What are the Different Types of Christmas Yard Art?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Reindeer Christmas lights in a yard.
Reindeer Christmas lights in a yard.

Christmas yard art can range from very simple designs such as strings of Christmas lights or a simple wreath hung on the front door of a home, to more elaborate designs and features such as large, inflatable Christmas characters or even snow globes with simulated snow inside. Options for Christmas yard art are virtually unlimited, though it may help to come up with a specific theme before purchasing any specific Christmas yard art items. Plastic Santa Claus figures and even full sleighs with reindeer can be purchased, though many homeowners choose simpler, subtler themes for their yards such as lights and bows.

A house decorated for Christmas.
A house decorated for Christmas.

A Christmas crèche scene or nativity is a common choice for Christmas yard art as well. Some people choose to build this scene from scratch using wood and other household materials, while others choose to purchase prefabricated kits that include all the necessary components. Some crèche scenes even feature lighting so the scene can be viewed at night, perhaps in conjunction with other Christmas lights or decorations.

A house with various types of yard art.
A house with various types of yard art.

Not all Christmas yard art decorations need to have a religious theme. Some people choose to decorate the yard with large replica candy canes or red bows. Mistletoe can be added to the front doorway for an added bit of holiday spirit. Countless varieties of snowman figures can be purchased or built and placed in the front yard as a symbol of the holiday season without specifically addressing a certain religion.

Yard art often imitates the biblical nativity scene.
Yard art often imitates the biblical nativity scene.

Inflatable yard art has become more common during the Christmas season as well. These plastic figures are inflated with air to form countless shapes, including Santa and his sleigh, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, elves, and even things as elaborate as Santa's workshop. Some inflatable decorations are automated as well; human-sized snow globes can feature blowing snow inside, and some figures can be automated to move through Santa's village. Some inflatable or plastic decorations are even motion-sensitive.

Volunteers may choose to create a live reenactment of the biblical nativity scene during Christmas.
Volunteers may choose to create a live reenactment of the biblical nativity scene during Christmas.

Perhaps the most common Christmas yard art is lighting. Christmas lights come in single colors, multi-colored varieties, or simple white lights. These strings of lights can be draped over trees or bushes, or along the trim of the house. Some lights even simulate the look of hanging icicles. Many people choose very simple lighting designs meant to accent the beauty of the yard, while others make the lights the feature attraction, stringing them in every tree or bush for an overwhelming light experience.

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Discussion Comments

Logicfest

@Terrificli -- I was thinking that just the other night when looking at a vinyl Santa Claus that was taller than the two-story house it sat outside of. Here's the answer to why these are more common -- technology.

Head on down to your favorite big box store and look at the prices of decorations. They are dirt cheap compared to what they once were. Plus, there are so many different types of displays available that someone can usually find something they just love.

So, yes, count in that "got to have this" factor, too. Couple with that with manufacturing techniques that make displays affordable and I am surprised we don't see more of these.

Terrificli

For some reason, these are becoming more common. It seems like there were only a few of these here and there a few decades ago, but they are starting to show up all over the place.

I doubt Christmas has somehow gotten more popular around here (it has always been a big deal), so I wonder what has changed.

Terrificli

For some reason, these are becoming more common. It seems like there were only a few of these here and there a few decades ago, but they are starting to show up all over the place.

I doubt Christmas has somehow gotten more popular around here (it has always been a big deal), so I wonder what has changed.

Markerrag

Here is a tip and please don't accuse me of going all Scrooge. Christmas decorations are great, but you really need to make sure you don't go overboard without first consulting your neighbors.

When I was a kid, there was a house in town that had yard decorations, lights and even people serving hot chocolate to visitors. It was all great fun, but that fellows neighbors had a hard time getting in and out of their driveways because of all the traffic and parked cars that came to see the spectacle.

In other words, be considerate when putting up your lawn ornaments and such and use your decorations to celebrate the holiday rather than annoy your neighbors.

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    • Reindeer Christmas lights in a yard.
      Reindeer Christmas lights in a yard.
    • A house decorated for Christmas.
      By: Roman Milert
      A house decorated for Christmas.
    • A house with various types of yard art.
      By: dred2010
      A house with various types of yard art.
    • Yard art often imitates the biblical nativity scene.
      By: James Steidl
      Yard art often imitates the biblical nativity scene.
    • Volunteers may choose to create a live reenactment of the biblical nativity scene during Christmas.
      By: Glenda Powers
      Volunteers may choose to create a live reenactment of the biblical nativity scene during Christmas.