A typical holiday season makes everyone look forward to various things. From big meals shared with family and friends, gift-giving, holiday parties, classic Christmas music, shopping, wintry weather, and more, there’s plenty to get excited about this time of year.
If you’ve ever seen “Christmas Vacation,” then you know that Clark Griswold certainly got worked up about Christmas decorations, more specifically holiday lights. Once you look over our decorating ideas, we think you’ll be just as enthusiastic about Christmas lights, holiday decorating, and all the other things that make the holiday season so special.
Add a Scratch-Off Adventure Book to Your Mantel
Whether Santa thinks your kids have been naughty or nice this year, we suggest you get them a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. It’s full of activities that are fun for kids of all ages. No matter which adventure you scratch off, you and your family are sure to make new discoveries, share plenty of laughs, and enjoy quality time this Christmas season and beyond!
Make What’s Old New Again
Do you plan to transform your home into a winter wonderland that oozes holiday cheer? If so, we applaud your plan! Before you start your holiday decorating, take inventory of the Christmas decorations you already have. You might be surprised by all the decorations you’ve collected over the years, and you might discover that you’re tired of using the same ‘ole tree topper and lawn figurines.
Don’t despair! Get creative instead. You can breathe new life into old decorations so they look and feel as if they’re new. Here are some DIY holiday decorating ideas you can use to refresh the decorations you’ve used in years past:
- Add a colorful bow and some solar lights to an outdoor Christmas wreath
- Use sprigs of colorful herbs to brighten up a gingerbread house
- Outline your tree skirt with some fragrant eucalyptus branches
- Arrange your existing decorations so they match the color scheme of the art and furniture nearby rather than following a traditional Christmas color scheme
Create a Personalized DIY Tree Topper
Does the idea of using the same old tree topper keep you up at night and haunt your dreams during the few minutes you’re able to grab some shut-eye? If that’s the case, we suggest you make a new one.
To make one on your own, visit your local craft store and pick up some curly, shiny sticks, twine, and wire. Bundle the sticks together and tie them together at one end so that their tops flop in any and all directions like a pom-pom. Use the wire to affix your creation to the top of your Christmas tree. Use equally nifty and bright string lights and Christmas ornaments on your tree as you continue decorating.
Upgrade Your Christmas Lights
If you want your Christmas decorations to literally alight with the holiday spirit, we suggest you upgrade your Christmas lights. Replace your old lights with colorful LED string lights. Don’t just light up your tree. Consider running festive lights of all colors throughout your home.
Just be sure you get lights you can control using your smartphone. Make sure the lights you get are compatible with Twinkly Music Dongle so your kids can make your string lights “dance” to some holiday music all season long.
Ditch the Tree Skirt in Favor of a Planter or Fishbowl
Putting a skirt around the tree is traditional in many households, but it can create a trip hazard if the skirt extends into a pathway and it bunches up. To keep everyone safe and upright, why don’t you replace your skirt with a vintage planter or fishbowl? Doing so will heighten your tree, which will make cleaning any debris that falls from the tree a cinch to clean up.
Put Together a Pretty Tablescape with the Kids
Making an eye-catching tablescape doesn’t have to be a taxing endeavor. Grab a serving tray or platter, stack some Christmas ornaments on the tray, and then ask your kids to tuck some fresh greenery in the gaps between the ornaments.
Alternatively, you can cut some greenery into branches that measure 5 – 8 inches. When you’re done, ask your kids to arrange the branches so that they look like live, miniature trees. Put each “tree” into an egg cup or a short water glass that’s covered in wrapping paper. Place the trees on your platter and run a string of lights through the “forest.” The result will be an attractive centerpiece you’ll be proud to show off in your dining room during Christmas dinner.
Come Up with a Holiday Decorating Advent Calendar
Enlist the help of your significant other to create an age-appropriate holiday decorating advent calendar for your kids. Each day covered by your calendar should task your kids with a decorating chore they’ll enjoy doing as the holiday draws nearer. Once you’ve come up with at least 25 tasks your children can do on and between December 1st and Christmas day, supersize your final Advent calendar so you can hang it in a prominent location in your home so it can be one of your many holiday decorations.
Set aside some time each day for your kids to reveal their assigned tasks. Take pictures of your kids doing each chore. Have special treats lined up so they can indulge in some well-deserved sweets after they finish their daily decorating assignment. At the end of the season, you can make picture books using your photos and give one to each child.
Display Your Mini Figurines Throughout Your Home
A lot of people collect figurines, which turn into an entire Christmas village over time. If you already have a sizeable collection, consider displaying parts of it in different locations throughout your home instead of cramming the whole village on one table in a single room.
You can then connect the different parts of your holiday village with a toy train track. If some of your village is located on an upper floor, you can connect your spread-out village by converting your stairway into a chair lift for skiing villagers using garland and lift chairs made with colorful pipe cleaners, twine, and small strips of cardboard covered with some festive gift wrap.
Accent Year-Round Collections
Do you have things that you keep on display all year, such as an antique decanter and period drinking glasses? You can keep them in place and incorporate them into your Christmas decorations. One simple idea is to hang a Christmas wreath above a collection. Next, you can pick up some American cranberry bush berries to dress up your collection in red. Cranberry bunches are normally best if you want to draw the eyes of onlookers to certain pieces.
To offset the red, have your kids place some greenery in a few select vessels that are part of your collection. You can also use some garland and complementary ribbon to create a colorful endpoint that defines your collection’s border. For an added effect, make a few pinecones part of your holiday display.
What type of greenery should you use? Consider these varieties:
Slap a Bow on Hanging Lights
While some people will advise you to decorate your hanging lights with some garland and berries, we suggest you spruce up your chandeliers with bows instead. Using bows hung on the lights’ exterior cages or the wire that suspends the chandeliers overhead is a safer alternative to garland because you don’t have to twist the decoration through a given light’s cage, which could land the garland dangerously close to the bulb.
Craft a Holiday Topiary with Some Poinsettias
If you already have an ivy topiary, you can use it as the base for a holiday topiary. Get some poinsettias and cut off the large blooms, leaving around six inches of stem attached to each one. Sear the stems using the flame of a candle until the stems turn black. Have your kids insert the large blooms into florist tubes near the base of your topiary. Repeat the process with your medium and small blooms as your children work their way up the topiary until it’s completely covered with poinsettias.
Once all the poinsettias are in position, move your topiary to a spot that sees high foot traffic so it can ignite the holiday spirit in everyone who passes it by. To make your decorative topiary last, remember to refresh the water supply in the florist tubes every few days.
Bring Wintry Weather Inside
Depending on where you live, you may have to deal with snow, ice, frost, and blustery winds during the holiday season. While you may not want the actual elements inside, you can make facsimiles of them to transform your home into a winter wonderland.
You can use a sound machine to mimic the sound of the wind. Ask your kids to make some Christmas crafts like snowflakes made with white paper and scissors. You can run string through the holes they cut out and hang the snowflakes all over. Instruct your kids to make snowballs using cotton balls and leave stacks of them in strategic places so it looks as if a snowball fight could break out at a moment’s notice.
The possibilities for bringing faux wintry weather into your home are nearly endless. For more ideas, ask your kids for some suggestions. If they can’t think of anything off the tops of their heads, encourage them to research Christmas decoration ideas that portray winter weather indoors online.
Recreate Snow Days Using Apothecary Jars
If you want to do some Christmas crafts with your kids, you can do so with just a few supplies. Pick up some apothecary jars, a few toy reindeer, a can of gold paint, a container of Epsom salt, and a couple of bottle brush trees. Before you involve your children, spray-paint the toy deer gold and let them dry.
Once the paint on the deer has dried, put all the supplies on a table and give each child an apothecary jar. Instruct your children to:
- Pour Epsom salt into their jars so it looks like a snow-covered field
- Place a few deer and some bottle brush trees in their jars
- Reposition some of the salt so it looks as if the “snow” has mounded in a few places
- Put the lids back on their jars
As you’ll see, each jar will be an enviable representation of an idyllic winter day. Once they’re done, you can use the DIY Christmas creations as holiday decorations. You can make the jars even more eye-appealing by wrapping the lid of each jar with a small piece of burlap so it hangs just slightly over the container’s glass.
Hang Stockings with Oversized Candy Canes
Rather than hang your stocking the way you always have, consider spicing things up this year. You can order oversized hangers in the form of candy canes from Amazon and use them to hang your family’s stockings along your mantel. The candy canes will be eye-catching on their own, but they’ll be even more so once your family members hang their stockings on them.
