Tacky? Well, sometimes. but the child in me loves it (don't you?) and, after prowling round after dark last year for ways to dress your garden for Christmas, I've had great fun in the last week checking them over again and seeing what's been added.
Designs are getting brighter year on year because people just can't resist adding to the strings they've already got. So, not just over the windows, but along the waney lap or continental panel fence (when those are scalloped at the top the lights look particularly good), twinkling up a trellis, hanging in trees and wound into shrubs. The fun is spotting what new additions have been made and I'm hoping that someone soon will lay out a landing strip across their lawn for reindeer and sleigh to accompany the "Santa Stop Here" sign. (Go on, please. If you do, send us a piccie.)
A cosy grotto
Of course, a winter wonderland doesn't have to be in the front garden (though it's nice to share). If you've a full house for the holidays, with a gaggle of teenagers perhaps, creating a cosy Christmas grotto might just lure them out for some fresh air and alleviate the crush indoors.
I'm tempted by the thought of transforming the garden office into a festive hidey-hole. You could use a summer house instead, or a larger shed could be partitioned to hide the tools and create a space for furry throws, fairy lights, holly and ivy decorations from the garden. You could add some solar lights outside for a twilight display.
Children would enjoy being allowed full rein (I remember my parents did their best to put me off paper chains in the sitting-room when I was a kid).
And to give it the Disney touch, if you haven't set out any bird-feeders yet, now's the time to tempt robins to come in and complete the festive picture.
It might be white
I'm a sucker for snow, though I now add the qualification (age and experience, sigh!) of, "So long as it doesn't hang around". It is the perfect finishing touch, though, and will work off some juvenile energy. Gather a few accessories for the kids to use if the white stuff arrives - a small snow shovel will get them thinking, and a box of old gloves, hats and scarves will be handy to decorate old Frosty.
Ideas on Pinterest
I've neglected Pinterest lately, because once I'm on, I know I'm on for far too long, but I couldn't resist having a look for more inspiration. Christmas Garden Inspiration is one of the boards I share with others and I've found some lovely ideas for garden decoration on boards from Luci Cross and Earthworm Technologies. And just for a blast of festive snow fest, Sandra Strand gives you all you want.
What do you do in the garden at Christmas?
In association with Cocklestorm, fencing and garden timber supplier.