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 the positives of LED Chirstmas lights?

LED Christmas Lights

Almost everyone's seen them, those especially bright Christmas lights that seem more brilliant in color than other lights. These bright and beautiful Christmas lights are LED Christmas lights and are growing in popularity for several reasons.

  • LED Christmas lights last longer than typical bulb lights some lasting up to 50,000 hours, thus saving you money.
  • LED Christmas lights are energy efficient, using up to 90% less energy than non-LED lights.
  • Christmas LED lights shine more brilliantly than other types of Christmas lights.
  • LED Christmas lights come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and themes, such as solid colored LED lights, multi-colored LED lights, lighted garland and LED lights shaped like pinecones. You can even purchase battery powered LED snowman lights to decorate your home and save electricity to boot.
  • LED lights may cost a bit more than lights that aren't LED but in the long run they save you money.

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 choices when it comes to miniature Christmas lights?

Miniature Christmas Lights

If you are on a budget this year, as many people are, you may want to consider purchasing miniature Christmas lights to decorate your home this holiday season. Miniature Christmas lights are economical because you get many lights for a small price. What could be better than that when times are tight for people? Most packs of 100 miniature lights cost around $10. That's a lot of lights for very little money.

Miniature Christmas lights can be found in solid color choices such as clear, red, white, blue, gold, green and even purple. They are also available in multi-colored strands as well. You can even get miniature lights that twinkle.

There's also good news when it comes to having to deal with repairing broken miniature lights. Lights such as these can be difficult to repair due to their size. There is actually a miniature light repair tool that allows you to repair broken miniature lights with the squeeze of a trigger.

Miniature lights can be used indoors or outdoors and provide an elegant touch when decorating your Christmas tree, your fireplace mantle or even the bushes outside of your home.

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 is a Foldout Advent Calendar?

Foldout Advent Calendar

Advent calendars have long been a family tradition for people who want to countdown the days until Christmas. A calendar such as this comes in many shapes and sizes, one being a foldout Advent calendar that features a wide variety of scenes when you open it, such as a winter nativity scene and 24 Bible verses to read in the days before Christmas Eve. You can also choose a Mary and Joseph Advent calendar that folds out to reveal the baby Jesus in a manger with his parents, or perhaps you would like a foldout Advent calendar that is the entire city of Bethlehem and a beautiful shiny North Star lighting the way for the Three Wise Men.

Foldout Advent calendars are often made of a sturdy cardboard or fiberboard and paper with vibrant and glittery colors. Some of these calendars come with picture flaps to unfold that show a picture relating to the Advent and some come with Bible scripture that tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Whichever you choose, a foldout Advent calendar will surely add to your family's celebration.

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.