Updated: November 2017

Outside Christmas Decorations

Decorating our home around the Christmas and New Year's holiday season has been part of the American way of life for decades. From the simple candles in the window in New England colonial homes, to the outrageous neon palm trees in Miami Beach, everyone has their own ideas about the best Christmas decorations for the yard and home. Most houses start with outdoor lights - hanging colored lights or icicle style lights from the eaves, wrapping trees and bushes in flashing colored lights, putting lighted statues of figures in the yard (Santas, deer, giant wrapped gifts, snowmen). In recent years, large inflated figures of Santa and Snowmen have shown up on a lot of lawns. The electronic moving deer are also popular. Indoors you need mantle decorations, Christmas stockings, candy canes, centerpieces, window stickers, Nativity scenes, boxes and boxes of ornaments for the tree - the list can be endless. In this guide, we'll check out some hot ideas on Christmas decor for indoors and outdoors, and find out the best online stores to buy your lights, decorations, and ornaments. Amazon is a good place to start shopping and browsing - they have an entire section devoted just to Christmas decor.

Best Christmas Decorations - Stockings

There are a bunch of different kinds of Christmas decorations, ranging from things for the tree, to wall hangings, to yard decorations, to table decorations. ChristmasDepot.com is a good place to start looking for Christmas lights and yard decorations. We liked their little battery powered sets of Christmas lights - perfect for places with no electrical outlets, whether an isolated spot in the yard, on a mantle, a table centerpiece - whatever. Powered by two D batteries, a string of 10 lights is just $3 (clear, white, or multi-color). They carry the standard styles of lights - bubble lights, candle lights ($8 for a 5 piece candle set), icicle Christmas lights, motion lights, rope lighting, etc. Their illuminated sculptures are cute, adding some fun to walls or windows. The 17" illuminated Santa face is $16, but you can get lighted candy cane yard stakes for $20, stars, snowflakes, and snowmen as well. You can even pick up a complete Santa suit if you plan on playing the jolly old man for around $200, complete with belt, boots, and gloves. They carry stars and other tree toppers as well, priced from $10 to $50 for a fancy animated ivory-colored angel. And of course no mantel is complete at Christmas time with a few Christmas stockings hanging by the fire. Apart from Amazon, you can always find seasonal decor at stores like Target or Walmart - and the good news is that simple stockings don't cost more than $10-$15, while fancier ones may set you back $30 or more. Heck, even pick one up for the dog or cat!

Inflatable Christmas Decorations

Outdoor Christmas decorations continues to grow each year in terms of money spent by Americans. Home Depot and Lowe's have seen a steady increase in sales, especially in the Christmas inflatables market. The classics like Mickey Mouse and Santa stuck in a chimney still sell well, but each year a new theme pops up and families spend big bucks on these. The Minion Bob is quite popular this year, but we still favor inflatables like snowmen, reindeer, and Santa. The only drawback to these X-mas inflatables is that they require a pump to keep them inflated. Also, if you live in a windy area of the country, be prepared to tie them down to the ground. We've seen several neighbors have to retrieve their Christmas inflatable from a neighbors yard after it blew away in the wind. Also, they don't seem to last very long - often they spring a leak after 2 or 3 years and become useless. The good news is that they are not that expensive and only becoming cheaper each year. If you like to decorate during the holidays and want to add some pizzazz to your yard, consider an inflatable.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

If you are shopping for ornaments, check out OrnamentShop.com. They've been in the ornament business for over 20 years. They have a huge variety of Christmas ornaments to choose from - angel ornaments, babys, grandparent ornaments, religious, pets, teachers, sports, you name it. For example, they have over 100 different ornaments related to job -- how about a lawyer, mechanic, or doctor ornament? That's a sampling of the variety you can find here. There are over 1000 to browse and look through. The average price of the Christmas ornaments ranges from about $7-$13.