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40 Christmas Decorating Ideas That Will Bring Joy To Your Home

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40 Christmas Decorating Ideas That Will Bring Joy To Your Home

Christmas is right around the corner and with it come trees and ribbons and ornaments and lights and … oh goodness, what are you supposed to do with it all? Don’t let stress over Christmas decorating make you lose the Christmas spirit. Here are 40 Christmas decorating ideas that will bring joy to your home this holiday season.

1. Incorporate lanterns into your design.

You can use put candles inside or (as shown below) fill them with ornaments and lights for extra holiday spirit.

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    2. Embrace different color schemes.

    Holiday decorating isn’t restricted to just red and green. Try out different color schemes that are still festive but refreshingly unique.

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      3. Make a banner for your fireplace.

      You can use paper or fabric, but making a simple banner to hang over your mantel adds a special homemade touch.

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        4. Add natural elements to your design.

        Incorporating pine cones and other rustic elements into holiday décor make for a homey, wholesome feeling.

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          5. Get crafty with the kids.

          The holidays are about family and what better way to emphasize that than having your little ones help out with decorating? This reindeer craft is an adorable example.

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            6. Make an ornament wall.

            Talk about a conversation piece! And all you need is ribbon, ornaments, and a staple gun. It’s a bit time-consuming, but the result is a contemporary holiday piece.

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              7. Use old Christmas cards.

              Not sure what to do with all of those old Christmas cards? Make yourself an adorable holiday collage.

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                8. Use pictures instead of name tags on your presents.

                This is a small, personal addition that will make your presents a design element and touch your loved ones this holiday season.

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                  9. Fill your apothecary jars with Christmas goodies.

                  A simple and affordable way to put a “holiday spin” on items that are already sitting around your home.

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                    10. Put your stockings in different places.

                    For Christmas dinner, you can put your family members’ stockings on their respective chairs. Or, consider putting them on your entryway staircase. The options are endless!

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                      11. Try an alternative Christmas tree.

                      If you are in a smaller space, allergic to pine, or just want to try something different, consider a modern take (like this driftwood option) on your holiday tree.

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                        12. Add subtle holiday elements that match your room’s preexisting color scheme.

                        For a more understated (but still festive) design, use colors already found in your space.

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                          13. Make ornaments from your favorite holiday book or sheet music.

                          Use papier-mâché and a little bit of glitter to create a truly unique ornament for your tree.

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                            14. Use mason jars for a rustic holiday theme.

                            Mason jars are an adorable and cheap addition to your design. You can fill the bottom with Epsom salt to look like snow, like in this example.

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                              15. Make your fridge a snowman.

                              Super easy and super cute—this little addition will make both kids and adults smile.

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                                16. Use Christmas music as design inspiration.

                                What are the holidays without some Christmas carols? If you are a musically-inclined family, use your instruments to create a beautiful metallic mantel display.

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                                  17. Turn your stockings into silverware holders.

                                  You can either knit some up on your own or purchase pre-made mini ones. Either way, you have a creative addition to your Christmas table.

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                                    18. Fill your wreath with pine cones.

                                    Green wreaths aren’t the only way to go. Shake things up (in a good way!) by adding more natural elements, like pine cones and berries, into your wreath.

                                    Source--Originally found on Etsy from user BarefootPearl
                                      Source–Originally found on Etsy from Barefoot Pearl

                                      19. Put your candy canes to use!

                                      The candy cane has become an instantly recognizable symbol of Christmastime. Hang them above your windows for a quirky, sweet holiday design.

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                                        20. Use extra ornaments for a modern take on wreaths.

                                        You can use whatever color or size of ornaments match your design.

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                                          21. Make your own Advent wreath.

                                          While there is nothing wrong with the traditional design, incorporating your personal design to the wreath can make it extra special. This one made from pottery candle holders is lovely.

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                                            22. Find inspiration from your location.

                                            Whether you are from the outback of Australia or the beaches of Florida, use your surroundings in your design. For example, this beautiful tree was inspired by the coast.