Wrap Faux Gifts and Your Front Door
No list of decorating ideas would be complete without recommending that you wrap your front door with some holiday-themed gift wrap. Similarly, you should use some colorful wrapping paper to wrap some fake gifts so the space under your Christmas tree doesn’t look depressingly barren in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There’s no reason to stick with wrapping that shows off traditional Christmas colors exclusively. You can also use paper that matches your home décor.
Wrapping paper isn’t your only choice for wrapping faux gifts or your front door. You can use other materials, such as aluminum or gold foil, sheer wrap, or even burlap if you want to create an old-timey look.
Of course, wrapping anything may go against the grain of your Christmas decorations if you’re not a talented wrapper. A lack of wrapping skills isn’t a reason to give up on this holiday decorating idea, however. That’s because you can take a gift-wrapping tutorial online. You can even have your gift-wrapping-challenged children take the tutorial with you.
Craft a Homemade Holiday Wreath
Wreaths made with natural materials only last one season before they end up in a landfill. If you want to make a reusable holiday wreath, you can do so with some red and green sandwich bags. Get a wire hanger and shape it into a circle while leaving the handle intact. Slice off the resealable portions of the bags and then cut them along their sides.
Tell your kids to tie the spliced bags in knots along the round portion of the hanger, alternating red and green bags. When your children finish, you’ll have a festive wreath that will last for years to come.
Dress Up Your Holiday Table
This time of year is a wonderful time to keep your holiday table dressed up, even when you’re between meals. Have your kids pick out some mismatched table settings and order them online along with a pattern-packed table overlay. Cover your table with your holiday tablecloth and then put the table settings into position.
Put out some small bowls filled with cinnamon candies, too. Get some red carnations from the local grocery store or a nursery and use them as the centerpiece on your festive tabletop.
Incorporate Fragrant Décor
You can even incorporate some fragrant décor into your dining area. For example, you can get some herb sprigs, tie them together with string, and hang them upside down on the backs of your dining room or kitchen chairs.
What are some sprigs that will go well together? Here are a few that complement each other well:
- Bay leaf
Your bundles of herb sprigs will eventually dry out. That’s okay, however, because you can still use them to season a holiday meal when they’re no longer fresh, which means you can repurpose these fragrant Christmas decorations instead of wasting them.
Spruce Up Your Front Porch
If you want to spruce up your front porch without breaking a sweat, you’ll appreciate this decorating idea. Visit a nursery and pick up two seven-gallon magnolias and two ornamental planters. When you get home, place one planter on each side of your door and then replant the magnolias in the planters.
You can flush out the appearance of each plant using some spray-painted branches and some seeded eucalyptus. Red, gold, and silver are some of the colors that work well in this sort of holiday display. If you can’t find magnolias, consider another type of plant that will hold up well in wintry weather.
When the holidays are over, you can replant the magnolias in your garden or yard. By doing that, the plants will serve as year-long reminders of all the holiday fun you had.
Adorn Your Christmas Tree with Ribbons
Do you want to shake things up this year? Consider skipping the tinsel in favor of colored ribbons when you’re decorating your Christmas tree. Ribbons are readily available in a veritable rainbow of holiday colors. You can wrap the ribbons around your tree by weaving them between your tree’s branches. Alternatively, you can let the ribbons cascade downward to create a completely different visual effect.
Be sure you put the lights on your tree before you decorate it with ribbons. By stringing the lights first, you can ensure that they’ll illuminate the ribbons from behind in a pleasing manner once your Christmas tree is fully decorated.
Replace a Conventional Tree with a Wooden Alternative
If you really want to push the figurative envelope with your Christmas decorations, consider replacing your conventional Christmas tree with a wooden one. You can find a DIY Christmas tree kit on Etsy that consists of wooden dowels. This tree is a cinch to assemble with minimal effort even if you’re not known for your handyman or woman skills.
This tree is a great alternative for people who want to pull off a minimalist Christmas. You can add some garland, spray-painted branches, and ribbons to the tree to make it more festive. Of course, you can hang an ornament here and there, too.
Ensure Your Bar Cart Is Put to Good Use
Using a bar cart to serve adult beverages during the Christmas season is a good way to ensure everyone has a stout beverage in hand during holiday parties. Your cart can do more, however, if you dress your bar cart up with some holiday decorations.
What can you use to guarantee your cart will spread some holiday cheer as you dole out tasty drinks? You may want to use:
- Colorful fruits