Holiday Decorating Tips

Decorating and entertaining is always an essential part of celebrating the holidays. With so many fun, creative ideas, it’s hard to choose which ones to use. Here, we’ll look at a few creative ideas you can try at home to make your Thanksgiving and Christmas more festive. We hope these will launch you into your own fun ideas for the season.


With all the many warm, earthy colors of fall, Thanksgiving almost decorates itself; the colors really lend themselves to the festivity of the season. They do the work for you! But, if you want to add to that, here are some simple suggestions for decorating your dining table that you can do yourself:

  • Making place/name cards for guests at your table:
  1. Gather some large size dry leaves, like maple or oak. With a heavy felt-tip marker, write each guest’s name on a leaf and place the leaf on the plate or charger at each seat, respectively.
  2. Do the same thing as #1 only with mini pumpkins, gourds or squash instead of leaves. Write the name on the pumpkin or squash and place it, respectively, on each plate.
  3. Buy a bag of small chalkboard easels (pick them up at a craft store such as Michaels) that normally you would use for labeling food on a buffet table. But for name card purposes, you would first glue or tape a small piece of artificial fall flowers to one top corner. Then write each guest name on a chalkboard, and again, place them, respectively, at each place setting, either on each plate or on the table above each plate. Another idea to add color if you prefer not to glue on the flowers, would be to tie some fun ribbon or raffia around the chalkboard. Or you could glue a piece of fall candy on the board. Or come up with your own fun idea!
  • Decorating the table:
  1. Gather some fall leaves and scatter them on the surface of the table, especially down the middle. But don’t overdo them; it doesn’t take much to be festive. Then add a couple festive candleholders (see #2) to the leaves. Or you can take the leaves and gently layer them in a glass vase or hurricane and set the vase among pumpkins/gourds/squash and a few additional leaves.
  2. Create a super simple decorative piece by filling a large bowl or basket with all kinds of small pumpkins, squash, and gourds – easy but makes a warm statement. Choosing the right bowl or basket is the key here. You could even place this near your front door or on the front porch to welcome visitors as they enter your home.
  3. Another idea is to use an apple corer hand tool and hollow out the center of an apple, small squash or pumpkin. Just core down through the center of it, but don’t go through the bottom. Leave at least a half an inch on the bottom. Then place a candlestick into the fruit/squash, and voile`, you have a festive candle holder. The apple corer is basically the same size as a regular candlestick, so it works perfectly. However, if you want to use a larger (wider) candle, then you would just need to hollow it wider to fit the candle you want to use.



Ah, the excitement and color of Christmas! Color is a wonderful way to bring the brilliance of the season into our homes and onto our tables. The Centerpiece is always the focal point of the table and often the topic of conversation, as well. Here are a couple ideas to start you on your merry way to a festive table:

  • Centerpieces:
  1. A fun idea for your Christmas centerpiece is to find a glass vase of any kind; it can be tall and thin or it can be potbelly style – either works fine. The style you choose will probably depend mostly on the space you have on your table. After you choose your vase, fill the vase with Christmas ball ornaments. You can use either the larger balls like 4” or you can use the smaller balls, like 2”, or a combination of both. Choose the color scheme you want to use, and gather balls with those colors. For example, you could use glittery gold balls and shiny (chrome-like) silver balls together. You could use all red balls, but use different styles and sizes of red balls. Or, you could find one type of ball you like and fill the vase with just those. You also could add some greenery in with the balls, if you so choose. Then, you can set the vase on the table, surround it with greenery and add a bow or two. It’s up to you. You can do whatever you want. That’s why it’s called creativity!
  2. You can make your centerpiece more earthy by filling a smaller glass vase or bowl with mixed nuts in the shell and adding in some dried fruit, flowers or cinnamon sticks. It brings a very warm neutral tone to the table. If you like, adding some whole cranberries will offer your centerpiece a hint of Christmas red.
  3. For a sweeter centerpiece, use a fishbowl type large wine glass or a similar bowl-type candleholder with a stem. Hang candy canes around the outside of the bowl part of the glass or candleholder, then fill the bowl with either festive candy, mints or miniature marshmallows; miniature ball ornaments; or a votive style candle. Set the container on the table and surround the base with greenery or a coordinating napkin or scarf. You could also add a festive table runner underneath or scatter a little more candy around. Again, be creative. There are no rules – just have fun!

We hope these ideas inspire you to jump in and give holiday decorating a try. You don’t have to be a professional and you don’t have to do exactly what we’ve described here. The hope is that it will start your creative juices flowing, so you can design your own festive beauty for the holidays for your own home. Happy Decorating!

Article Written By: Kim Shattell

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