5 Ways to Add Christmas Cheer to Your Outdoor Entertaining Space

This post is sponsored by BIG W.

Being that it’s summer in Australia at Christmas time, many families spend all or part of Christmas Day outdoors. This year we will be spending the afternoon and evening at my parent’s home so when BIG W set me the challenge of sharing hints for decorating the home this Christmas, their outdoor patio seemed the logical space in need of a little Christmas cheer! Here’s how I set about the challenge…

Step 1. Decide on a colour theme

Christmas entertaining ideas- bring indoors out

I chose a silver and red theme primarily because I loved the long, red, plastic ornaments that I found at BIG W (shown above). Don’t be afraid to bring a little of the indoors outside if your outdoor entertaining area is protected from the elements. I hung silver tinsel and large, red plastic baubles in combination with those lovely long ornaments under my parent’s patio area.

Step 2. Dress the table

Christmas entertaining ideas- dress the table with ornaments

Start with a tablecloth that you love, such as the Christmas Time Tinsel Dove Tablecloth shown here. Create a simple Christmas table centrepiece (or two or even three depending upon the size of your table). I started with a large Etc Verdi bowl shaped vase and an assortment of small and medium red and silver baubles that we weren’t using on our candy coloured Christmas tree.

Step 3. Add candles

Christmas entertaining ideas- using candles

Candles are fabulous in the evening if your outdoor area is protected from the wind. I used two red pillar Waxworks Citronella candles to help discourage rogue mosquito attacks come early evening, in combination with regular white pillar candles in two different heights. It all came together thanks to a round, red plastic tray and some red and silver decorating gems (that even include sweet little transparent snowflakes).

Christmas entertaining ideas- candles

I also added three red, Christmas themed Etc Astra Candle Holders with tea light candles to a set of open shelves that my parents have in their patio area.

Christmas entertaining ideas- more candles

Step 4. Include something for the kids

Christmas entertaining ideas- lolly station for the kids

What would Christmas be for children without a candy cane or two? Presented on a tray with a glass jar of Cavendish & Harvey Fruit Candies I know of at least one little girl who will enjoy this sweet corner of the patio come Christmas evening!

Step 5. Light it up
Lights are to Christmas as butter is to bread! Each year we go looking at the homes in our neighbourhood that have been decorated with Christmas lights and sparkling Santas, reindeers, stars and all manner of Christmas cheer. And every year Immy asks if we can decorate the outside of our house with Christmas lights. It hasn’t happened yet! I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she spies the Christmas Time Indoor/Outdoor LED Santa. It might not be the whole house but it will still be special.

Christmas entertaining ideas- light it up

Santa has been joined under the patio with a Christmas Time Connectable Starter Kit (24.9metres of LED lights) and a set of Solar LED Star Garden Stakes. The Star Garden Stakes have a nice long lead so that the solar panel can be placed out in the sun, even when the stars are in the shade. Remember to test all of your lights before hanging as there is nothing more frustrating than hanging everything up and flicking the switch to find nothing happens!

You can see how I pull all of these hints together at my parent’s home in this short video…

Music source: Jingle Bell Swing (Mark Smeby) / CC BY-ND 3.0
giveaway red

One lucky Australian reader has the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to spend at BIG W this Christmas.

This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. To enter, leave a comment on this post in response to this question:

What is your favourite way to add a little decorating Christmas cheer to your home?

Open to Australian residents only. Entries close 6pm AEDST, Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013.

The fine print:
1. The competition begins at 9am AEDST, 27th November, 2013 and ends at 6pm AEDST, 3rd December, 2013.

2. Entry is open to Australian residents only.
3. Entries will be judged based on creativity and originality.
4. There one prize to be won, with a total prize pool of $100.00
5. Entry is limited to one comment per household/IP address. Please register a routinely checked email address in the email field of your entry.
6. The winner will be notified via email within 14 days of the competition closing.
7. Should the winner fail to make contact via return email within 72 hours of notification a new winner may be selected.
8. The winner’s contact details will be passed onto BIG W and the prize organised directly by them.
9. All tips and hints shared may be republished anonymously by BIG W.


