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Holiday Decorations 101

Publish Date September 28, 2023 7 Minute Read

The holiday season’s a time for gathering with friends and family. For a party host, that means turning your home into a festive gathering place. From choosing the perfect holiday party decor to arranging your family’s keepsake Christmas decorations, we have the scoop on how to get your home party ready.

Set the Scene

Before deciding on holiday decorations, you’ll want to consider the mood and atmosphere you want to create for your holiday party. You might be hosting a cozy and intimate family gathering, a formal and elegant event or a lively and festive party. This will depend largely on the size of your party as well as the guests who will be in attendance.

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme to highlight can give you a sense of direction when choosing your holiday party decorations. Create an elevated ambiance by incorporating one or more general themes that capture the spirit of the season. Abundance, wonder, peace, family and tradition are examples of themes that can be woven throughout your decor elements to create an eclectic holiday decor style. Choosing a more specific theme, like retro holiday, whimsical wonderland or white winter, can also help inform your decor choices and create a sense of continuity throughout the space.

Spruce up Your Space

Once you have decided on the mood and theme of your event, it’s time to start decorating. Here are a few ways to incorporate your holiday decorations throughout your event:

Make a Grand Entrance

Focus on the first thing your guests will see as they arrive to your holiday party. This can mean creating an awe-inspiring lawn display, choosing thoughtful front door decor or a making your foyer a little more festive, keeping your partygoers in mind. If you’re hosting an all-ages event or highlighting the child-like wonder of the holiday season, you can incorporate whimsical elements and plenty of color in your entryway to create a playful atmosphere. Multicolored lights, candy-coated color palettes and recognizable characters are great ways to bring your displays to life. Play with scale to create a larger-than-life look, using elements like oversized ornaments and presents piled high to represent the magic, joy and whimsy of the season.

Whatever mood you’re going for, concentrating your decorating efforts in your entryway will help you achieve it from the moment you greet your guests.

Aim for Abundance in Dining Areas

Want to turn your holiday dinner into a festive feast? Create a sense of abundance with your table settings, menu and food displays by thinking big. Add tall, lively centerpieces, layered textiles and plenty of decor throughout your dining area to capture the warmth and spirit of the season. Lavish charcuterie boards, plentiful buffets, indulgent desserts and cocktails are all wonderful ways to work this theme into your menu. Don’t be afraid to bring your decorations into your food displays, using elements like greenery, candlelight and seasonal fruit bowls to tie it all together.

Decorative Holiday Recipes

Trim the Tree

Whether you’re going all out with 1 tree or sprinkling smaller tree displays throughout your space, you can maximize the impact of this classic decoration with a few tree-trimming tips:

  • Choose a Central Location
    Place your tree in an area where it can be admired. Add cozy seating and conversation-starters like board games around your tree to encourage a festive mood.
  • Consider Your Themes and Color Scheme
    Whether you’re aiming for a traditional vibe with regal red and green or using metallics to achieve a magical modern look, bringing your theme and color scheme into your tree decor will maximize visual impact.
  • Make Your Tree a Treat
    With a little imagination, your Christmas tree can be more than eye candy. Adorn your tree with gingerbread men, dried fruit garland, strings of popcorn, cookie ornaments, candy canes and other confections for an unexpected dessert display.
  • Invite Guests to Decorate
    Create an ornament-making station to get your guests in on the fun. Leave a bowl of fillable ornaments out along with paper strips and pens, inviting guests to write down a favorite memory or holiday wish and place on the tree. You could also place an instant camera and some ribbon near your tree to turn this classic decoration into a fun party activity.
  • Use Fresh Firs
    Add a seasonal scent to your space by using fresh, fragrant firs when possible. If you’re decorating artificial trees, or skipping trees altogether, you can use a winter simmer pot, wax warmer or scented candles to add another layer to the party’s atmosphere.

Deck the Halls with Personal Touches

While boughs of holly, twinkly lights and mistletoe are classic ways to deck the halls, adding personal touches can add warmth and elevate your holiday decor. Here are some tips for personalizing your decorations:

  • Photo Displays
    Create a holiday gallery wall of favorite family pictures or decorate your space with a festive photo backdrop and invite guests to create new memories.
  • Handwritten Notes
    Add a sentimental touch with handwritten notes and letters. Display handwritten family recipes in the dining area or create a garland for your mantle by stringing up letters to Santa.
  • Homemade Ornaments
    Create your own ornaments or decorations to give as party favors. You can make salt dough ornaments, hand-paint ornaments or even create personalized photo ornaments.

Want to Be the Host with the Most?

Check out our holiday party blog, and visit our holiday shop for even more fresh holiday party inspiration, including meal planning, recipes and more.

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