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How to Decorate for Christmas

Wondering how to decorate for Christmas? We're here to help you deck the halls—while staying true to your budget and style.

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Classic vintage nutcracker on New Year backgroundJasminkaM/Shutterstock

Go nuts!

For a retro look, break out the nutcrackers. These cute collectibles pair well with a variety of other holiday decor, and they can be found in various shapes, sizes and designs. This silver and gold solider, for example, pairs well with the metallic lanterns and frosted tree. (We love these vintage Christmas decorations, too.) If you want to make your decor sparkle even more, try out this latest trend—disco Christmas decor.

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Stick ReindeerCountry Woman

Go for a rustic look

Natural details—like wood, pine boughs and holly sprigs—are perfect for holiday decor. We love this cute little deer family made with twigs and wood scraps. And, since they’re not overly seasonal, they can stay up all winter long! Speaking of winter, these are the top seasonal recipes from every state. 

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Luxurious, light interior in Scandinavian style with a frame with an inscription decorated with a Christmas tree, sheep skin and pillows.Sergey Mikheev/Shutterstock

Capture a quote

Whether it’s a popular song lyric or a sound bite from your favorite holiday movie, you can’t go wrong with a Christmas quote. Display it on a chalkboard ($50) for all to see. (And keep the change, ya filthy animal!) Next, check out genius gifts inspired by your fave Christmas movies.

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Santa table settingTaste of Home

Have a theme in mind

Planning a holiday meal? Give your table a theme! We love this idea for a Santa brunch that incorporates red napkins, gold silverware and a big black belt buckle crafted from ribbon and glitter paper. Here are 50 festive Christmas brunch recipes St. Nick would approve of.

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Paper wreath craftTaste of Home

Make it merry

Holiday decor doesn’t have to break the bank. You can make a lot of gorgeous pieces with craft supplies and a little elbow grease. This paper wreath, for example, was DIY-ed with patterned scrapbook paper. ($7) These wreath-shaped treats are equally impressive.

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Beautiful Christmas table setting;Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Overload on ornaments

Of course, one of our favorite things to do every Christmas is hanging ornaments on the tree (and here’s how to hang them without using the metal hooks). But that’s not the only place you can use ’em! Pile them in bowls, vases and other vessels for an oh-so-easy centerpiece. Pick up shatterproof ornaments for this task, though—because no one wants to pry tiny shards of glass out of their carpeting. Check out these fun foodie ornaments, too! Oh and, take your decor from merry to magical with this animated tree topper.

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Luxury living room interior with sofa decorated chic Christmas tree, gifts, plaid and pillowsSergey Mikheev/Shutterstock

Get pretty in pink

Sure, red and green are the classic Christmas colors. But feel free to branch out and design your decor around another hue. We’re obsessed with this soft pink theme, but blue, maroon or purple can be equally stunning. Get 45 pretty pink recipes here.

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Gingerbread housesTaste of Home

Whip up some jolly gingerbread

Hold up—decor that’s actually edible? Yep! Festive gingerbread houses are the perfect accessory for your holiday buffet table. (And they make a delicious post-party snack for the host.) Here’s everything you need to know about making and decorating gingerbread.

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Christmas or new year decoration on modern wooden coffee table.Nina Buday/Shutterstock

Keep it cozy

Even if the weather outside isn’t frightful, we still encourage you to make your home a chic, cozy space. After all, what’s more relaxing than cuddling up next to the tree with a steamy mug of cocoa? Stock your space with festive throw blankets, twinkle lights, candles and anything else that can help set a hygge mood. A perfect place to start is with Homegoods Christmas decor.

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Interior light grey kitchen and red christmas decorFusionstudio/Shutterstock

Dress up your kitchen

Between baking cookies and whipping up a ham dinner, we know you’re going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this holiday season. Cheer up your space with Christmas linens, mugs, dinnerware and even a strand of garland!

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christmas decor kitchen table.Ulza/Shutterstock

Bring the outdoors in

Even if you don’t have a real tree, you can still enjoy the heavenly scent of fresh pine boughs. Add in some pinecones, cranberry branches and other rustic elements and you’ve got yourself some super-simple (and super-cheap!) decor. If you suffer from allergies, recreate this look with foliage items from your local craft store. Michael’s has a great selection. You can reuse fall mums for Christmas decorations.

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Table served for Christmas dinner in living roomPixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Make merry with metals

Metals make decorating so easy. You can opt for a monochromatic design (like this silver tablescape), or mix and match for an ultra-glitzy look. Impress your guests with a jaw-dropping menu, too. 

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New year winter home interior decor.Nesolenaya Alexandra/Shutterstock

Consider minimal touches

Don’t feel like your holiday decorations have to be over-the-top. Minimal touches—like a strand of lights, a simple greenery wreath ($15) and typography wall art—get the job done just as well.

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child's hands holding a gift from advent calendar.phBodrova/Shutterstock

Build an awesome advent calendar

A decoration and a kid-friendly activity? We’re listening. Nix the chocolate advent calendars and create a homemade one with paper bags, rope and a long stick. Hang it on your wall to double as decor.

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Place setting for Christmas in white with white Christmas treeIngrid Balabanova/Shutterstock

Create a winter wonderland

If matching colors isn’t your strong suit, pick a theme you can’t mess up: winter whites! This wonderland-inspired color scheme uses the same hue (plus a few mixed metals) to create a stunning, snow-kissed tablescape. Speaking of snow, here are 20 ways to build a snowman treat.

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Star ornament craftCountry Woman

Look for vintage details

Turn mom’s stack of old cards into a decoration. We love vintage-inspired coasters, hangers and more. You can also just pop the entire card in a frame. Speaking of vintage-inspired, you might appreciate this ceramic Christmas tree night light, too.

Psst! Check out our full list of crafts that make the most out of old Christmas cards.

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winter still life with Christmas decorations toy deer, star and gift boxesRoman Kosolapov/Shutterstock

Get glam

See ya later, singing Santas. Today’s Christmas decor is downright chic. Look for bright, shiny and glittery accents. Check out these Christmas kitchen decor ideas from our stylists.

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Christmas flower poinsettia with gift boxesPixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Add some pretty poinsettias

If you have a room that’s lacking Christmas cheer, add a poinsettia or two! These pretty plants come in many sizes and colors, and can be picked up for less than $5! (Allergies? Opt for faux!) Here are some more Christmas flowers and plants to keep spirits bright.

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Christmas table setting.AnjelikaGr/Shutterstock

String lots of lights

Want to know a secret? The easiest way to turn a plain room into a cozy space is with strings of twinkle lights. Don’t save ’em just for the tree. String your favorites over windows and doors, on mantels and through tablescapes. You can even find battery-operated versions ($16) to conserve power. Find more holiday door decorations, and don’t forget to add lights to your cookie tree, too!

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Christmas tree with blue and white toys in the interiorTatsiana Tsyhanova/Shutterstock

Have a blue Christmas

Channel your inner Elvis with this theme. Replace the traditional warm hues with cool blues and silver. Try it with the ornaments on your tree, garland and even colored lights.

Also check out these stunning nativity sets to celebrate the season.

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.