Christmas Decoration Tips

When it comes to Christmas Decoration, we've been there, done that, now serving 231 tips in 14 categories ranging from Artificial Christmas Trees to Outdoor Christmas Decorations.

Are there any large nativity sets for small yards?

Choosing Large Nativity Sets

For many people, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a nativity scene. Large nativity sets that decorate the front lawn are a special way to share your enjoyment of the Christmas story with your friends and neighbors. With the many options available, you can find a nativity that will fit in any size yard and will match any design style.

One piece nativity scenes are compact decorations that are easy to set up. They are perfect for people who want to display a large lighted nativity in their yards but have limited space.

Plastic nativity sets are a great option for people who want durability and versatility. Since the people and animals are all separate figurines, you could opt to just use the nativity family some years and put out the entire set other years. This flexibility is very important for people who like to change the way they set up their yard displays each year.

Wire framed sets have the same benefits of plastic nativities with the additional advantage of offering an updated look. People who want a more modern looking nativity should be happy with wire sets.

No matter which set you choose for your yard, don't be surprised if it becomes a magnet for neighborhood children. What child wouldn't be fascinated by the story of Christmas reproduced in life size figurines?

What are some types of Santa Suits?

Dressing up in a Santa Suit

One of the fondest Christmas memories a child can have is having Santa Claus come to his house for a visit. There's something so precious about seeing a little child's eyes widen as Santa steps into the room and sits the child on his knee. For the most part, Santa Claus is played by a relative or family who dresses up in a Santa suit and travels to the child's house for a surprise visit. Because children are very inquisitive, it is very important that the Santa Suit is realistic.

If the plan is to make dressing up in a Santa suit a holiday tradition, then it makes sense to purchase the suit rather than renting one year after year and thus risk not having a suit available when the time comes. The first step in deciding on the perfect Santa suit is to make sure you purchase one that fits. Santa suits should not come in a one size fits all package. Once you have determined your size, it's time to determine the material. Some suits come in a beautiful red velvet, white plush cuffs and nylon gloves. A suit like this is very realistic and looks like the one the actual Santa Claus would wear.

If you want to get really technical in the Santa department you may want to think about purchasing a suit that the professional Santa's wear at the mall and other places. Suits like these are cotton velvet and come with faux fur cuffs for an extra real look. A child will surely think Santa is in their home with this Santa Suit.

Santa suits can cost anywhere from as little as $250 to over $500, but when you think about the number of years that it will be used and the memories made from it, the suit will pay for itself.

Are there any multicultural nativity ideas?

Multicultural Christmas Nativity Ideas

Many children do not realize that Christmas is celebrated differently in other parts of the world. From Yule logs to Saint Lucia, children in other cultures have special holiday traditions. Some of these traditions are centered around the Christmas nativity. Why not have a multicultural celebration this year with your children? They'll learn about how other cultures celebrate the holidays and they just may decide that they'd enjoy incorporating some of the different traditions into your family's Christmas celebrations in future years.

In Mexico, the nativity has a special place in Christmas activities. Entire neighborhoods celebrate with an event they call Posada. This is a tradition where children recreate Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem by having a parade of neighborhood kids go from house to house asking for shelter. Many times, they carry a nativity with them. The adults have already decided which house will invite the kids in and that family puts together a party for the children and their parents.

If you have a rich cultural heritage, you may prefer to look for traditions that your ancestors celebrated instead. To find out more about your holiday heritage, you should:

  • Talk to older relatives to see if they have any heirlooms, such as a Saint Lucia crown that has been passed down through the family, to share with you.
  • Check the Internet or call your local library to research customs celebrated by your culture.

What are some wooden Nativity sets and prices?

Wooden Nativity Scenes

If you have a home that is too casual for a porcelain Nativity, or you simply prefer an unbreakable material, you may want to look at purchasing a wooden Nativity set. What's great about a wooden Nativity set is that many times the set is actually handmade, which means a lot of time, care and effort goes into the design of the set. You know you will be buying a unique high quality Nativity that will last for years to come.

You can purchase a Jim Shore Nativity in separate pieces, such as a stable that is handcrafted wood and costs about $50, or you can purchase an entire Nativity set that includes ten pieces of the Nativity for around $85.

If you wish to get a bit more creative and purchase a Nativity that looks a bit different, perhaps you might choose a Jim Shore stone resin Christmas Nativity scene. This Nativity has a beautiful cabin stable adorned with background scenes that accentuate the Nativity. This type of Nativity will add a unique touch to celebrating the reason for the season.

Is there a Precious Moments nativity set?

Precious Moments Nativity Sets and Other Nativity Figurines

You've been collecting Precious Moments figurines for quite a few years. You even used a pair of these sweet little children as cake toppers on your wedding cake. Since you are such a fan of these adorable porcelain figurines, it is no surprise that you looked for a Precious Moments nativity when you decided you wanted a new nativity set.

The three piece nativity includes a boy and girl dressed as Joseph and Mary and a baby dressed as Jesus. The set has all the personality and sweetness that the rest of the Precious Moments figurines have and is sure to be a treasured addition to your collection.

If you collect other figurines, you may be interested in taking a look at Department 56's nativity set. This set is only available through and is a wonderful addition to your Department 56 village display.

For people who enjoy adding new figurines to their collection each year, Jim Shore nativity pieces may be the perfect option. Jim Shore has several different nativity families. In addition, there are quite a few other nativity related pieces you can add to your collection. Wise Men, camels, shepherds, angels and even palm trees are available for these sets.

What should I consider when purchasing an artificial Christmas tree?

Choosing the Best Artificial Christmas Tree for Your Space

Choosing the perfect artificial Christmas tree can be a daunting task, especially if you really have no idea what would work best for you. First you need to decide where you want to put the tree. If you have limited space you will want to consider a smaller tree that doesn't take up too much space. You don't want the tree to overwhelm the room it is in. If you live in a small apartment or house then a four to five foot tree may work best for you simply because its size will not be too much for a small area.

If you have a large space to work with then a larger tree would be an obvious choice. If you have a small tree in a large space, the tree can get lost in the space and you don't want that to happen. You want your tree to be a focal point in the room, not a tree that disappears because it's too small. If you have high ceilings you can pick an even taller tree than you would if your home had standard size ceilings. Artificial Christmas trees can be slim or wide and again, you won't want to get a very wide tree if you have a very narrow space to put it.

In addition, you will want to take into consideration the price of an artificial tree. The more expensive the tree the longer it will last and the more realistic it appears.

Is a nativity stable a good idea?

Complete Your Display With a Nativity Stable

You carefully arrange your nativity set on your Christmas tree skirt and take a step back to admire the result. While the figurines are beautiful, it seems as though something is missing. Perhaps the problem is that they are dwarfed by the ornament covered tree. You move them to the coffee table, the mantle and the bookshelf. No matter where that lovely nativity scene is set up, it looks wrong. You're staring at the figurine when you realize the problem. You didn't shop for a nativity stable.

Nativity stables are a great way to provide a backdrop for your figurines. They add realism and interest to the nativity display and are a great way to make the Christmas story easier for children to understand.

You can find beautiful olive wood nativity stables in very simple designs or with lovely hand carved details. These stables have a rustic simplicity that will allow the nativity figurines to shine. Moss covered stables are another rustic option.

If you would like to find a stable that matches the style of your cozy country home, you may want to take a look at a Jim Shore stable. These stables are designed to match Jim Shore nativity sets but can be purchased separately if you want to use your current nativity set.

What are some types of Christmas storage containers?

Types of Christmas Storage Containers

If you are looking for the right container in which to store your Christmas ornaments you may feel overwhelmed when you walk into the store and see all that is available to you. Choices range from fairly basic plastic containers that are reasonably priced to more luxurious boxes lined in velvet that are bit pricier. However, you may wish to invest in a high end storage container to protect the beautiful personalized Christmas ornaments you have collected over the years.

It is generally recommended when storing Christmas ornaments to store them in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. This type of ornament storage eliminates the worry of moisture seeping into the box and ruining the ornaments. There are several plastic ornament storage containers available. You can choose from a large plastic container called, fittingly enough, an ornament storage container. This type of container has cardboard ornament separators in which you put one ornament. The storage is layered and can store up to 100 ornaments depending on the size you purchase. You can get these containers with a removable lid or a wing lid and even with or without handles for easy carrying.

Another Christmas ornament storage container is made from metal and is similar in appearance to a metal file box. Like the plastic storage containers, this comes with a sturdy cardboard that separates the ornaments so that there will be no risk of breakage. If you want something that has a nicer appearance but also a higher price, then you can always look into a fabric lined storage box to store those ornaments. Usually decorated in a festive fabric that is appropriate for the holidays, these boxes also have ornament separators and can hold about 84 ornaments. Because it is made from fabric and is a box rather than a plastic container, you may wish to store this type of box in a place where there is little moisture. Beware though, this type of container will cost you around $90 or more, but is sturdy and easy to lift.

Is there a Christmas nativity that will match my home's decorating style?

Indoor Christmas Nativity Scenes

You'd like to start displaying a nativity each Christmas, but you aren't sure if there is a set that will work with your home's décor. Actually, with all the Christmas nativity sets available, you're going to have to start worrying about narrowing down your choices, instead.

For people who are short on space, miniature nativities are a smart idea. You can find a set from Jim Shore that fits easily into an area as small as a foot and includes a stable and individual figurines. If you want a nativity that is even smaller, maybe a nativity contained in a nut shell will work. Elaborate nativity ornaments can hang on a tree or an ornament stand.

If you are concerned about storage space, but you prefer to display a set that is larger than some of the miniature options, perhaps a set of stacking nativity dolls will work for you. These dolls create a substantial display when they are un-stacked, but the entire nativity can be stored in a single doll when the Christmas season is over.

For people who are more worried about the style of the nativity then space, there are many different options. Iron, wood and porcelain figurines provide a wide range of materials from which to choose. You can find country Jim Shore nativity sets, folk art Russian figurines or elegant Fontanini designs.

Are there any tips for choosing a children's nativity?

Choosing a Children's Nativity

You know from past experience that children and Christmas figurines don't mix. However, as you carefully arrange your fragile nativity set on the mantle, you can't help but notice how disappointed your children seem. When your littlest child whispers that she wants to see the baby Jesus, you realize that you need to shop for a durable Children's nativity set for her to enjoy. You are delighted when a quick search reveals several suitable models, including a delightful large nativity that uses children for all of the nativity characters.

Before you buy your children a nativity, you may want to consider a few important issues. To be sure you select the right set, you should:

  • Think about whether your kids are old enough to keep things out of their mouths. While miniature sets are a cute idea, they may not be a smart choice for families with children under four years of age.
  • Consider durability. Unless you are going to supervise all interactions with the set, you should opt for a set that cannot break or be damaged easily. Even sturdy carved wooden pieces can be chipped if your children decide that the shepherds should get in a fight.

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.