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11 Quick and Simple Ideas to Start Decorating for the Winter Holidays

Do you get overwhelmed when you start thinking about winter decor ideas? I’ll show you 11 quick and simple tips and ideas to help put you in the holiday spirit and get you started on decorating for the winter holidays.

Winter holiday decorating: living room

When is the Right Time to Decorate for Christmas?

There seems to be somewhat of a difference of opinion when it comes to the timing of putting out your holiday decorations.

I grew up thinking that you were not allowed to decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.

It was hard to know any better. And I never questioned it. That’s what my mom did, and that’s what HER mom did.

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Winter holiday decorating: ornaments in a vintage chicken feeder

And then something happened to make me question my entire life’s winter holiday decorating philosophy.

I was introduced to the world of Instagram and blogging. And everything I ever knew when right out the door.

I felt like a serious slacker. There were these influencers (I didn’t know what an influencer was at the time) who were putting up their Christmas trees, and it wasn’t even Halloween yet.

making a Christmas wreath

When do you decorate for Christmas? I no longer have a rule. I go with the flow and make decisions on timing depending on what’s going on in my life.

So there…I am giving you permission to be your own decision-maker when it comes to all things winter holiday decorating.

Don’t you feel better? I know I do! Let’s move on.

Winter holiday decorating: cottage kitchen

11 Simple Ways to Decorate for Christmas

I’m so excited about what the holiday season has to offer.

Whether it’s listening to Christmas music, watching the glow of twinkle lights, or smelling cookies baking in the oven, there’s so much to look forward to.

But sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about all that goes into the winter holidays when it should be so much fun.

So let me make it a little easier on you. I’ll take the load off of the Christmas decor stress with these 11 quick and simple ideas to start decorating for the winter holidays.

Winter holiday decorating on open shelving

Add Some Holiday Touches to Your Open Shelving

Starting your holiday decorating is as easy as adding some greenery, pinecones, and a jar full of candy canes to your shelves for a festive touch.

Winter holiday decorating open shelving

The open shelving in my kitchen is my very favorite space to play with. And because I am a little crazy about Christmas, I’ll most likely change out the shelves a few times during the season.

I’m hoping to add a hot cocoa bar this year as well. How fun will that be???

Winter holiday decorating with mini trees

Add Festive Mini Christmas Trees

This is a no-brainer for me when it comes to winter holiday decorating. “MINI” is a word we use a lot around our 1600-square-foot home. And these smaller Christmas trees are no exception.

Winter holiday decorating: Small Christmas tree with ornaments

You can basically find a mini tree in every room in my beach cottage once I finish Christmas decorating.

I place them in baskets, crocks, galvanized buckets…the list goes on and on. Some have twinkle lights. Others have ornaments. Some are just beautifully bare.

Antique Candle Co. candles

Light Holiday Scented Candles

Candles put me in such a good mood! I’m talking lots of candles! I have my Antique Candle Co. candles lit ALL the time.

Christmas Day is a combination of fresh pine, cozy balsam, and fir, blended with a heart of cinnamon sticks, clove, and soft hints of fruit and sweet oakmoss.

Tree Farm is a nostalgic scent of crisp, freshly trimmed evergreen and Fraser fir pines, wrapped in delicate notes of winter cedarwood.

Winter holiday decorating in bedroom

Display Garlands for Christmas Decorating

Whether you put up faux or fresh green garland, this is a decor item staple when it comes to winter holiday decorating. It makes any room look festive and fabulous.

Winter holiday decorating with garlands and natural elements

The garland shown above is a bay leaf garland that was purchased at Pottery Barn years ago and is no longer available. It’s looking really tired, and I’ll most likely have to replace it next year.

Winter holiday decorating kitchen

I always love wrapping garland around the pot rack for a little extra Christmas spirit.

adding greenery to a vintage Christmas vignette

Add Greenery to Just About Anything

This is my BIGGEST AND BEST TIP for Christmas decorating. You can pretty much take a walk outside, with your clippers, and find a bundle of fresh greenery anywhere you look. I do live in the PNW, so it might be easier for me.

Christmas kitchen vignette

Of course, if you don’t have fresh greenery available or you want it to last throughout the entire winter season, you can go with an artificial greenery option.

Christmas decorative pillow

Cozy Up With Christmas Pillows

Bring out the decorative Christmas pillows for some added cozy winter decor.

I usually keep my pile of pillows more on the neutral side when winter holiday decorating, mixing in a few holiday pillows here and there.

fresh magnolia wreath with dried oranges

Hang a Christmas Wreath

Another easy way to decorate for Christmas is to hang a wreath.

There are so many different possibilities when it comes to a wreath during the holidays.

You can see the fresh magnolia wreath with dried oranges I made a couple of years ago for the winter holidays in the picture above.

