String clear or colored lights along the roofline, porch railing or fence, over a hedge, or around the front door. Wrap lights around a lamp post. A solitary tree decked with double strings of light or large bulb strings catches the eye. Add a Christmas garland along with the lights on the fence or railing
Place spotlights to illuminate the entire house, or a single light pointing up near the base of a tree or directed only toward the front door of the house. Spotlights in the picture above make the simple bows on the windows visible on a dark night.
Position one large, plastic inflatable snow globe or three-dimensional Christmas figurines like Santa, reindeer, elf, nutcracker, or carolers with spot light. Wrap wide weatherproof ribbon around porch posts or lampposts for a candy cane appearance.
Build or purchase a Nativity scene for the lawn or angel or large star to secure to the roof or railing of a balcony with a spotlight directed toward it.
Secure large bows, Christmas evergreen wreaths, or bundled evergreen sprigs with colorful ribbon to the front door, garden gate, porch wall, or windows. Use wide red velvet ribbon designed for outside use to create your own bows or purchase them already made.
Along the same line, secure items like wreaths or bows to a fence, gate, mailbox, chimney, even a doghouse.
If mixing religious and non-religious elements, place them a distance apart to establish theme areas. Themes can also be set with the color of lights from multi-color, to solid white, or other single color.
Shy away from doing all outside lighting with white (clear) lights only. The white lights look harsh when there are too many. Instead, limit white lights to a focal point, like just around the front door or just on a porch railing. Another option is to combine a string of white lights with a solid color string like red lights.
To create your own unique theme, use light strings of singular colors, like all red, blue, or green bulbs. Use one color or mix two, like blue and green, and use that single string or two-color strings on fences, railings, and evergreens.
By Barbara Raskauskas