Decorating for Christmas used to be primarily focused inside the home. We can all remember, as children, the excitement of cutting or buying a live tree, putting it into a tree stand and unpacking and installing the tree lights, garlands, tinsel, icicles, baubles, tree topper and tree skirts that completed the ritual of preparing for a family Christmas.
Some things have changed.Artificial trees, many of them pre-decorated have displaced the conventional ritual for many overstressed and time deficient parents. Christian families desiring to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas are replacing or supplementing decorated Christmas trees with Nativity displays.
Outdoor Christmas decorating used to be limited to lights on trees and a lighted plastic Santa Claus, snowman or Nativity Set. But outside the house is where some of the biggest changes have occurred. Many homeowners compete with their neighbors to create the most compelling vista on the block or in the entire suburb. These exterior decorators want to add the latest innovation in light, motion and cartoon characters in Christmas motif.
Some of the biggest and best displays have hundreds of figures and over 10,000 lights and become viewing destinations with families driving many miles, often resulting in heavy traffic and police supervision.
For those of us decorating for our own satisfaction or to meet a desire to express our Christian faith and celebrate Christmas in a simpler way, the outdoor display of a large Nativity scene meets our needs.
The use of ever larger, spot lighted Nativity Sets allow many people to put Christ back into Christmas The desire of many homeowners to present unique Christmas displays is driving greater creativity by the manufacturers. Six foot toy soldiers and nutcrackers, some lighted have added fun as well as visibility. Life size fiberglass Santa, Sleigh and reindeer, Christmas Carolers and Giant Santa and Snowmen have brought what used to be only shopping mall and commercial displays to the home.
Christmas light displays have converted completely from incandescent C-7 and mini lights to LED versions. The LED lights are available in warm and bright white and blue, greatly expanding the visual impact of the display.
Even indoor displays have become larger and in some cases, more life like. Near life size plush camels, donkeys and sheep with coats so real the animal might walk away. Large indoor Nativities in gorgeous fabric with resin faces and hands have created a whole new look for indoor decorating