There is no doubt that the holidays are approaching! The pool cover is on, days are getting colder and shorter, and people are hustling and bustling with their to-do lists of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. During this time, the backyard may begin to show some signs of neglect. The following tips can get you back on track to prepare your backyard for all the festivities. 

Chances are, the cooler months have left your deck or patio’s outdoor furniture, pavers, and walkways dirty. Take a power washer to remove dirt, mold, or mildew. It is also a good time to make sure the lawn is mowed and aerated. Pull all weeds, following up with a weed-killing spray. Fertilize if you think your lawn needs it, and sprinkle grass seed over any bare spots. For an even neater appearance, edge the lawn before the holidays. Trim and prune any overgrown trees and bushes. Brighten up the yard with some poinsettias—a traditional Christmas flowering plant.  

Next, check all outdoor lighting to make sure it is still in working order, and add some more festive lighting options. Hurricane lamps and lanterns are great choices—perhaps with colored light bulbs for an added holiday touch. String some Christmas lights as well if you really want to get into the holiday spirit! 

Take a close look around the perimeter of your yard. An easy way to change up the overall look of the yard is to paint the fence a new color. Make it a family affair to spend some quality time together before the holidays get hectic. Hang some garland or string some mini-lights throughout the fence for some extra flair. 

If you do not have a pagoda or tent, consider buying or renting one just in case of inclement weather. Even if it is a gorgeous day, you may have guests who want to seek some shade. Add some comfy cushions and cozy blankets so all your holiday guests are comfortable and relaxed. If you do not have a fire pit (at a safe distance from the pool), consider installing one. Make sure to have plenty of firewood.  

Now it is time to deck the yard. If you have an evergreen tree, you can turn it into an outdoor Christmas tree. String lights throughout the branches, taking care to string some of the lights among the interior and exterior branches. This will brighten the entire tree! Add ornaments that will further reflect the lights, and match the lights to the rest of your outdoor decorations. If you do not have an evergreen tree, create your own tree of lights with a basketball pole, strings of light, gutter hooks, a tree topper, and light stakes. 

Spell out a holiday message in the middle of the backyard with some mini-lights. Spaces between letters can be made with black-out caps. It is a wonderful way to greet your guests as they enter your backyard holiday paradise!