Readying your ranch for the holidays

There’s nothing wrong with getting into the holiday spirit if you own ranch real estate. Decorating for the holidays is a good way to foment goodwill among your local community. It’s also a great way to showcase your ranch to prospective buyers.

Often, large ranches, particularly legacy ranches, are sources of pride among locals. Working ranches provide jobs and property tax receipts that fund local services. 

They often provide local produce and meat. In many communities, large ranches provide winter habitat for game herds that are valuable to area hunters.

Sprucing up a ranch with holiday decor is a nice way of showing your community that you’re a grateful part of it. It also shows that you’re proud of your ranch and that you want it to look especially beautiful during the most festive time of the year. 


Yes, it’s an investment in time and money. But decorating your ranch has ancillary benefits that will help you if you ever decide to part with the property. And the first place to start is with the exterior. 

Tastefully hang strings of lights from the eaves of your ranch house and consider weaving lights through the trees in your forward-facing yard. Be sure to hang the lights high enough to keep wildlife from becoming tangled. 

Carefully line any front-facing fences with lights and, if the mood strikes you, garland along the tops so the ranch looks festive during the day, too. 

Stay away from the add-ons, like lighted wire deer, elk or bears. These features, while beautiful at night, pose real threats to wildlife that inevitably come into your yard to investigate. 

Be tasteful with your decor so it appeals to those driving by — particularly prospective investors. A modest holiday display will shine the light on the property, not the decor. That’s the goal you’re after. 

Once you tackle the main ranch house, consider some modest decorations for outbuildings, like barns and sheds. It may be something as simple as hanging a lighted wreath on the barn door. Or, if you want to go big, outline the structure in lights and let it light up the winter nights.


A beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the front window is the signature holiday display. It’s understated, welcoming and, when evening comes, it can be absolutely beautiful.

If you entertain during the holidays, use tasteful, somewhat neutral decor that has wide appeal and shows off the interior of the house. A traditional look is often a better look for a ranch house. 

Line the fireplace with garland and some tasteful lights, and hang those stockings, too. Make sure your holiday decor is consistent and thematically compatible. 

If you like, consider more than one Christmas tree. Perhaps your home has a formal living room, as well as an informal family room, where the decor can be a bit less structured and more personal. 

If you do entertain, always have your formal dining room ready and set for use, even if it’s just decorative. Replace everyday art with holiday imagery and scented candles. Keep the house as clean as you can while still enjoying it — you never know when a neighbor might drop by for a visit.

Show it off

Yes, it’s work to decorate a ranch property for the holidays, so don’t be afraid to show it off. Invite good friends over for a holiday party or a sit-down meal. 

Better yet, consider a front-yard bonfire and invite the whole community for hot chocolate and snacks around a warm blaze. Celebrate. Be active in your community and do everything you can to build good will. 

Eventually, your holiday decor will become “traditional” in your community, and it will help you market your ranch commodities. In time, it might also add real value to your ranch should you one day decide to sell.

Final word

Decorating ranch real estate for the holidays is a labor of love. Tasteful, understated decor will add curb appeal to your property, even if you’re not trying to sell it. 

Consistently decorating during the holidays will appeal to your neighbors and your community. It will show your fellow community members your appreciation for them, and they’ll love it every time they drive by. 

Consider, too, entertaining during the holidays. Invite good friends and neighbors. And, if you’re considering a sale at some point, don’t hesitate to invite your broker and local Realtors to a gathering. They’ll appreciate being able to see your ranch home in all its glory. 

When and if the time comes, you may already have a list of buyers lined up and ready to make an offer. 

Mostly, though, decorate your home to make it warm and welcoming during the season of good cheer. And, rather than an expense, consider it an investment, both in community goodwill and potential sale receipts should you ever wish to part with your ranch. 

We have over 30 years of experience throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and New Mexico. We know these states well, including some “undiscovered” places. We are offering best hunting ranches for sale along with other premier properties
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