Every Christmas season, friends and neighbors talk about the beauty of our home. As you can see from the above picture, our decorations are a simple and traditional Southern farmhouse style. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be done quickly and efficiently.

Our exterior decorating consists of garland around the front porch, wide ribbon and other touches of red, wreaths on the windows, a tree on the gazebo corner of the porch, Christmas topiaries by the front door and candles in the windows. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style.

We bought the artificial garland for half price after Christmas several years ago. My husband has it labeled in large plastic containers, so he knows exactly where to start. Within 30 minutes, he has the garland in place, and I finish up with touches of red. I layer wide red ribbon on top of the garland, held in place by occasional twists of garland. At each porch post, I insert dollar store poinsettia stems and stems of red berries. At the porch steps, I wire hand-tied red bows with ribbon streamers around the stair railing.

The red tree with red lights on the gazebo corner of the porch shows up beautifully from the road so it doesn’t need ornaments. The two smaller trees flanking the larger one are old topiaries that needed to be discarded. However, I wrapped them in red dollar store tinsel and red lights and they also show up well from a distance.

Wide red velvet ribbon frames the front door, held in place with clear packing tape. I made the Christmas topiaries last year and they are assembled within minutes. You can see how I made them at https://youtu.be/sRVHGPTV2Cw .

Long strips of red velvet ribbon hold up the artificial wreaths (also over half-price) by securing them in the top frame of each window. For more color, I wired inexpensive red balls on each wreath. Candles in the windows are set in the middle of the wreaths for a final touch.

If predictions are for colder weather than normal, I might insert pine boughs or cedar in the garland to make it look fuller and more natural. In colder weather, the natural additions will last through the Christmas season. But often, we experience spells of warm weather in December, and the natural elements dry out too quickly.

All of this decorating takes less than half a day and everything was purchased at the dollar store or at least half price at a craft store. All decorations are kept in labeled large plastic containers, which were purchased at after-Christmas sales and stored in our barn. We have a system for decorating the house exterior and a system for removing and storing the decorations. Beautiful Christmas decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Keep it simple, shop the sales and develop a system for decorating and storing the decorations.