch. It comes in three color variations, is weather-resistant (thanks to its resin construction), and includes beautiful lights to add even more life to your festive outdoor landscape. The lawn art is also battery-powered, which makes it easy to illuminate without access to an electrical outlet.
Some users find that the gift boxes are a bit flimsy once built, so you may want to try incorporating twine to reinforce the construction and stay on theme.
Price at time of publish: $66
Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 10 inches | Material: Resin | Power type: Battery operated
Best Home Lights
SANJICHA LED Christmas Lights
Eight lighting modes
Extra-bright LED bulbs
Includes remote control
You can never go wrong with Christmas lights, and these SANJICHA LED Lights are a perfect pick for classic string light displays. Sold as a set of two light bundles, you’ll get a total of 66 feet (33 feet per strand) of coverage, and you can connect additional lights if needed. But these aren’t just basic white lights. With eight different lighting modes to choose from and features like a memory function timer, a remote control, and weather-resistant construction, they’re impressively versatile and easy to operate.
If you prefer to switch the bulb color from the warm white hue, the brand offers variations of lights in icy white, royal purple, and sharp blue. Just keep in mind that, like any strand of classic Christmas lights, these will take some time (and a ladder!) to install.
Price at time of publish: $34
Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.8 x 3.7 inches | Material: Wire, glass | Power type: Electrical
Best for Doorways
Pottery Barn Faux Potted Natural Cut Lightly Flocked Tree
Indoor use only
The classic Christmas tree gets an icy update with this Faux Potted Natural Cut tree from Pottery Barn. Adorn your doorway or entryway with this lightly flocked tree, and you’ll bring the best of winter into your home. At just 4.5 feet tall and 11 pounds, it’s easy to move around but sturdy enough to stay stable. You don’t have to add any extra decorations; this tree arrives in a rustic plastic pot and is ready to show off. Flame-resistant and pre-lit with warmly hued clear lights, this plug-in tree will make a statement for your home this December.
While technically not made to withstand elements, this piece looks tasteful and perfectly seasonal indoors or on a covered porch. Keep in mind that, like with all artificial trees, some assembly is necessary to get this snow-covered tree fluffed up and looking flawless.
Price at time of publish: $199
Dimensions: 4.5 feet x 32 inches | Material: PVC, metal | Power type: Electrical
Best for Pathways
Home Accents Holiday 10 in Snowflake Pathway Light
Easy to assemble
Easily knocked over
Try illuminating the path to your door with a little seasonal flair from Home Accents’ Holiday Snowflake Pathway Lights, a set of beautifully simple snowflake lights. Staked into your yard, each four-pack of affordable lights is easy to assemble (and taking them down is just as swift). Each snowflake glows with warm white light, thanks to interior incandescent bulbs, and they’re designed to be tough enough for outdoor use in all kinds of winter weather conditions. Want to add more? You can connect additional sets of snowflake lights until your pathway is well-lit.
Just be sure to watch your step so that each light remains upright and not in the snow bank below. They’re easy to knock over, so you’ll want to avoid knocking into them too often.
Price at time of publish: $28
Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 0.6 inches | Material: Not listed | Power Type: Electrical
The Joss & Main Lighted Faux Pine Garland is our top choice for outdoor Christmas decorations. This classic and functional garland creates a sense of nostalgia for Christmas past, and it’ll fit in alongside any home decor. With plenty of length and durable weather-resistant materials, this garland will last for years to come. If you're looking for something that transports you to a winter wonderland, we also recommend the Balsam Hill Outdoor Lit Wintry Wonder Friends.
What to Look for in Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Design and Style
Design and style are often used interchangeably when decorating, even during the holidays, so you'll want to consider your aesthetic before picking out pieces. For example, Lincoln emphasizes that the holiday season is “a time to hunker down with our families and really lean into the coziest elements of our aesthetic.” To her, nothing is better than traditional decorations that lean into classic, neutral, and cozy. Morford feels similarly: “Not only are your pieces guaranteed to stay in style longer, but everything will look cohesive and curated. We've also noticed that trends are increasingly reaching back to reintroduce classic aesthetics, so time is on your side as what's old becomes new again.”
