Christmas wasn’t always the decorating free-for-all that it is now. As Christmas celebrations became more elaborate in England and accepted in puritanical New England, the first decorations were rather modest. In the Victorian era, decorating for the holiday became more popular and in post-Civil War America the start of commercialism began to take root. Fast forward to today and what was once mainly limited to the dining table as a centerpiece has now filtered throughout the home. Placing holiday arrangements on shelves, mantels, table — just about anywhere — is a common practice.
As with most holiday decor, there’s an arrangement to suit every style and taste. From sweet little votive arrangements to larger, glimmering candle compositions, different sizes mean that it is possible to incorporate more than one of these decor pieces in a holiday decorating plan. We found 24 different arrangements to enliven your home for the holidays.
Some of the most popular styles include the quintessential holiday color — red. As we browsed the spectacular decor at Experience and Creative Design we discovered examples both large and small of natural arrangements all highlighted with red. There’s a reason for this: Decor that includes red is immediately associated with the Christmas holiday and moreover, it’s a natural pairing with pine boughs and other traditional greenery.
One of the ways to give an arrangement a casual feeling, as well as a touch of whimsy, is to add an animal element. Here, a stylized hen takes center stage in a natural grouping set in a wooden crate. Traditional greenery is paired with sprigs of wild red berries, giant pine cones, icy branches, and, of course, some golden eggs.
Animals rendered in natural materials like these birds fashioned from burlap are also popular. The neutral, natural feeling that comes from the burlap fabric pairs well with the red berries and pine cones. An added dose of red comes from the painted nest that holds one of the birds, next to the candle holder in the center.
A smaller version with one bird and a rope-covered votive holder is a sweet decoration that could grace just about any corner at home or your desk at work. It’s a tiny reminder of the festive season and is so darn cute!
Cardinals are one of the few birds that stick around through the winter in most areas and they are a common element in nature-inspired decor for the holidays. This arrangement pairs a candle holder that has two cardinals set in front of a bouquet of holiday greenery and berries. The two elements could be displayed separately, but together, they create an adorable set-up for a buffet or occasional table.
Candles are very common in arrangements of all sorts and they go particularly well in natural ones. This one has all the standard elements: greenery, berries, frosted pinecones and some homespun ribbon. It is all nestled around a mercury glass candle holder that adds a bit of old-fashioned bling to the decoration.
A similar composition includes a mix of greenery, a few sprigs of natural-colored berries and some pine cones. A looped red rope adds a flourish that is simple yet festive. Using several of these in a room would be a lavish touch.
A larger arrangement features a taller candle holder and a variety of greenery composed in a way that increases volume. The spiky red, glittered branches and berry sprigs also add height and volume. Just a sprinkling of shiny ball ornaments adds a touch of glitz.
Equally natural looking but devoid of the stereotypical red is this all-white arrangement that features a single slender candle. The frosty greens, white accent sprigs and small snow globe make for a charming arrangement.
Arrangements that have a rustic feeling with woodland elements are very popular for holiday decor. These are indoor reminders of the beauty of the wilderness and the life that thrives in the colder weather. A profusion of frosted greenery is highlighted with white accents, surrounding a natural twig bird’s nest, complete with the bird. It’s a cute composition that puts the focus on winter and wildlife.
A similar, but larger, arrangement features the same frosted greenery along with accent branches and mushrooms. In the midst of all the flora are two birds, one nestled in a nest and the other on the branch that serves as a base for the entire piece.
Done in the same style, this decor piece also features frosted greens and some tall mushrooms, but in this case adds a a rustic owl. The arrangement is versatile and perfect for nature lovers. This too is a piece that is appropriate for use throughout the winter.
Another rustic arrangement that is more colorful and glittery also features mushrooms. A shimmery candle holder is surrounded by greenery, branches, and glittered ornaments and leaves. A piece like this is a festive and sparkly addition to your decor for the holidays.
Or, try going totally rustic with a traditional red and green arrangement that incorporates a hand-crafted toy like this stuffed horse. Any type of hand-made item can serve as a focal point for an arrangement and add a touch of whimsy.
