Decorating for the Holidays Buying Guide

We all love to decorate for the holidays, or at least enjoy the way a home decked out for the holidays makes us feel. Nothing gets you in the mood better than a beautifully decorated home to greet you and your guests. It can be a single pretty table arrangement, beautiful evergreen and berry wreath, Christmas lights, or a holiday themed centerpiece – or all of the above and much more. No matter which holiday you are celebrating: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah/The Season of Lights, or Kwanzaa - decorating for the holidays can be more than just a wreath on the door and a ribbon on the mailbox. Read on for some fun and inspirational ideas!

Each room of your house can be decorated for the holiday season, there is no reason to limit yourself to one room. Decorate in unexpected places - everyone has to use the restroom, so why not decorate the bathroom with a few holiday accessories like decorative holiday hand towels or soap dishes. Don’t forget the holiday scented hand soap! Spread the joy to the kids’ rooms even! Why not let them help decorate their rooms with a drawing on the door, some homemade paper ring garland placed about their room, or even a small Christmas tree, Kinara, or Menorah in a special place. If you don’t want to use real candles, you can always find Kinara’s or Menorah’s with electric lights instead. You might even want to consider letting them have their own small Christmas tree in their room that they can decorate like they want.

We spend most of our time in the kitchen, so why not decorate the most important room in the house? Something simple like using holiday themed kitchen towels and pot holders can make a nice statement and are a good start to decorating this room. Do you have a hanging potholder or chandelier? Wrap it with a festive ribbon that compliments your kitchen colors. Depending on your overall house décor you can even add a garland (for a traditional style), some hay colored raffia (for a folksy or country theme), or some pine tree trimmings (if you want to get more Wintery/Christmassy). If you have a cookbook stand, put a holiday cookbook on it or if you have room at a countertop end or a bar, consider a small holiday themed setting like a bowl with ornaments or a collection of holiday scented candles whose smell reminds you of baked goods.

Dining Rooms are a great space for decorating. More elaborate table displays can be placed on the dining room table—especially if you don’t use it that often. Table displays can include holiday themed candleholders, table runners, or baskets of fruit, pumpkins or ornaments. A large size dining room table can also accommodate your collection of holiday figurines. Set them up in a grouping on a decorative table runner or piece of fabric—a wonderful way to “set” the holiday mood! Speaking of settings, you could even set the table with your holiday dinnerware, festive placemats and napkins with decorative napkin rings—as if you were ready for a party! You can also decorate your chandelier as we mentioned doing in the kitchen.

The Family Room is also a place where we spend a lot of our time. Think beyond just a Christmas Tree and stockings. Decorating this room needs to be functional since it is used by every member of the family. (Keep safety in mind if you have small children or pets.) Decorations don’t need to be elaborate. A few strategically placed throw pillows, throws, or table decorations like a nativity or large ball with ornaments can go a long way in making your home feel festive.

Don’t have a lot of time to decorate separately for Thanksgiving in November and then the next holiday in December/January? Planning in advance can help you carry over to the next holiday by just adding more holiday specific décor to your already decorated house. Keep those fall leaves on the table and add red, gold, and green Christmas ornaments among the leaves. Or, you could decorate for Thanksgiving with blues and silvers so that your Hanukah decorations just fit right in…the possibilities are endless if you plan ahead.

Decorating on a budget? Use items you already have! Here’s a list of some things you may already have that are great for use in holiday decorating and can be combined with store-bought items for a great impact:

Books – You might have some Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa books stored away. Get them out and use their festive covers for decorating! Stand up some holiday-themed books on the fireplace mantle, or place a stack of the books near seating so they’re handy to read. Smaller books can be used on tables as part of a centerpiece.

Leaves From your yard – make sure they’re clean and dry and you can place the leaves on tables around some candleholders or place a bunch in a large glass container. Have some waxed paper? Place leaves in-between two pieces like a sandwich and place the sandwich in-between some plain paper (this is important so you don’t get wax on your iron) and iron them to flatten the leaves. Peel off the wax paper and the leaves will have a waxy coating that will make them keep their beautiful fall color longer before they dry up and turn brown. You can even spray paint them to fit your décor.

Branches from your yard – Carefully use some garden shears to cut branches from interesting trees or bushes (be careful how you cut because you don’t want to create noticeable bare spots in the plants come spring when they start blooming!) Place the branches in large heavy jugs or vases (that are heavy enough to hold them without toppling over) with some water. You can use branches that have berries or fall foliage still on them for an extra punch!

Fabric – Have a stash of fabric in colors that fit your décor or with holiday themes on them? Use the fabric under a centerpiece to add a bit of interest, fold it so you don’t see the raw edges (no sew!), fold it long-ways for a table runner, or you can even wrap a small piece around a jar and tie with a ribbon for a decorative flower vase.

Candles – Add holiday ribbon around your candles and tie with a bow or cut the ribbon so it fits around the candle and hot glue the ends together. Place the candles on a pretty dish or serving tray in a large group for a pretty centerpiece. You can even place small ornaments around the tray for more decoration or, pour a bag of dried beans (white, or red, or even green split peas!) around the candles for color and texture.

Have a specific color in mind when decorating for the holidays? Use it as your theme and group items in that color together for display. Your theme color might be red—you could group some red books stacked on each other with a red tin pail and some red gloves in an artful display that evokes the winter…

Decorating for the holidays is a great way to get everyone in the household in the mood for celebration. There are so many ways to decorate, whether you buy your decorations or use items you already have, or a little of both. Find your inspiration and go with it!