8 Tips for Outdoor Holiday Decorating


You don’t want to be the only house on the block that doesn’t look great this holiday season. Use these 8 tips to help you with your outdoor holiday decorating.

The holiday season is upon us and the weather is getting colder. Lawn and garden tools have given way to Christmas ornaments, gift wrap and artificial evergreens in most department stores. It’s time to decorate your home for the holidays, indoors and out – and if you’re the kind of person who loves getting in the holiday spirit, why wait? Use these eight tips to show off your festive spirit.

1. Choose a Focal Point

Decorating your home’s exterior, yard, flowerbeds and other outdoor space around a central focal point can help you tie everything together and build a theme for your holiday décor. Many homeowners choose their front porch or even their front door as a focal point, drawing attention to it with a nice wreath, some lights strung around the railing and perhaps an artificial outdoor tree or two.

However, that’s not your only choice. Your focal point could be a large evergreen tree in your front yard, a large statue of Santa in his sled or a nativity scene. Think about choosing a theme for your holiday decorations so everything flows together and you don’t end up buying more decorations than you need.

2. Keep It Simple

You don’t want to go all Clark Griswold with your Christmas lights. Start small, especially if you’ve never decorated the exterior of a home for the holidays before. Spend some time browsing the web for Christmas decorating ideas, and start with a manageable display. For example, just string some lights around the porch instead of lighting up the whole house. You can add to your display later or expand it next year.

3. Buy the Right Lights for Your Needs

If you’ve never purchased Christmas lights for your home before, or if it’s been a while, you may be surprised at the options available to you. There are net lights for bushes, rope lights for illuminating windows, blinking lights, multicolored lights, icicle lights and various kinds of LED lights. Figure out what kind of lights are best for the display you have in mind, as well as which lights will be the cheapest to run.

4. Shop Secondhand

Looking to decorate for less this Christmas season? Who can blame you – Christmas is already expensive enough, and surely there’s a more environmentally sustainable way to get in the holiday spirit. Fortunately, you can score piles of gently used, secondhand Christmas decorations at most thrift stores. Buy used and vintage wreaths, statues, nativity scenes and other items of holiday décor for a fraction of the retail price.

5. Play It Safe

When it comes to outdoor holiday decorating, safety is paramount. Use lights labeled with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) seal of approval and make sure they’re rated for outdoor use. Not sure about getting up on the ladder to string lights along the gutters and around windows? Hire someone to do it, or skip it altogether.

6. Ditch the Staple Gun

When it’s time to hang Christmas lights, leave the staple gun in your toolbox – that’s how your grandpa hung his lights. Electrical tape is a safe, quick and easy alternative that won’t damage your siding, shingles or fingers. It’s also great for protecting electrical connections from the elements. Use Christmas light clips to safely and easily attach lights to shingles and gutters.

7. Start at the Bottom

When decorating something tall for Christmas, such as a large tree, start at the bottom and work your way up. Use a dowel rod staked into the soil to hold an extension cord for powering your lights, and work with the lights illuminated so you can get a better sense of how the finished product will look. Get help stringing the lights around the trunk of a deciduous tree, or zigzagging them through the branches of an evergreen, adding new strings as needed.

8. Decorate Smart

Save yourself some effort and expense and only decorate parts of the yard that people will see. Have a big tree that passersby will only see one side of? Just decorate that side of the tree. You may want to skip decorating parts of the yard that aren’t visible to the public; however, if you have a back patio or deck that you plan to use throughout the Christmas season, feel free to decorate it with weather-resistant garlands, artificial trees, wreaths, lights or table arrangements.

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be a chore. With a little creativity and these helpful tips, you’ll soon have an outdoor display that will inspire neighborhood passersby to stop and admire your work. 

Ebby Halliday Sponsors the 25th Annual ‘Neath The Wreath Holiday Gift Market


It’s not officially the holiday season until you’ve shopped a Christmas market and supported small businesses! We are proud to sponsor the Junior League of Collin County’s 25th annual ‘Neath the Wreath event.

The four-day holiday gift market hosts over 13,000 shoppers and over 125 merchants from across Texas and beyond. The market features the best in unique holiday and home décor, ladies’ clothing, accessories, gifts, jewelry, children’s items, gourmet food, and more.  

Tickets are available now at neaththewreath.org or participating Market Street locations. 

As the largest fundraiser for the Junior League of Collin County, the ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market has raised over $4.4 million over the last 25 years to fund educational and community programs such as life-skills training, mentoring, literacy programs and more benefiting Collin County families. 

Ebby Halliday Acers used to live by the saying “Do something for someone every day” and at Ebby Halliday Realtors, we are proud to continue Ebby’s legacy of service to the community. 

