How to Decorate Your House at Christmas

Three Methods:Traditional DecorationsOutdoor DecorationsUnique Touches

Decorating a house in anticipation of Christmas is almost as fun as opening presents on Christmas morning. Whether you're having guests over for a holiday party or you want to make your house feel cozy and festive for your family, this article explains how to show your Christmas spirit by including traditional decorations, making the outside of your house sparkle, and adding sweet touches throughout the house.

Method 1
Traditional Decorations

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    Buy or trim a Christmas tree. Many consider the tree to be the most important Christmastime decoration; if you don't do anything else, get a tree! Choose either a real tree or an artificial one. Set it up in the room where you and your family will be opening presents together on Christmas day. Decorate the tree in your personal style. Here are some festive ideas:
    • String lights on the tree. A tree lit by white or colored lights is a beautiful sight to behold during Christmas season. Small white lights are popular, but you can also buy white, blue, red, or multicolored lights to string on your tree. Start at the bottom, leaving the end of the string of lights long enough so that it reaches the closest electrical outlet. Wind the lights around the tree in a spiral pattern. Tuck the other end of the string of lights into a branch at the top of the tree.
    • Decorate with ornaments. Consider making your own ornaments using dough, buttons, or crystals to add a personal touch to your tree. You could also buy classic round baubles and ball ornaments from the store. Disperse the ornaments evenly around the tree, taking care not to leave big bare spots.
    • Decorate the tree with some garland or some popcorn chains.
    • Add a tree topper. It's traditional to place a star at the top of the tree, symbolizing the Star of David that led the three wise men to find Jesus when he was born. You could also top the tree with an angel, a snowflake, or another festive decoration.
    • Decorate around the bottom of the tree. You can purchase white fabric to drape around the tree. Sprinkle white glitter on it so it resembles freshly fallen snow. Throughout the Christmas season, place presents you intend to give people under the tree.
    • If you feel that putting and setting up the tree is a bit too much, try delegating tasks to others to help you. A party can help get the tree decorated quicker and into a more festive looking state.
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    Hang stockings. String store-bought or handmade stockings across the fireplace, over the mantle, or in another spot in the same room as the Christmas tree. Use red or green ribbon or twine to hang the stockings. Each member of the family should get his or her own stocking.
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    Don't forget the mistletoe. You might be able to find a bit of fresh mistletoe in a nursery - or even in a hardwood tree in your yard or neighborhood - but you can also buy a faux mistletoe plant to hang in a doorway in your house. Hang it from a small hook in a doorway between rooms. Tie a small red ribbon over the hook to make it look more festive. And of course, encourage people to give each other a kiss if they find themselves standing beneath the mistletoe together.
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    Hang some lights elsewhere around the house. Hang some lights at the top borders of walls where the ceiling meets the wall. If possible and if you have enough lights to do it, strand up some lights around the room you will be presenting most of the Christmas festivities in.
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    Set Up a Christmas Village, if you have a few Christmas Village houses to present to people. These houses have become a symbol of old time and years past and a representation of what Christmases gone by have been like.
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    Display a manger someplace inside the Christmas festivities room or near the Christmas tree. You may want to include baby Jesus before (if you are afraid of losing him to the original box or forgetting to place him in the cradle later), but that can be left up to you to decide.
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    Decorate some of the other rooms in your house. Hang more ornaments with paperclips on nails and screws that are only used during Christmas. Make things festive inside the house.
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    Set up a Christmas tree in a child's room, if you can be assured that they will not try to mess or play with it, or break it in any way. Some tweens and early teenagers can be trusted to not break the ornaments.
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    Display some of the Christmas cards as they arrive. Use some of supporting banisters and windows to hang the cards.
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    Set out any entryway doormats inside or outside that have a festive Christmas theme (if any special ones are present).
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    Set up a festive Christmas table centerpiece table setting and table (drapes).
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    Get some Christmas music ready to be played in stereo. Prepare some CD's or cassettes, or find stations on the computer that play solely Christmas music. There are a few Christmas stations on Pandora, iHeartRadio and Live365 that play Christmas music all year long. There are others in assorted areas of the Internet that can be found, but these are three of the more popular areas that can be trusted to play all the favorite Christmas tunes all year long.

Method 2
Outdoor Decorations

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    Decorate the door with a Christmas wreath. Most people display them. A wreath symbolizes eternity or eternal life. Buy or make a wreath made with fresh holly or sweet-smelling evergreen to hang on your front door. A wreath will make your house look welcoming to guests, and indicate to passers-by that your home has the spirit of Christmas.
    • If you want a wreath that lasts more than one season, make one out of felt or pinecones instead of fresh greens.
    • You could also buy a wreath made from wire or plastic that you can use season after season.
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    Put up outdoor lights. If you have small trees or bushes in your hard, consider getting a few strands of outdoor lights to put up. You can buy lights that are shaped like nets, which makes it easy to lay them over bushes, or go for a string of lights to wind around your outdoor vegetation. You could also use lights to frame your door or windows.
    • Consider buying decorative lights shaped like icicles to hang above your door.
    • Some lights come with timers so they'll automatically shut off after a certain time of night.
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    Create an outdoor Christmas scene. If you want to go all out, consider getting plastic or inflatable characters to place in your hard. When people drive or walk by your house, they'll stop and gaze at the pretty scene you've created. Consider the following options:
    • Set up a Nativity scene. You can simply set up statues of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, or make a more elaborate scene that includes the wise men, animals and angels.
    • Make a Santa and reindeer scene. Buy a plastic or inflatable Santa and set him up in a sleigh. For a striking touch, add eight reindeer plus a Rudolph deer with a bright red nose.
    • Create a fun winter scene. Buy a plastic or inflatable snowman, Grinch, or another Christmas character to set up in your yard. Inflatable snow globes have also become popular yard decorations in recent years.

Method 3
Unique Touches

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    Place candles in the windows. If your style is subtle and serene, consider placing an electrical candle in each window of the house. Turn them on at night so that they can be seen from outside. This is a beautiful way to decorate for Christmas without spending too much money or going overboard with big decorations.
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    Make paper snowflakes. Kids love to cut intricate snowflake patterns out of paper. Make them look even more festive by painting them with a layer of clear glue, then adding glitter. When they dry, tape them to the walls and windows using clear double-sided tape.
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    Use red and green accents. Red and green are the colors of Christmas, so anything that has this color scheme will make your house look more festive. Get creative with red and green items you already have around the house, or involve your kids by asking them to help you color some red and green decorations to hang. Here are some ideas for using red and green to accent your home:
    • Exchange your normal throw pillows for red and green pillows during the holiday season.
    • Tie red or green bows around doorknobs around the house. You can attach little Christmas bells to them as well.
    • Use red and green dishcloths to make your kitchen look Christmassy.
    • Buy a poinsettia plant to add a natural red and green element to your home.
    • Set out red and green candles on your tables and bookshelves.


  • Make sure to put away any decoration boxes that won't be used during the holiday season.
  • Make sure that exit doors to fire escape paths are never blocked by decorations. You can display paper "on" the door, but never around or at the edges of these doors.
  • Keep all wrapped presents out in sight for a few days prior to Christmas (unless little fingers tend to discover or uncover these special things. They become festive timepieces for the holidays and set the mood.
  • If you have bed wash that is festive, change the bed wash to the more festive theme.
  • Make sure that all clothes that could be laying around, are in their proper baskets. Use primarily the Christmas-themed shirts/sweatshirts/dresses (some exceptions can be made).
  • Never decorate solely around your fire plan. Keep the plan in mind though.
  • Decorate doorways that lead into your house with a tiny bit of festive popcorn strands, if you'd like. Don't ever display Christmas lights to either side of the doorway. People will still need to come through the door, and if plugged in at the time, can not only cause electrocution, but may sometimes lead to people not being able to escape quickly and cause an escape path to be blocked from a quick escape.
  • Make sure all trash is sorted into it's assorted trash bins.
  • Keep a trash container around the room you are working in, at all times. There are just sometimes when pieces go astray when you least like them to, and containers are hard to find if not closely nearby.
  • If you have a book (such as The Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St Nicholas[1]) by an anonymous source or some other popular tale that you read year in and year out to others) sitting in places around the house, display it on top of the mantle around the holidays. Set it up so it can stand up freely on it's bottom edge. If you don't have one, spend a few dollars and get a copy. Get yourself into the Christmas spirit during this time of year.
  • Try not to display decorations inside closets that won't be seen to visitors publicly.
  • Work from biggest items to smallest items first.
  • If you want your house to be at least a little bit religious, try the white lights; if you want a colorful house, use colored lights!
  • Prepare for several hours of decorating to get your house up to par, if you decorate all rooms of your house.
  • Make sure to grab chairs to use to stand on to reach hard-to-reach areas and corners.
  • Get your home ready for the holidays in terms of movies. Know the proper channels that can get you Christmas movies. Although some of the premium movie and on-demand channels like ABC Family show you a Christmas special every day of the month of December lasting up until and through the night of Christmas Day (called the 25 Days of Christmas marathon), there are others on FX and some other regional broadcast channels that show other festivities too (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) that show some of the classics too.


  • Don't overdo the decorations when it comes to decorating banisters overlooking a stairway handrail. If you have some grassy-green garland, it's okay to display one round of it, but make it so that you can still keep a firm grip on the handrail without the garland coming loose.
  • Don't completely redo the colors of the walls (in paint) just for the holidays. Painting that much for just a few days or months of the year is quite overkill and can be avoided.

Article Info

Categories: Christmas Decorations