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Holidays 101: Nine new ways to change up your holiday and seasonal décor

Let’s be honest: Decorating your home for the holidays can be one of the most fun annual rituals there is. But while it’s very tempting to break out the same décor each year and arrange it in exactly the same way — tradition is hard to break — there are some simple ways to change it up so that the holidays take on a new, fresh feel. Prepare to wow your family, friends and guests with these creative holiday and seasonal-décor ideas.

Swap traditional colors for trendy tones

Sure, reds, greens, blues and metallics work great for the holidays, but there’s also no rule that says you have to base your holiday and seasonal décor off this palette. In fact, especially this year, bright colors will be everywhere. Get in on the trend with brightly colored baubles in pinks, purples, neons and pastels. (And, yes, you can mix some greens and reds in there, too.)

Try soothing neutrals

Bright colors not your thing? Neutral tones work beautifully for your holiday and seasonal décor. Think whites, creams, burnished silvers and light browns — and don’t be afraid to get creative with how you integrate them into your home. If you are putting up a Christmas tree, try those hues for decking it out, for a more understated feel. You can also wrap gifts in natural brown paper (it can be an environmentally friendly alternative to the gleaming stuff) and use burlap as a table runner, for example.

Find décor in nature

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, or live near a park or nature preserve, you can find amazing natural elements to create the perfect holiday and seasonal décor. Any wild plants or flowers you can find will do the trick — and will feel super-seasonal — or you can try objects such as pine cones or branches. (Just make sure it’s OK to take things from parks or preserves; rules may apply.) Arrange your finds however you feel, for example as a bouquet in a vase or as part of a wreath or table setting. Slip a pretty leaf or branch under the ribbon on your wrapped gifts.

Make a dried-citrus garland

Nothing says winter festivities like the sight — and scents! — of dried citrus. For an eco-friendly DIY decoration idea, why not try your hand at a dried citrus garland? Use whatever thread or wire you have on hand to string dried fruit slices together, then hang it from a wall, a tree, a banister — whatever works! Holiday cheer, guaranteed.

Decorate with presents

If you’re a planner when it comes to gifts — and you’ve gotten yours all wrapped and ready to go, weeks in advance — why not use those pretty presents as decoration? Far beyond just under a tree (or in a closet, away from curious eyes), gifts can brighten up your whole home when displayed on a staircase. You can also arrange them nicely on top of cabinets or in window nooks, depending on what spaces you have available in your home. (Bonus points if you stick to a color scheme where the wrapping paper and ribbons are concerned.)

Create place cards out of rosemary

If you’re looking for ways to spice up your table settings for big, celebratory meals, place cards are a perfect place to start. In keeping with the holiday spirit, we love the idea of creating mini wreaths as the bases for all your name tags. These are decorated with sprigs of rosemary, which not only look beautiful, but also lend a mouthwatering scent to your dining room. Your guests will adore them.

Hang garlands over mirrors and doorways

Garlands aren’t just for trees and stair rails! Whether you have strings of lights, faux-fir branches, tinsel or any other kind of garland, hang it over mirrors, doorways and entryways in your home. Bonus: This tip will bring holiday spirit to every room in your house, and usher in a sense of warmth and festivity that is much appreciated at this time of year.

Utilize your Christmas and holiday cards

When it comes to holiday cards, it’s tempting to think that you have one option: Display them on a mantelpiece or credenza. But, like with pretty much any holiday staple, there is room to get creative here! For instance, you could make a garland out of the cards you receive and hang it from your staircase. Another lovely idea? Hang your cards on a wall in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Hang décor from a wooden ladder

Not feeling a tree this year? A wooden ladder could do the trick — as it is one of the simplest and most unique ways to decorate your home for the holidays. Lean the ladder against a wall then hang garlands, ornaments, stockings or whatever strikes your fancy from it — it’s as simple as that! Instant holiday magic.

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