Holiday Décor: Your Guide for Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa
One of the easiest ways to get into a festive mood is to bedeck your home with winter decorations that inspire holiday spirit. This holiday décor guide for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will help spark your creativity and share the holiday cheer with your friends, family and neighbors.
Christmas Décor Ideas
Christmas traditions are unique to every family, often passed from generation to generation. But when it comes to décor, many of them share significant similarities. Classic Christmas decorations, both for the interior and exterior of your home, include:
For many people, the Christmas tree is the most important aspect of Christmas décor. An artificial tree—whether it's green, white or metallic—is a great choice because you can use it year after year. But there's also something magical about a fresh-cut or potted tree.
Once you've picked out your tree, it's time to decorate it. While some families love an all-out approach, others like to keep things minimalistic. Christmas tree decorations include:
- Christmas lights: A string of twinkling Christmas lights can instantly warm the heart. Depending on whether your taste leans more minimalist or maximalist, consider incorporating different colors, shapes and sizes.
- Garlands: Wrap your tree with ribbon, greenery, paper-chain snowflakes or a string of jingle bells for another layer of festivity.
- Ornaments: Hangings such as candy canes, metallic balls and holiday themed trinkets are a must-have Christmas tree decoration. DIY Christmas cookies and hand-written affirmations can add a personalized touch to your holiday décor.
- Tree toppers: Stars or angels are the traditional "crown" of the Christmas tree while metallic bows compliment more modern décor themes.
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Candles & Diffusers
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Delightful treasures you'll cherish for years to come.
Trees & Trimmings
Elegant designs that are made to stand out.
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Garlands & Wreaths
Match them to your tree or go for a fun contrast.
- Greenery: Starting with a layer of evergreen bough will create a natural landscape for your mantel. Sprinkle pinecones throughout for a classic winter feel.
- Smaller accessories: Family photos, nutcrackers and candle holders are a great way to add depth and height to your mantel décor.
- Stockings: One of the most classic Christmas vignettes is stockings lining the mantel, filled with stocking stuffers, of course. Traditional Christmas stockings are usually red felt or velvet with a white top, but modern variations include metallic or textured knits.
Christmas Table Decorations
While Christmas styling ideas are top of mind, remember to consider the Christmas table decorations. Items to consider:
- Centerpieces: Staples include potted poinsettias and lighted garlands
- Festive linens: Red-and-green, wintry blue-and-silver, homey plaid
- Themed napkin rings: Classic angels, bells or snowflakes compliment a variety of place settings
- Candles: Gold or themed votives, candlesticks or a candelabra
Hanukkah Décor Ideas
Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. While some people install a "Hanukkah bush" complete with Jewish-themed ornaments, lights and tinsel, many Hanukkah decorations consist of traditional symbols that speak to the holiday more specifically, including:
- Menorahs: A menorah has nine candlesticks, eight of them representing the nights of Hanukkah and one, the Shamash, to light all the others. Some households collect Hanukkiah, or Hanukkah menorahs, and set them on tables and in the windows.
- Dreidels: A dreidel is a spinning top decorated with Hebrew letters. Legend has it that it was created as a way to teach Hebrew in secret. The letters are an acronym for "Nes gadol hayah sham," which means, "A great miracle happened here." Today, it's a popular game where the players bet for gelt (gold foil-covered coins).
Hanukkah Tabletop Decorations
To keep your table in the festive spirit, decorate it with:
- Hanukkah tablecloths, runners and napkins
- Dreidel, menorah, Hebrew letter and/or gelt table scatters
- Dreidel-shaped dishes
- Star of David candle holders
For this festival of lights, why not indulge in color-coordinated Hanukkah lights around trees, bushes or a door frame? Here are some outdoor Hanukkah decorations to look for:
- Blue LED light menorah
- Lighted Hanukkah driveway/walkway markers
- Stars of David to hang from trees
- Star of David front door wreath
- Inflatable menorahs or dreidels
- Hanukkah doormat
Kwanzaa Décor Ideas
Decorating for Kwanzaa brings rich, warm colors into the home during the winter and reminds the African diaspora of the root from which it sprang. Typical Kwanzaa decorations symbolize African cultures and include:
- Kinara: This is a Swahili word that means "candle holder." The Mishumaa Saba (black, red and green candles of the Kinara) represent both the days and the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.
- Mkeka: A woven mat that symbolizes the foundation of African tradition and history.
- Kikombe cha Umoja: The Unity Cup, filled with juice or wine, which represents unity as the basis of Kwanzaa.
- Mazao: Fruits and vegetables that represent the crops.
- Muhindi: An ear of corn for each child in the family, or one representing all children in the community.
- Zawadi: Educational gifts that speak to heritage.
Kente is the signature handwoven textile from Ghana. You can make a Kente wreath in several easy steps:
- Buy a wreath mold.
- Wrap your favorite Kente-patterned cloth around it.
- Add ears of corn.
- Add feathers.
- Add harvest-related items.
Add Kwanzaa ornaments to a Christmas tree to combine traditions. These can include:
- Kente balls
- Seven Principles
- Happy Kwanzaa
Using the black, red and green color and/or Kente cloth combination, try:
- A table runner or tablecloth
- Themed dishes
- Themed napkins, napkin holders and placecard holders
- A crop- or corn-themed centerpiece
- Color-themed candles
Here's wishing you a joyous and peaceful festive season this year—no matter how or what you're celebrating.