You know the house. The one that went all-out for Christmas -- lights everywhere imaginable
, a glowing plastic Santa and his reindeer on the roof, maybe some custom-built props with music piped in from somewhere. It was magical. While you may not be vying for your city's 'Best Lights' top award or even the best in your neighborhood, you might like to try something a bit different this year, maybe add a new prop, LED lights
or a music-and-lighting show "sequence." We've brought together some of the top resources to help you with your outdoor Christmas decorating project and display. Ho, ho home for the holidays!
Photo courtesy of californiachristmaslights.com
Formerly known as LightsOfTheValley.com, California Christmas Lights is an online headquarters for locating residential holiday light displays, primarily in Northern and Central California. Site master Alex Dourev selects a House of the Day during the holiday season, and the owner/decorator describes the decorating process, the lights, decorations, sequencing, etc., along with before and after photos.
Dourev has been managing the site for more than a dozen years, and it's a labor of love. A fun site that might inspire you, or is just fun to look at.
This site seems to be grand central for Christmas lighting and yard decoration categories and trends. Garlands on deck and porch railings are a great look, along with pathway lights and lighted markers, in the form of miniature trees, stars, color-changing globes, etc.
Photo courtesy of Christmas Night Inc.
While Christmas Night Inc. carries nativity sets for churches, that doesn't mean a homeowner can't purchase one for their holiday display. Besides lifesize nativity scenes and figures
, Christmas Night sells oversized Christmas decor, nutcrackers, 3D yard decorations and realistic-looking animals.
For those in the know, brands include Fontanini, Hansa Toy, Barcana, Heimex, John & Gigi at Home, Sterling, Raz Imports, Mark Roberts and Patience Brewster.
You've either seen them in person or in a viral video
: houses with amazing holiday light shows with special effects choreographed to music. It's a techno version of the house with all the inflatable decorations or actors creating a living nativity
on their front lawn.
UltraShows is a source for prebuilt shows -- called sequences -- that will entertain your neighbors and passersby. Some are free, while others can be had for small fee (under $10). Popular shows include: