9 best Christmas window decorations to help spread holiday cheer

·9-min read
The long nights don’t need to spell darkness this December  (iStock/The Independent)
The long nights don’t need to spell darkness this December (iStock/The Independent)

From stockings expertly hung on the fireplace to garlands coiled around the stairs and the illustrious tree, there’s no shortage of spots in need of embellishing come Christmas.

But there is one often-overlooked area that we’re here to remind you deserves just as much attention as the rest of your home – the windows.

A great way to connect with the outside world and show off your decorating skills to the neighbours, window decorations can help set the scene for both your family and passersby.

And, while they don’t need to be quite as extravagant as the ones you’ll find in fancy department stores like Selfridges or Harrods, there’s no reason why you can’t create a knock-their-socks-off display to suit your style.

How we tested

To help you get your home looking festive from the inside out, we tested a wide range of products, from lights and chalk pens to snowy garlands, evaluating each on price, quality and, of course, their ability to spread some cheer. That being said, we did test these on a window facing our back garden because, while we’re beyond thrilled that Christmas is almost upon us, we weren’t quite prepared to be those neighbours.

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The best window decorations for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – M&S star battery wire lights: £15, Marksandspencer.com

  • Best garland – Meri Meri gold tinsel fringe garland: £18, Merimeri.co.uk

  • Best wreath – The White Company white feather wreath: £45, Thewhitecompany.com

  • Best lanterns – Lakeland 3 LED ceramic tree lanterns Christmas decoration: £24.99, Lakeland.co.uk

  • Best snowflake-shaped decoration – Ginger Ray festive snowflake shaped garland: £5.99, Gingerray.co.uk

  • Best for creative displays – Uni-ball white liquid chalk marker pens: £15, Hobbycraft.co.uk

  • Best window stickers – Cox & Cox frosted forest window stickers: £10.50, Coxandcox.co.uk

  • Best light-up decoration – Lights 4 Fun wooden star candle bridge: £12.99, Lights4fun.co.uk

  • Best for a rustic look – Next lit Noel word: £24, Next.co.uk

M&S star battery wire lights

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Fairy lights never fail to create a sense of ambience, which is why these star-shaped ones are our top pick. Ideal if you don’t have easy access to an electricity source by your window, these lights are battery operated (two AAs are included) and feature warm white LEDs that give a cosy look to your home. Attached to a clear wire cable that measures 230cm, there are 100 lights in total, meaning they’ll fill even the largest window with a subtle glow.

And, while they only come with one static function, we loved that the lights can be set on a timer with eight hours on and 16 hours off. Effective, affordable and easy to use, they’re also great for using around the home post-Christmas – simply twine them inside lanterns or drape them over a mirror for some extra light.

Buy now £15.00, Marksandspencer.com

Meri Meri gold tinsel fringe garland

Best: Garland

Rating: 10/10

A must-have for lovers of bold and quirky design, this glorious garland will spruce up your house for Christmas and add a touch of shimmer and sparkle to your festivities. Featuring two layers of tinsel fringe, it has gold metallic thread detailing throughout as well as matching gold ribbon ties at each end, which make putting it up a breeze. The garland measures 3m long, which means it’s large enough to fit most windows and we loved that it could be reused long after Christmas has ended for other celebrations, such as birthdays. If this gold colour doesn’t quite fit your scheme, fear not, because it also comes in blue, pink, silver iridescent and, another favourite of ours, two-tone red and pink.

Buy now £18.00, Merimeri.co.uk

The White Company white feather wreath

Best: Wreath

Rating: 9/10

Thought wreaths were reserved for your front door? Think again. A classic look that never goes out of style, hanging a wreath in your window using a ribbon or piece of twine is a great way to grab the attention of passersby and this one is guaranteed to stop people in their tracks. A luxurious option, it’s made from layers of fine white feathers and acts as a beautiful finishing touch to a more minimal scheme. It works well on its own but can also be paired with other decorations and even repurposed post-Christmas to decorate other areas of your home, from above the fireplace to a bedroom wall. As it’s made from feathers, we recommend ensuring the wreath is stored carefully to keep it looking its best, year after year.

Buy now £45.00, Thewhitecompany.com

Lakeland 3 LED ceramic tree lanterns Christmas decoration

Best: Lanterns

Rating: 9/10

If you’re more of a minimalist when it comes to Christmas decorations, consider lining your window sill with a cluster of ceramic ornaments like these tree-shaped ones. Sold in a set of three – one white and two gold – they look seriously festive when arranged together and, while we love them just as they are, come nighttime you can also choose to light them up with the included warm white LEDs. The scattered star-shapes and spiralling holes cast a soft glow that can be enjoyed both inside and out.