  1. I like hanging a few baubles around our backyard. Makes me feel like we are surrounded by little Aussie Christmas trees.

  2. Beautiful!

    I’ve always been a stickler for waiting until Dec 1 to partake in any Christmas activities- no Chrismtas decorations, no visits to Santa etc. until December.

    That backfired last year when my newborn was in NICU until December 24. My preschooler missed out on much of the Christmas cheer.

    This year I wanted to make it up to her. I compromised and we decked out her cubby house with Christmas decorations. She’s already asking if we can do it again next year. I think a new family tradition has begun.

  3. Great ideas! I love the colour theme you chose too.
    At Christmas time I like hanging things from the ceiling, we have a heap of giant origami stars and white paper lanterns that we put in each room using 3M hooks on the roof, they always create such a nice atmosphere! I also store our girls favourite Christmas artworks from school each year in our decoration box and we hang them on the walls in the lounge like an art gallery – they love to look back on their previous pictures and they look very festive at the same time.

  4. When I was a nanny to 3 delightful artistic children I found a unique way to use all the worksheets and notes that come home from school and kindy at the end of each year. We would glue foil or old wrapping paper to the written side, then I would rule lines on the other side so the children could paint patterns in each strip. Later they would cut up the strips to form paper chains. Broken down into steps and mingled with out door play and cooking the whole activity could occupy them for the first week of the holidays, culminating in decorating their rooms with the chains. As they grew older they would be so excited about the project we would do it all in a day, putting the paper in the sun to dry the glue and paint faster. What began as a way to recycle rubbish paper and develop motor skills turned in to a tradition which I can’t wait to repeat with my own baby. Those children are now teenagers… I wonder if they will come over to help me do it all over again?

  5. I love your colour theme! We love to have lights everywhere…inside and out. We live high up on a hill so I like to think we might bring a little joy to a child who looks out their window and up at our Christmas lights! We seem to collect more each year though!
    I also love to hang decorations and ornaments made by the kids and a special few chosen from the shops each year. And one can never have to much tinsel!

  6. We wait until December 1st and I let the kiddies go crazy with decorations we love the handmade decorations the best and daddy covers the front of the house with lights all the kids in the street love watching them each night.

  7. Katherine Ryan says:

    I love to craft or sew decorations to go around my house, sometimes they’re a bit crooked or higgeldy-piggeldy but I love the character they have. This year I made a table runner and two lots of bunting in Christmas fabrics. 🙂

  8. I love how you pulled everything together in your video! We have fairy lights in our back garden all year round – I’m a sucker for fairy lights! When it comes to Christmas, I like to add little details here and there, like bells hanging from door handles, or a few baubles placed in corners of the bookshelf, or pinecones pile up in a vase. Just little pops of Christmas cheer all over the place.

  9. Racheous - Lovable Learning says:

    Our favourite way to add a little decorating Christmas cheer to our home is to hang up fairy lights and put scented candles in the living room.

    My son’s favourite decoration is our Christmas train by far!

  10. Nae peters says:

    I do up the hedges in our front yard with tinsel & lights. We also do the front of our house with decorations and get a new Christmas light every year… That way we look festive amongst our neighbours & the kids love it, especially those driving past at night making their parents stop out the front & look 🙂
    Brings a smile to my face to share it with others

  11. Nothing says Christmas cheer like a table full of food at our place 🙂 Your tips are really helpful – can’t get enough of Christmas lights. I love this season. P.S. love your video. You’ve totally got me doing the bum boogie with the music 😉 BRING ON CHRISTMAS!!! 🙂

  12. Benjamin Travia says:

    When my family erects the Christmas tree we make an occasion out of it, rather than letting it be a chore. We play classic christmas songs (some of us even sing, but not me), we drink festive beverages, eat my Mum’s classic Christmas cake and generally be jolly.

  13. Mary Preston says:

    We tend to decorate for Christmas with the philosophy that “more is more”. A rainbow of colour meets you at our home. It’s bright, cheery & certainly festive. Every decoration and child made creation is precious & brought forth each year. Memories & traditions – you can’t beat it.