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                                              23. Scatter “presents” around your home.

                                              A super easy and cost-friendly option to spread a little Christmas cheer. You can use leftover boxes from your Christmas shopping.

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                                                24. Decorate white ornaments as “snowmen” and use as a cute centerpiece.

                                                Another easy craft that your kids will also enjoy.

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                                                  25. Birch wood is a beautiful design element.

                                                  Touches of birch wood, like in this example, bring a woodsy, cabin-like feel to your Christmas decorations. Don’t you just want to curl up around the fireplace?

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                                                    26. Pair vibrant wreaths with graphic pieces for a contemporary mantel.

                                                    Limit your color scheme to two or three colors and choose elements with clean lines to create a truly unique holiday display.

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                                                      27. Make a “hot cocoa bar.”

                                                      There’s nothing like a delicious, warm cup of hot chocolate around Christmastime. Find inspiration from this absolutely beautiful setup.

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                                                        28. If you have shutters, fill the slits with garland.

                                                        Use the architectural elements of your home to your decorating advantage.

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                                                          29. Create a life-size, interactive Christmas calendar.

                                                          As much as I like those pop-out chocolate cardboard calendars, there’s something fun about this display. Fill each bag with a special Christmas treat—your kids will love it!

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                                                            30. Use your holiday cards to make a Christmas tree.

                                                            Another easy way to display this year’s Christmas cards. All you have to do is tape them to the wall!

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                                                              31. Turn pine cones into mini trees.

                                                              Stick a star on top and place the pine cone into candle holders to create a lovely table centerpiece.

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                                                                32. Decorate your piano.

                                                                Drape some garland over the top of your piano or set up a Christmas village display and you have a Christmas-carol-ready instrument!

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                                                                  33. Hang ornaments from your windows with matching ribbons.

                                                                  A simple way to add a bit of holiday whimsy to your window treatments.

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                                                                    34. Add holiday-inspired pillows to your home’s seating areas.

                                                                    Whip up a few slipcovers to throw on pillows for your couches, chairs, etc. You can even add some to your mudroom like in the adorable example below!

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                                                                      35. Don’t forget to decorate the inside of your front door!

                                                                      Many people put garland around the outside, but why not add a bit of zest to the inside as well? Now you can remind people of the holiday spirit as they come and go!

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                                                                        36. Surprise your guests with a decorated headboard.

                                                                        Put your visitors in the Christmas mood by adding a bit of garland or Christmas lights to the headboard. You can even throw on a personalized stocking to make them feel right at home.

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                                                                          37. Bring Christmas to the kitchen.

                                                                          I don’t know about your family, but mine spends a lot of time in the kitchen during the holidays. Buy a small Christmas tree for your kitchen island or hang wreaths from your cabinets.

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                                                                            38. There is such a thing as elegant cut-out snowflakes.

                                                                            Cutting out snowflakes is no longer just for kids. Dangling a few large snowflakes above your table can be a chic and beautiful option.

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                                                                              39. Use your leftover wrapping paper to create a wreath.

                                                                              Follow the instructions at the source to create a truly unique and striking holiday piece.

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                                                                                40. Put presents in your unused fireplace.

                                                                                Even if you won’t be roasting chestnuts over an open fire, it doesn’t mean the space has to be neglected. Place some wrapped boxes (or suitcases, like in the picture) for a wonderfully festive display.

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                                                                                  40 Christmas Decorating Ideas That Will Bring Joy To Your Home

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                                                                                  Last Updated on January 27, 2022

                                                                                  5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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                                                                                  5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

                                                                                  Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

                                                                                  “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

                                                                                  Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

                                                                                  Food is a universal necessity.

                                                                                  It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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                                                                                  Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

                                                                                  Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

                                                                                  Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

                                                                                  Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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                                                                                  The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

                                                                                  Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

                                                                                  This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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                                                                                  Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

                                                                                  Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

                                                                                  Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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                                                                                  So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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