How about some rustic jingle bells to get you in the mood? Or keep it simple with eucalyptus, olive branch, or boxwood. You can even add a pop of color with a wreath full of red berries.

Winter holiday decorating kitchen

Putting a wreath on a range hood is another great idea for the holidays.

Winter holiday decorating with vintage books and bright ornaments

Show Off a Vintage Vignette for Some Christmas Charm

If you visit my blog regularly you know that I am a BIG TIME vintage lover. I never really appreciated vintage decor until we moved into our 1920 home. Now it just seems like a natural fit.

Christmas vignette

Whether it’s a vintage scale, wicker basket, ironstone, or copper accessory, I love displaying my favorite pieces on shelves, tables, and countertops during the Christmas winter holiday.

Christmas kitchen vignette

winter seasonal greenery, berries and flowers in vintage galvanized bucket

Bring the Outdoors Inside with Natural Elements

Creating a simple centerpiece of seasonal greenery and flowers for the kitchen table is a perfect choice when it comes to bringing natural elements from the outdoors inside.

I found everything in this bucket at Trader Joe’s and created several arrangements.

pomegranates and nuts with greenery

Christmas ornaments in a vintage wooden crate

Dress Up Your Holiday Decor With Ornaments

There is so much more you can do with your ornaments other than hanging them from your Christmas tree.

wooden dough bowl filled with Christmas ornaments and greenery

I tend to take my extra Christmas ornaments that are left from the tree trimming and place them in wooden dough bowls and vintage wood crates.

You can also hang them from chandeliers and use them to decorate your wrapped gifts for the season.

Winter holiday decorating with twinkle lights and garland

Brighten Up Your Festive Mood With Twinkle Lights

Spreading fairy lights around your home will give your space an ambiance full of warmth and whimsy during this Christmas holiday season.

We may have cold weather on the outside but twinkle lights will make the inside of your home cozy and warm.

Winter holiday decorating living room

I hope you’ve found some winter holiday decorating ideas to use this season that will help you keep things simple and more relaxed. Wishing you the most wonderful winter and Christmas season,

I love your comments!

Until next time,

Happy Decorating!

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  1. I love how you decorate with all the little touches of greenery and mini trees! just so simple and cozy!
    I have greenery in my yard but how is the best way to keep them fresh for a while?
    thanks for sharing

  2. I love how you decorate for Christmas! simple and using what you have! I love using fresh greenery and I have it all around my home to get. But do you have a suggestion of how to keep it fresh and not to dry out so fast?
    thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas?

  3. These ideas are all so amazing, Kim! I have THE hardest time trying to decide when to put up Christmas. We usually do it early because we’re out of town for Thanksgiving but when to post it on IG is like a totally different ball of wax. Love that you’re doing your own thing each year and going with what feels right and festive. Big hugs, CoCo PS: Sharing your magnolia wreath on Friday!

  4. So many great tips, it’s hard to know even where to start! I just got my floors resurfaced in preparation for the holidays, so the natural next step is to decorate for the occasion! I absolutely loved your tip of repurposing ornaments, and also having plenty of fresh greenery around the house. Can’t wait to get started!

  5. Christmas decorations are so perfect for your cottage. I’m thinking of moving to the PNW & you decorate my house for me! LOL
    I love everything you’ve done here.

  6. Oh Kim, your home looks so lovely with the addition of some holiday cheer! Thanks for sharing it at Celebrate Your Story! Link Party. You’ve been featured this week 🙂

  7. Kim,
    Do you have a whole bunch of small tree’s or do you have a large tree combined with small ones as well.

    1. Hi there!
      My house is super small so I only have a bunch of little trees throughout the house. I was able to get a bigger faux tree in a corner in the living room this year after moving a cabinet into the hall. Yay me!

    2. What a great blog post! Keeping things simple, really helps to reduce the stress of the holidays. ????

  8. Hi Kim! You have inspired me to get things going at The Bradford House!! Love the idea of pop a little extra greenery here and there!!

  9. LOVE this post! I’ve been bringing in a few things that are Christmasy and adding them to my Thanksgiving decor, but Thanksgiving will be just the two of us so I’m about ready to head into some Holly Jolly time.

    1. Thank you Debra! It’s just the two of us this year too. I think it will take me a full week to decorate. I am so slow.

  10. I’m with you; we need some additional Christmas Cheer this year. Decorating our tree this weekend. Lots of neighbors already have their exterior Christmas lights up. Bring on the Holly Jolly!

  11. If banks for sharing. Keep the simple, natural cheer coming.

    Give us more info on the little trees, please.
    How tall is the one in the sugar bowl?
    How.do you get the sprigs to stand erect?
    Do you keep the real, tiny ones in water?

  12. Beautiful! Because of you, I’ve been decorating with more pillows, in fact for Halloween I did sew some spiderweb silip covers (covered some other pillows). This way, after Halloween we just took them off and will use the slip covers next Halloween.

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