  14. Ariel Richardson says:

    I love scattering wooden wall plaques in Christmasy colours featuring words of love, kindness and togetherness throughout the house.

  15. SANDY HORSFALL says:


  16. Sherry Pfeiffer says:

    1st Dec is our decorating day,
    Putting the tree up and everyone is involved,
    Carols playing in the background,
    A fun day for young and old!

  17. Judi Adams says:

    Christmas Cheer, Comes every year, Via having friends and family near, and letting them know they are dear.

  18. sabina griffiths says:

    I always burn a christmassy scented candle

  19. melanie w says:

    With the childrens homemade decorations and christmas card trees making every year different and special.

  20. I let the children run wild with their imagination, creating decorations and filling our home with Christmas delight generation after generation.

  21. Troy Simpson says:

    Since we lost a loved-one, each Christmas Eve we place outside a trail of candles, to lead her way into our home for Christmas <3

  22. Traditional Christmas carols playing softly in the background. Hearing them puts a smile on my face, and spring in my step.

  23. I love to hang mistletoe here and there, they look pretty and aren’t too ‘over done’, also providing the perfect excuse for lots of sneaky kisses when least expected.

  24. Jennifer B. says:

    Red and white frills around the dogs’ necks,
    Add that unexpected ‘joie de vive’ to the standard trimmings – without massive spending dollars!!!

    1. Jennifer B. says:

      And of course, I meant to write “DOGS’ COLLARS”! 😉

  25. Fairy lights – the only thing brighter is the smiles they generate. Magical.

  26. Racheal M says:

    The kids love making things so I usually have craft things on hand to make simple chains with loops of paper & either staples or sticky tape. We have also made “reindeer” with felt, corks & pipe cleaners. The kids do bring home Christmas craft from school, I still have pieces made by my eldest from 1994 that get hung on the tree every year. My youngest (8yrold) loves finding what’s in the Christmas box for putting up as the decorations for the holiday period.

  27. I have a cheesy but lovely Reindeer I put by the front door so he can be seen by anyone approaching He’s all white lights and his head nods. A homemade wreath of foliage and Christmas baubles hangs on my front door to welcome visitors. I love to hang the Christmas cards up on ribbon hung vertically and secured with blutack, its a tradition my Mum started and lets be honest Christmas is all about tradition and family.

  28. I love to add lots of colour! Plenty of brights and non-traditional in there beats the matchy-matchy look and makes the house feel warm and festive.

  29. Lady Tiffany says:

    Outdoors we have fairy lights
    To the littlies delights
    Inside its the biggest Christmas tree
    Over six foot three
    Santa stockings hang from the fireplace
    and shiny bells off the staircase
    You see it has to be magic and fun
    For Rudolph and Santa to come….

  30. Everything should be as clean as possible to give that extra sparkle. Whether you use brooms, brushes, water, soap, detergents or whatever, a fresh clean backdrop makes your decorations and colours POP!

  31. Every year we get the kids to decorate a bauble to add to the Christmas tree – year after year there are new baubles to add and the kids remember what they did the year before.

  32. Whacking into small lounge room, an oversized Christmas tree with lights, bells and all the trimmings!

  33. kerry santillo says:

    Decorating with everything my children have made over the years. I have macaroni decorations, baubles with their pictures on it. Its a fantastic idea and a tradition and the memories shared each christmas is wonderful.

  34. I like to make my own baubles using a foam ball, glue and lots of sequins!

  35. Tricia ( Chilli Trish on fb) says:

    First start with decorations , christmas tree, n kids…then add lots of love, happiness n helpful hands, mix in some family joy n christmas carols, an angel and many smiles…Happiness all round! Merry Christmas!

  36. Alison Budworth says:

    I work in childcare. Each year I place an assortment of materials on the collage trolley for children to freely choose from whilst making an array of Christmas decorations. I always keep one made by all of us. Each year I lovingly hang these ornaments on my tree and relive the memories of all the children and families I worked with in previous years.

  37. I think my most favourite way of adding Christmas cheer to our home is the tree. I am also planning on crocheting some bunting to hang around the place.

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