So I used the same "scavenge free stuff from my yard" approach to fill the flower bed by my front steps.
Ok, admittedly it took my 5 minutes and zero dollars. I wasn't trying to win any awards. But it was better than nothing.
Plus, when I added a little string of white lights and an automatic on/off timer, and I arrive home every evening to this:
Which is holiday bliss.
I was a little bummed to find that we're the only home on our new culdesac that does any holiday lights outside their house. Maybe our small little attempt at lighting this year will give our neighbors a little encouragement to try some decor of their own next year.