Are you already feeling tired of the Christmas season even though the holiday hasn’t even happened yet? The holidays are a lot of work for such a short season of celebration. If you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor for a little bit longer why not decorate your residential community as a winter wonderland to extend the time you can leave up your decorations? We have several ideas that are simple, inexpensive and will add some festive winter cheer to your residential community.

Photo Tree IMAGE

If you have a large, open wall space and some leftover garland you can easily make a photo tree. Not only is this an inexpensive way to decorate your lobby but it’s a great way to build a sense of community within your residents by displaying family pictures.

Candy Cane Wreaths IMAGE

These adorable wreaths are not only festive but inexpensive and easy to make as well. All you need is some hot glue, ribbon and lots of candy canes. Simply use a small amount of hot glue to form the candy canes into a wreath shape. Once the glue has dried, tie some ribbon to the top and that’s it – you’re finished. Consider making one for each resident as a small holiday gift. The best part is once the holiday season is over, your residents are left with their very own edible arrangements.

Pine cone garland IMAGE

If you live in a cold weather area, chances are you’ll have plenty of pine cones to help transform your residential community into a true winter wonderland. Grab a bunch at the beginning of the season to make strings of garland to decorate your lobby. To make them look even more festive, dip them in some white paint to make them look frosted before you hot glue the pine cones onto red twine for a rustic holiday look.

Paper Plate Lollipops IMAGE

Another way to get your residents involved in creating a winter wonderland is to host a family decorating night. Invite your families to help make giant lollipop decorations to put around your residential community. Gather the following materials: white paper plates, several colors of paint, paintbrushes, ribbon, dowel rods, hot glue and cellophane. Let the children paint lollipop designs on the front and back of the paper plates. Once they’re dry, wrap the plates in cellophane hot glue the wrapped plate to a dowel rod. Tie a ribbon around the dowel rod and you’ll have festive decorations to line your sidewalk. As a fun treat, provide the kids with real lollipops as a thank you for their help decorating.

Marshmallow Snow IMAGE

Garland is a classic winter decoration. Put a fun twist on this Christmas staple by using large marshmallows. Simply know some thread or fishing line onto a sewing needle. Next, thread the large marshmallows onto the thread or fishing line until you reach your desired length of garland. To finish, simply knot the beginning and end of the line and you have beautiful marshmallow snow to hang in your windows. Residents will love this and as an added bonus it will make your lobby smell great as well.

Melted Snowman BeverageIMAGE

It’s always a good idea to have complimentary beverages in your lobby or leasing area as a simple gesture of kindness to your residents. During the winter, a fun twist on this idea is to have a “melted snowman” beverage option. It’s just a creative spin on plain old cold water but your residents, especially the children, will get a kick out of this fun drink. Simply fill a beverage dispenser with cold water and put a large carrot at the bottom. Drop in a few chunks of ice and – voila – you have a melted snowman.

The great thing about these ideas is that they’re simple, inexpensive and they offer small opportunities to involve your residents in making your community feel like a family. Also, most of these winter wonderland decorations aren’t Christmas specific which means you don’t have to rush around the day after Christmas taking everything down. Leaving the decorations up through January will add some cheer to what can otherwise be a long, cold winter.