Buy now £24.99, Lakeland.co.uk

Ginger Ray festive snowflake garland

Best: Snowflake-shaped decoration

Rating: 7/10

If you’re forever dreaming of a white Christmas, bring the beauty of a snowy scene to your windows with this festive garland. Perfect for adding a rustic feel to your display, it measures 5m in length, which should be more than enough for most windows, and is decorated with a series of different shaped snowflakes made from shimmering card. The string used to attach the snowflakes together is thin, which means they almost look as though they’re free-falling, however, this does mean the garland is prone to getting tangled, so a little extra patience is required when unpacking. We loved how this enhanced our view and, while it looks stunning on its own, it can easily be layered with other decorations, no matter your theme.

Buy now £5.99, Gingerray.co.uk

Uni-ball white liquid chalk marker pens

Best: For creative displays

Rating: 8/10

Tired of putting up the same decorations each year? Then why not get creative and truly immerse yourself in the festivities using these chalk marker pens. Available in a pack of four, each pen features a chunky 8mm chisel tip and is filled with white liquid chalk ink that can be used to write and draw on a range of non-porous surfaces, including windows. Easy to use, all you need to do is prime your pen by shaking it up and pressing the nib down onto a piece of paper repeatedly until you can see the ink flowing through – then you’re ready to go.

It takes a bit of practice to get used to drawing on a vertical, slippery surface, but we quickly managed to beautify our windows with a wintry scene of Christmas trees, snowflakes and wreaths. The best part? While the pen is rain-resistant (meaning it can be used outside or in) it can be easily wiped away using a damp cloth or mild detergent. Although we had a great time playing around with different designs, we think this would also be a really fun way to let the kids unleash their creativity.

Buy now £15.00, Hobbycraft.co.uk

Cox & Cox frosted forest window stickers

Best: Window stickers

Rating: 8/10

If you love the idea of decorating your windows with festive illustrations but don’t quite have the artistic ability required, these stickers are a brilliant alternative. Each pack contains four border stickers that can be placed side-by-side to create a continuous wintry scene showing reindeer, trees and snowfall. The stickers are made from ultra-thin, reusable vinyl that’s easy to put in position – we recommend having a bank card to hand, so you can ensure there aren’t any bubbles – and simple to remove, so don’t be afraid if you get it wrong the first time. The stickers don’t leave any marks on the windows when you do decide to take them down and, if you keep hold of the backing sheet and store them safely, they can be reused the following year.

Buy now £10.50, Coxandcox.co.uk

Lights 4 Fun wooden star candle bridge

Best: Light-up decoration

Rating: 8/10

A great way of enjoying the look of candlelight in your home without the worry of a naked flame, this candle bridge is an elegant and traditional addition to your Christmas decor. Crafted from wood, it features five star-shaped holders that each support a warm white LED candle, which help cast an atmospheric glow. The bridge is battery operated – it requires three AAs that are sold separately – which means you can pop it wherever looks best, but we recommend placing it on your windowsill so you can help spread some festive cheer. It can also be set to turn off after six hours and you can expect up to 120 hours of illumination time before the batteries will need replacing.

Buy now £12.99, Lights4fun.co.uk

Next lit Noel word

Best: For a rustic look

Rating: 8/10

A timeless decoration that can be used for many years to come, this “Noel” sign gives your window that traditional festive touch, while also looking elegant and modern thanks to the wreath-inspired design that represents the letter “o” and white LED lights that, when switched on, help to create a real grotto-style feel in your home. While we think it looks best placed in your window for all to see, it’s also great for accentuating any mantelpiece or tabletop. There’s no need to worry about finding a plug either, because the lights are powered by three AAA batteries (not included).

Buy now £24.00, Next.co.uk

The verdict: Christmas window decorations

Fairy lights never fail to do the job of creating a festive ambience and M&S’s ones were a real hit in our home. We loved the star shape, which is guaranteed to make them stand out from your neighbours’ lights, and that they come with handy features, such as a timer. They’re also really affordable and the fact they’re battery operated is a huge boon for homes short on plug sockets.

We were also impressed by Meri Meri’s gold tinsel garland, which is a great choice for alternative styling, while The White Company’s feather wreath is a must for more sophisticated setups.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on homewares and Christmas essentials, try the links below:

Complete your festive decor with the best Christmas wreaths

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