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Christmas Light Displays

Get Some Ideas From My Pictures


Pictures of outdoor Christmas light displays are fun to look at, even though the real thing is obviously better. I take my mother out every year at holiday time for "the tour." This ritual consists of driving around my home town (and outlying areas) in search of the best lit displays in people's yards. It's one of the best parts of the holiday season for me.

As enjoyable as it is just to look at such decorations, that's not why I am offering you this photo gallery. No, its purpose is to spur creativity on your part. Browse the examples of Christmas light displays I have captured in these pictures to acquire ideas for your own landscape. My pictures run the gamut from the tasteful to the "tacky." The design possibilities are almost endless when decorating with outdoor holiday lighting, and I hope my photos and commentary will jump-start your imagination.

For an enlarged version of any of the photos, just click on the photo. Now put on your night vision goggles and enjoy these pictures of Christmas light displays.

Giant Christmas Light Bulbs

These jumbo-size Christmas light bulbs stand over 16 inches high and function as lawn stakes.
David Beaulieu

Some folks like to do things in a big way, and that includes their displays of outdoor Christmas lights. There are two ways in which you can "go big" with a Christmas light display:

  1. You can string together impressive masses of small lights.
  2. Or -- if you wish to be unorthodox -- you can go big literally with jumbo light bulbs!

The idea behind approach #1 echoes a typical use of bedding plants in landscaping. Small units do not make much of a statement on their own, but when used in massed displays can impress the viewer in a big way. The principle is true with plants, and it holds just as true with outdoor Christmas lighting.

But the people whose Christmas light display is pictured at left took tack #2: they went big literally. These giant Christmas light bulbs stand over 16 inches high! Their height makes them rather striking lawn stakes, suitable for lining walkways or driveways.

A More Tasteful "Jumbo" Display

Photo of a large Christmas bulb as part of a garland decoration on a fence.
David Beaulieu

The giant Christmas bulbs in picture #1 above may be a bit gaudy for some folks. While I wouldn't call the big bulb in this picture a "traditional" holiday ornament for the outdoors, it may be sufficiently well-made to escape the "tacky" label, depending upon how low-key you require your yard decor to be.

The garland incorporated in this Christmas light display tones it down a bit, in my opinion.

Angel Lights

Photo of a Christmas light decoration in the shape of an angel.
David Beaulieu

Angels are a natural for Christmas light displays. After all, angels are associated with lighting our way, right? Angels are also sometimes present in outdoor Nativity scenes.

The trumpet in the ornament shown in this picture is a nice added touch.

Cute Teddy Bears

Teddy bears are popular year-round, but never more so than at Christmas.
David Beaulieu

What is it with teddy bears and the holiday season? Other than the fact that teddy bears are traditional presents to place under the tree for kids, I don't see the connection.

Be that as it may, teddy bears, popular year-round, are never more so than at Christmas, as is exemplified by this cute Christmas light display. I fancy the larger figure is a mama bear, and that the smaller one is her baby. She seems to be giving junior a candy cane for the holiday.

Spinning Like a Spinning Top

Xmas lights photo showing a spinning top.
David Beaulieu
It's hard to believe that, once upon a time, kids received items such as spinning tops for presents, not video games. But you can still get away with giving the kids a top for Christmas -- a lighted top, used as a holiday lawn ornament, as shown in this picture. Heck, this is one top you, yourself may even enjoy!

Lighted Toy Soldier or "Nutcracker"

Photo of a toy soldier (sometimes called a "nutcracker") figure made from Xmas lights.
David Beaulieu
Like teddy bears, the "Christmas connection" for toy soldiers lies partly in their traditional use as Christmas gifts for kids. But we're also all familiar with the holiday nutcrackers that come in the form of toy soldiers, as well as with The Nutcracker ballet. In this picture of a Christmas light display, a toy soldier is featured as the centerpiece, complemented by a lighted ball and candy cane.


Photo of Christmas lights decoration in the form of a train.
David Beaulieu
Add trains to the list of icons that have crept into the world of Christmas decor via the "gift route." That is, like the teddy bears and tops already discussed, the main rationale I can think of for the use of trains in Christmas light displays is their association with gifts under the tree. Giving a child (or adult, in the case of some train aficionados!) that much-coveted train set is one of our most enduring Christmas traditions.

Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread House

Photo of of Xmas lights in shape of gingerbread man and gingerbread house.
David Beaulieu
Like teddy bears, gingerbread men, gingerbread women and gingerbread houses are popular year-round, but perhaps never more so than during the holiday season. The outdoor Christmas light display shown in this picture features a bulb ensemble in the shape of a gingerbread man and gingerbread house.

Framework Reindeer

Photo of Santa, sleigh and reindeer with Christmas lights.
David Beaulieu
Reindeer are popular in Christmas light displays. They come in many forms and are used in various ways as ornaments for outdoors. Some reindeer sculptures are composed entirely of artificial materials; the reindeer may be either animated or stationary. Others prefer the more traditional grapevine reindeer sculptures. This picture shows reindeer used in conjunction with a sleigh and a Santa Claus figure to compose a more complete Christmas light display.

Garlands: Graceful, Tasteful

Photo of lighted Christmas garlands.
David Beaulieu
Garlands are a staple in the wintertime yard, especially among homeowners who prefer tasteful ornaments composed of natural materials. Not that garlands are always, technically, natural decorations, as artificial garlands are commonly employed. A popular use of garlands is to wind them around porch poles, as in this photo.
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