The Junior League of Collin County – an all-female, nonprofit organization of almost 1,000 volunteers – works to disrupt the cycles of economic insecurity and family violence, and strengthen and advance women, children, and families in Collin County. To learn more, visit www.jlcollincounty.org

Ebby Halliday Realtors, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, is the leading full-service real estate company in Texas. To learn more, visit ebby.com

Spread Joy This Holiday Season


Xmas, new year and other holidays boxes. Crop, closeup

 

Holiday Hostess Gifts

Party invitations are filling calendars with the winter holidays in full swing, and gifts are in order for that hostess (or host) with the most. Draw inspiration from this smart selection of thoughtful gifts to express gratitude and cheer.

 

White Marble Monogram Boards

Whether prepping food or presenting it, this Marble Monogram Board is both versatile and stylish. The monogram adds a sweet personal touch, making it a charming and distinctive gift. Talk about serving up style.

 

Christofle espresso

Help your favorite host take coffee service to the next level with this stunning 18-karat Rose Gold Espresso Set. The sophisticated six-piece set stores in a contemporary egg-shaped case that looks lovely adorning any tabletop or coffee cart. Scooping and stirring never looked so good!

 

WHH15

Sweeten any gathering with this Signature Candle in Champagne. A fragrant, soy-based candle is the perfect gift for any hostess ready to transform a space for guests or unwind after the party in a warm bath. Cheers either way!

 

9 Rose All Day

Speaking of sweet, who wouldn’t love an assortment of gourmet treats? Sure to delight any hostess, this Rosé All Day Candy Bento Box is the best way to sample three of Sugarfina’s most popular candies with plenty to share — or just enough to enjoy alone.

 

See more gift ideas and browse luxury listings in the fall/winter 2018 issue of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine.

Celebrating the Season in DFW


Group Of Friends Drinking Mulled Wine At Christmas Market

Celebrate the holiday season in North Texas at one of these family-friendly holiday events. Happy holidays!


Christmas in the Square at Frisco Square
 –
 Until Dec. 31
Take a walk through the Frisco Square and enjoy the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. The light show runs daily from 6 to 10 p.m. and there’s an outdoor ice rink where you can skate until your heart is content.

 

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens’ The 12 Days of Christmas – Until Dec. 31
Celebrate the holidays like never before at the Dallas Arboretum’s extraordinary Christmas display. From 6 to 9 p.m. on select evenings, the Arboretum lights up with 12 elaborate Victorian-style gazebos inspired by the beloved Christmas carol. Each display is 25-feet tall and filled with beautifully detailed characters and animals.

 

Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops Concerts – Dec. 7 to 16
Complete your holiday bucket list at the DSO’s annual Christmas pops concerts featuring the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Head to the Meyerson Symphony Center to enjoy live renditions of your favorite holiday tunes.

 

Dallas Zoo Lights – Until Jan. 1
This Dallas Zoo spectacular has quickly become a must-see this season. After the animals head in for the evening, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over 1 million twinkling lights illuminating ZooNorth throughout the holiday season. Discover realistic silk-covered lanterns in the shape of your favorite animals. You’ll also enjoy entertainment by local performers, crafts and tasty winter treats, including s’mores, hot chocolate and gourmet donuts.

 

Holiday Carriage Rides – Until Dec. 30
Take a tour of Highland Park and Plano’s Deerfield neighborhood with a festive carriage ride. Whether it’s date night or fun for the whole family, a leisurely ride to look at Christmas lights is a lovely holiday tradition. Different carriages are available to accommodate your party size and budget.

 

Holidays at the Heard – Dec. 14 and 15
Enjoy the beauty of the holiday season in nature at McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., enjoy lights and holiday décor along a half-mile nature trail, or stop for a photo with Father Christmas and Mother Nature. Grab a holiday treat and enjoy live entertainment at this family-friendly holiday event.

 

Mannheim Steamroller Concert – Dec. 28
Mark your calendars for a few days after Christmas when the widely celebrated new-age music group Mannheim Steamroller takes the stage at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Tickets start at $49, and you won’t want to miss the one-night opportunity to hear your favorite modern renditions of classic Christmas tunes.

 

Panther Island Ice Skating – Until Jan. 14
Take a trip to Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink, Panther Island, to join in some “cool” holiday excitement. The rink operates seven days a week, including all holidays, and a $12 ticket includes skate rental and tax.

 

Six Flags Holiday in the Park – Until Dec. 30
Experience the magic of the holidays at Six Flags Over Texas during this year’s Holiday in the Park. Enjoy fun for the whole family with rides, story time with Mrs. Claus, live entertainment and visits with Santa.

 

Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker – Select dates in December
Take part in a beloved holiday tradition and enjoy a live performance of Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker. This age-old ballet will delight you with a story of Clara and a dreamland filled with heroic battles and sweet treats. Performances take place Dec. 7 to 24 at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall.