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Lighting Up a Green Christmas

Are you ready for a Green Christmas?

For many of us in parts of Canada with only days to go until Christmas, this is a looming reality.

‘No snow’ conjures up images of dead or dying lawns, unremoved leaf litter, other forms of people litter, and squirrels scampering around the yard that should be hibernating by now.

So is ‘no snow’ going to be the last word for your outdoor décor this Christmas 2015?

No, not at all! You can still get festive outdoors in creative ways that will help bring in the Christmas Cheer and create a wintery ambience in your very own home space.

Take exterior Christmas lights for example.

Popular LED choices this year project dazzling colors and moving images onto your home in a kaleidoscope display, mimicking snow or other shape options.

And what about considering those icicle lights that move up and down, mimicking snow fall around your home?

Always popular are the exterior lights that can be hung along roof edges in a range of colors and shapes and sizes. Increasingly popular are roof edge lighting options that change color and seem to move and shimmer from a variety of observed vantage points.

Christmas exterior lights can go on almost anything, anything immobile that is. The limitations are all in the imagination. Light poles, recycling containers, doorways, doors, hibernating trees (sorry no squirrels) are virtual lighting palettes for your imagination to run wild on. Fencing can also serve as a very popular backdrop for a variety of exterior lighting options.

In different parts of North America (the Maritimes for example) a Christmas lighting tradition that is both external but created from your property interior, is to light a candle or LED candle and place it in each of one’s windows to be seen by all passerby’s. The origins of this traditional and beautiful lighting display probably goes back into the mists of time when candles in windows were used to signal a welcome for weary travellers or a vigil of wakefulness while waiting for a loved one to come home. Either way, a candle light at each window is a serenely beautiful and simple way to celebrate Christmas lighting décor from outside the home, all from the comfort of installing it within your home.

If you are a Christmas celebrant with an eye for aesthetic detail, positioning an outline of white lights along the contours of your house, can be a visually stunning Christmas landscape. Interpretations can run the gamut from clean, minimalistic lighting (that showcases architectural lines such as high arches), to stunningly complex and beautiful white light applications covering every conceivable space on your building property or yard. Who needs snow when the beauty of white lighting can create a dramatic, alternative effect?

Always remember to practise safety measures when putting up exterior lighting. Leave the really high work to the Christmas landscape décor experts who have the expertise and equipment to put up Christmas lighting in a safe and pleasing manner.

Speaking of really high work, ornamental shrubs and trees can provide a wonderful palette for creating a personalized outside Christmas tree. Choose a variety of light colors and shapes to festoon your favorite exterior tree. For those really creative, create a light image of Santa or Charlie Brown or……you get the picture. Either way, the right look, color, and brightness on outside trees can provide a stunning and wonderful winter backdrop that despite the lack of snow, still speaks forth, ‘Merry Christmas!’

Again, always remember to practise all safety measures when hanging up these Christmas lights on your external trees. Leave the high work to the Christmas landscape décor experts. After all, do you really want to have the most spectacular, awesome rock star lighted tree in the neighborhood, only to have to watch it on your spouse’s smartphone because you are spending Christmas in hospital in a body suit cast?

One last safety tip should be mentioned. Do not use extension cords for outside Christmas lighting that are rated for indoor usage only. Exterior Christmas lighting should use exterior rated electrical cords only. This will help prevent the unsavory consequences of failed lights or human hearts due to accidental electrocution. Yikes! And while we are on that topic, don’t create hundreds of feet of joined extension cords either. Go long and go deep. Translated, buy the maximum length of outside extension cord you can afford. This will help prevent electrocutions and unwanted Christmas light issues as Christmas draws near.

But why stop at tree lighting. Another popular trend is to adorn outside trees and shrubs with design elements and pieces that replicate the inside Christmas tree. Baubles, tinsel, stars, and angels, and a multitude of other imaginative items can be placed on your exterior trees and shrubs to bring in the Christmas cheer. And better yet, many of these exterior tree or shrubbery design elements now come with their own lighting capabilities to supplement the lighting already in place. The results can be visually amazing!

One would be remiss to not mention both the beauty and antiquity of candle usage as a means of capturing the Holiday spirit. Candles have been used for centuries and their linkage to all things Christmas seems to be so apparent as to not warrant mention. That said, candles can be an ethereal and mesmerizing addition to your exterior Christmas décor, in a way that sends a unique Christmas statement to all your neighbors and visitors.

Candles can be placed within windows to be viewed from the outside. Both wax candles and LED candles can be placed outside for a maximized Christmas ambience that is hard to replicate. Wax candles have their own beauty that LED candles cannot completely replicate, but they also have their own safety challenges as well. Outside usage of wax candles requires close monitoring, and should not be done in windy or very dry conditions, so as to avoid unnecessary fires.

Have a Safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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