The saying "go big or go home" is one many homeowners use when putting up holiday decorations. From inflatable characters to 10-foot Christmas trees made from lights, size can shape your outdoor holiday scene. Of course, the size of your pieces can also call into question your budget, item installation requirements, and general upkeep. Grander decorations usually cost more upfront and might include additional costs to run (depending on whether they’re animatronic or not). It’s perfectly okay to opt for smaller, more modestly sized pieces, too.
If you live alone or plan to decorate your house solo, you should consider the installation requirements for any decoration. Keep in mind that even something as simple as string lights can be a two-person job. We recommend thoroughly reading the instructions or product description prior to making your purchase.
We've all seen the holiday movies where homes are decked out in assortments of lights, elaborate scenes with Christmas carols blasting from tucked-away speakers. The commonality among all of these homes is their accessibility to power sources. You might not see the copious amounts of extension cords, power strips, and generators needed to bring these elaborate displays to life. For the average homeowner, considering whether a piece of outdoor decoration requires additional power sources is a fundamental aspect of the decorating process. If you know that something will utilize a lot of extra equipment, it might not be the best option. Fortunately, there are plenty of decorations that utilize easier power sources, like batteries or solar power, that present alternatives.
How do you decorate outside for Christmas on a budget?
Budget is one of the first things to consider when it comes to anything, not just decorating for the holidays. Scott has a lot of ideas for when it comes to making the most out of your holiday decoration funds, like checking out your local thrift store: "Believe it or not, thrift stores carry a large variety of holiday decor they save up all year that you can get for 95 percent off retail price. You can also come across some really cute vintage holiday decor which makes your decor arrangement that much more special." He's also a fan of DIY projects (such as holiday wreaths, doormats, or large tree ornaments).
What should I put on my porch for Christmas?
Whether it’s your porch, front yard, or trimmings of your home, the possibilities for holiday decorating are endless. Traditionally, homeowners opt for wreaths, doormats, statues, and stringed lights to make their porches festive during the holiday season. Scott gravitates towards the first two options, throwing in garland to create a wholesome house exterior. As for types, he explains, "You can go the traditional evergreen route or opt for something more on trend, like brass bells or even wood beaded garland . . . or why not a mix of all three?" In the end, it does come down to personal preference, so play around with your decor, and don't be afraid to change your mind.
How do I make my house look like a winter wonderland?
Winter wonderland is a design theme that’s coincided with the holiday season for decades. The concept brings to mind crisp white snow, forest trees, and woodland creatures like does or owls. When attempting to decorate the outside of your home in this aesthetic, focus on color palettes and simplicity. Opting for frosted items, icy white hues, snowflakes, or simply mimicking the outdoors will instantly create a winter wonderland scene.
Scott also recommends heading to platforms like Pinterest to create mood boards. "Make a list of certain elements you gravitate towards, so when you go shopping, you have a little checklist," he states.
How do I attach decorations to the outside of my house?
Decorating the exterior of your home can feel daunting, especially if you are in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions like heavy snowfall. Scott is a big fan of accessories, like Command Heavyweight Utility Hooks, to get the job done. "They adhere to basically any surface and can hold a variety of weights, whether it be a wreath on the door or garland above the porch," he says.
And when it comes to decorations like holiday lights, he'll opt for smaller staples in his staple gun. This method gives the security expected from this traditional office go-to without causing cosmetic damage to your home.
The ultimate goal is to look for materials that can withstand those weather fluctuations without obstructing the beauty of your festive items.
Why Trust The Spruce
Samantha Parsons has been a freelance writer for The Spruce since 2021 with bylines in publications like Real Simple, The/Thirty, and The Quality Edit. She is constantly speaking with experts, like the founder of Lone Fox, Drew Scott, and the co-founders of Pure Salt Interiors, Aly Morford, and Leigh Lincoln, and testing dozens of products each month to make sure she recommends the best on the market. She spent copious time on this piece to ensure the above selections were of high quality and design. When she is not writing, Samantha works for a skincare brand and stays up-to-date on the latest news and releases across industries.