Festive Holiday Decorating Essentials

It’s never too early to start decorating for the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the winter solstice, decorations can reflect your creativity during this festive season.

Holiday Tchotchkes

Celebrate the season with scented candles, holiday linens, stockings, bows, nutcracker soldiers, ornaments, and tinsel. A Christmas tree, lights, ribbon and garland, wreaths, candy canes, nativity scenes, and twinkly lights brighten up every room.

Bring all the holidays together by adding a menorah, dreidel, and star of David to your table, surrounded by a wreath with blue and silver candles and ornaments. Commemorating some of the other December and winter holidays teaches children more about the world around them.

Florals and Greenery

Nature provides a beautiful setting for your holiday décor, and it doesn’t cost much. Instead of buying a cut Christmas tree that you’ll have to toss after the holidays, consider a live common juniper. It’s a Colorado native tree that you can plant in the backyard after removing the decorations.

Fill a glass jar with evergreen branches and berries. Pinecones, wreaths, wooden logs, cinnamon sticks, and cranberries are sweet ways to decorate. Toss some ripe red cranberries in a glass and place it in front of a tealight. Winter flowers spice up your home with colors of the season, and you may be able to plant a few outside, too! For example, cyclamen thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. They flower in fall, winter, and spring with colors of red, pink, and white blooms. Winter honeysuckle produces lemon-scented off-white flowers. Christmas roses are frost-resistant evergreen plants that bloom in cold weather. Add a few solar lights around your light to show off the colors, and you may not need any Christmas lights.

Indoor plants such as Christmas cacti, poinsettias, and amaryllis really brighten up the holidays and will brighten spirits through the winter.


We all have those special holiday memories that must be part of the celebration every year. There are the classic movies: “The Grinch,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “A Christmas Story.” While not everyone wants to feature up a stocking-leg lamp, a few Peanuts characters, and a Rudolph add a nice touch. You can find some mementos online and some harder-to-find items in antique stores or on eBay.

Kitchen Decor

Your kitchen is a focal place, not only during the holiday season but all year long. Decorate chairs with fir branches and red ribbon. Towels, potholders, oven mitts, aprons, holiday mugs, and dishes make the season more festive. Welcome your guests into the kitchen with a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” floor mat. Keep a plate of holiday cookies on display, and don’t forget the gingerbread house! Hang garland from the ceiling and a sprig of mistletoe between doorways. Place a small decorated tree on the counter or in a corner. String a few lights underneath cabinets.

Design Schemes

Whether you see them in magazines or online, it’s easy to be attracted to design schemes staged by professional decorators. Your budget will determine how many new pieces to buy. But don’t toss out items you’ve accumulated over the years. They are a big part of your holiday season! When you spot a new decoration that tickles your creative fancy, ask yourself, “How badly do I want it, and will it really fit into the decor I already have?” Once you buy one, you’re sure to want more from the set.

Whatever you decide, make it your own. Holidays are as special as our memories and creativity. So start decking the halls!

Sophia Lopez is a home decorator and freelance writer who balances a hectic work schedule with raising four boys and a cocker spaniel.