Themes for Holiday Decorating

What would a holiday be without a feast? Good food is a central part of any celebration, but not all decorators realize they can get ideas for their holiday decorating from what they have in the kitchen. Fresh herbs, dried or preserved fruits or even artificial food items can be combined with a few garden supplies to make wonderful decorating schemes from Halloween through New Year's. After all, what would Christmas be without some charming cookies and a gingerbread house or two? Before family and guests eat up all the supplies, however, better set some aside for holiday decorating!

Virtually any holiday can benefit from a candy tree. Whether it's miniature dark chocolate bars for Halloween, wrapped butterscotch candies for Thanksgiving or perky peppermints for Christmas, a candy tree is easy to make and fun to display. Simply purchase a foam cone of any size from a craft supply store and attach the preferred candy to the foam with pins. (Pins are safer than using a hot glue gun, which could cause the candy to melt). If the ingredients of this decoration start disappearing, just keep turning it to hide the bare spots, or add more candy!

Wrapped hard candies and candy canes - a classic Christmas treat! -- can be used to make garlands and wreaths. Or consider filling colored cellophane bags with candies, then tying them with ribbon and hanging them from the tree. This kind of decoration also can be grouped together as a centerpiece for the dining table, or as a display on a mantle or shelf. Consider adding some small area rugs in colors that complement the candy, such as yellow rugs or red rugs, to carry this theme throughout the room. Christmas cookies are another charming way to decorate for the holidays. Bake and decorate a batch of holiday cookies in any preferred shape, allow them to dry for a day or two and then coat them on both sides with clear varnish. Once prepared in this way, cookies can be hung on the Christmas tree with ribbon, strung together to make garlands, or glued together to make a cookie wreath.

Rolls or mini-loaves are another comestible from the kitchen that works beautifully as a food-themed decoration. Dry and preserve some baked goods, again coating both sides with clear varnish. Use a skewer to make holes in some and tie them up with ribbons as decorations.

Lovers of morning coffee or teatime will enjoy have a tea party them for holiday decorating. Look for a discarded child's tea party set at a local thrift store, or purchase one at a discount store. Glue tiny cups to saucers using a hot glue gun, attach a ribbon and hang the set on the tree. Don't forget to glue together and hang up the teapot or coffee pot as well! Augment this theme by attaching small toy teaspoons to tea bags and hang these as well. Either authentic tea or herbal teas will give off wonderful aromas.

Finally, a Christmas decorating theme using fruit is an easy and natural way to decorate for the holidays. Decorators can choose from realistic-looking garlands or individual fruits to create displays or adorn a tree. Raffia or ribbons can serve to tie fruits together or to adorn baskets. In warmer climes of the north and the Global South, consider using citrus fruits for decorations to give the holiday a bright, sunny theme.


Fran is an expert contributing author happy sharing her ideas about home decorating with Christmas themes. She loves using red area rugs and yellow area rugs on floors to bring life to the room.

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