How to celebrate Christmas in the Garden

Make your garden the perfect venue for a magical Christmas party with these five simple steps.

Exterior shot of a window that has Christmas decorations hung from the frame. A decorated Christmas tree is to the left of the window and Christmas lights can be seen on the wall inside the house

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Christmas is nearly here so you’re probably thinking about decorating your house for Christmas if you haven’t done it already. But have you thought about taking your Christmas celebrations into your garden as well?

Outdoor Christmas decorations have become much more extravagant over the last few years, and a simple strand of outdoor lights doesn’t really cut it any more. At the same time, we’ve turned our gardens into an extension of the living space in our homes, where we relax and entertain friends. 

It’s really easy to extend your Christmas celebrations out into the garden, here are a few things that you’ll need to consider:

A wooden bench on a porch, surrounded by Christmas trees, Christmas decorations and Christmas presents. There is a red check blanket thrown across the bench

Garden Furniture

Of course, your party guests will need somewhere to sit and relax, and you’ll also need tables to carry the festive food and drink.  Gorgeous rattan furniture looks beautiful in your garden, it’s weather-resistant (yes, even British weather!) and is also really easy to clean and maintain. 

If you need some extras, you might be able to borrow some from friends or family. Nobody will notice if things are a little mis-matched, they’ll be more bothered about having fun at your party.

Add some extra cushions and throws in festive colours and your patio or deck will be the perfect venue for your magical outdoor Christmas celebration.

White lanterns with tealights inside them, set on wooden steps covered partially with snow

Christmas Decorations

Next you need to add some Christmas magic with lots of festive decorations. So you’ll need to decide on a colour scheme for your Christmas party. 

Will you go classic with red and green, choose subtle colours like silver and ice blue, or add some energy to your Christmas party with vibrant orange and teal.

Decorating the trees, bushes and hedges in your garden with Christmas baubles and ornaments will instantly make the space feel Christmassy. You could also add some evergreen garlands to a railing around your decking or patio, which will soften the look and help to bring your winter party to life. 

You can give your outdoor planters a Christmas makeover by adding festive decorations and ribbons to give extra colour. And why not go all out with an ornamental snowman, sleigh or even Santa Claus himself!

A white garden fence decorated with evergreen garlands, red ribbons tied into bows and white Christmas lights

Festive Lighting

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without twinkling lights and when it comes to lights at your outdoor Christmas party, my rule is ‘the more the merrier’! 

You could outline your windows and doors, swathe hedges and fences with net lights, or strands of outdoor Christmas lights around railings. Glass jars filled with tiny white lights look magical, or you could put large pillar candles into hurricane lamps for a more dramatic look.

Of course, you also need to make sure that there’s enough light for everyone to see properly, but normal exterior lights can be harsh. You might like to consider switching out your usual bulbs for lower-wattage ones so that your garden is bathed in a gentle light that lets the twinkling lights shine.

And don’t forget to light paths and walkways as well. Solar lights give a gentle glow that adds atmosphere but also lets your guests see where they are walking.

Close up of a woman's hands holding red enamel mug. The mug is filled with hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows and there are two red and white stripey straws in it.

Food and Drink

Of course, every party needs food and drink, and if you’re planning a Christmas party outdoors, it’s important to get them right.

To make the most of being outdoors, you could cook food on the barbecue or let your guests toast marshmallows on skewers around the fire pit. Another great option is to serve spicy chilli or thick soups in mugs so that your guests can warm their hands on their mugs as they eat.

Setting up a makeshift bar in the garden will make it easier for guests to refresh their drinks without having to go in and out of the house. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a table set up with glasses, drinks and an ice bucket will do.

You might also like to offer some hot drinks like mulled wine, warm spiced cider or creamy hot chocolate. 

Outdoor Heating

Of course, you want the guests at your Christmas party to feel comfortable. Gas patio heaters are very effective, but they’re not very environmentally friendly and are also expensive to run. So here are some other heating options for your outdoor celebration.

As well as covering your garden furniture with throws to make it look and feel cosy, you could also provide plenty of soft, warm blankets so that your guests can grab one if they feel cold. A windbreak will help to protect your guests from any cold draughts and a shelter will protect your deck or patio from any sudden downpours.

A fire pit is a fantastic way to keep your guests feeling toasty, and it also makes a great focal point for your party. Sitting around a crackling fire with a cosy blanket will make your garden feel like a Christmas paradise!

With a little planning, you’ll find that it’s easy to transform your garden into a magical Christmas wonderland!