Of course, it would not be the holiday season without sparkle and shimmer, and for many people, glittery arrangement are a must. Whether the shine comes from glitter, lots of ornaments, gilded accents or metallic ribbons, a glitzy holiday centerpiece or arrangement will immediately put you in a festive mood.
Choosing nontraditional colors for your holiday decor can make a big impact, especially if it is a frosty and sparkling composition like this one. All centered around a stately deep blue candle holder, the profusion of flocked branches, sparkling accents and patterned ribbon make the sizable arrangement ideal as a dining table centerpiece or a focal point for an entryway console table.
It may be green but it is far from traditional: An old-fashioned lantern-shaped candle holder sits in the middle of this pale green arrangement. The hue is almost a sea green which, when combined with the frosty branch accents that make it a modern option for holiday decor. Some sprigs of greenery and large holly leaves add just enough of a typical Christmas vibe.
You might think that purple is an unusual color for holiday arrangement but its use actually has historical roots in the colors of the Advent candles that were traditionally used in the period before Christmas. In fact, those candles were purple, which means penance, and pink, the color used to symbolize rejoicing. The large hurricane in this arrangement holds a muted purple candle and sits atop a bed of glittered leaves and branches that are flocked. A few ornaments tucked in at the base add extra sparkle.
Dominated by metallic finishes, this golden arrangement is based on several types of holiday greenery with plenty of golden berries, twigs and accents. Ornaments large and small are tucked in all around. A number of them have a vintage feeling thanks to their shape and pastel colors, which go very well with the gold.
Copper is also a great metallic finish to use for holiday arrangements. A small candle sits in the middle of this monochrome design that is focused on sparkly copper elements. Traditional accents like holly leaves are coated in copper glitter and paired with ornaments of the same hue. It all makes for glitzy piece that’s a little bit different.
Amid all the glitz, trees and lights, the true meaning of Christmas can sometimes get lost, so adding an elegant arrangement can be a beautiful reminder. A heralding angel towers over this green and golden composition that is glittery yet refined. The traditional greens are accented with golden elements and a candleholder, which ties in nicely with the angel. A single pine cone adds a touch of nature that tones down the glitz of the arrangement.
Even if glitz and glimmer are not your style, it’s easy to incorporate decorations that celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday. This rustic arrangement features homespun angels that sport white burlap gowns and twig wings. Appropriately, the frosted greenery is accented with tiny cotton ball branches, pine cones, a modest votive and a bow made from natural fiber yarn.
Of course, those who like to do things differently are always on the lookout for new ways to arrange decorations and display traditional holiday elements. Here we found three novel ideas for Christmas decor.
The first uses these large, rustic hurricane lanterns to display small Christmas trees and red cardinal ornaments. These are hanging from the ceiling in a dramatic arrangement, but they would be equally beautiful arranged on a sideboard or in a grouping on the floor. These lanterns could also be filled with ornaments, candles and greenery, or other decor pieces.
While this may be a table arrangement with greenery, it is far from traditional. Instead of a candle or cluster of ornaments at the center, an oversized pearly ball is nested in the middle. Heavily flocked boughs and a few gilded leaves are included with more natural elements like pine cones, which keep the glitziness in check. This is definitely not your mother’s holiday arrangement!
Want to include a holiday arrangement on a high shelf? A low-profile arrangement can get lost when it is placed at a high level, but this novel arrangement is dramatic and definitely different. A tall, oversized silver vase holds frosted branches and flowers, but certainly not the way you would expect. The tall spray is positioned horizontally, with the focal point positioned on top of the vase and the top of the spray extending far beyond the vase. The composition draws the eye upward but does not come too close to the ceiling.
It doesn’t really matter what your tastes or preferences are — a huge variety of options exist for decorating your home for the holidays. Rustic decor for a casual family room or a dramatic and glitzy arrangement for an entryway or living room, you can have it your way. Choose whatever lifts your spirits and puts you in a festive mood!