Holiday Trends

Find out what's in for Christmas.


Break out the bows and unravel the strings of lights, it's time to start decking the halls for Christmas 2005! Looking for a little inspiration? Read on for this year's top holiday decorating and entertaining trends and steal some stylish ideas for your own home.

Red Is Still Hot!

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Classic crimson is one Christmas hue that never goes out of style. This year, though, expect to see red mixed with colors other than traditional green. Eye-catching combinations like red and purple or even red and black will be popular for 2005. Another trendy way to go red: Layer different shades -- from bright cherry to sophisticated Bordeaux -- for a dramatic monochromatic look.

Jewel Tones Are Priceless

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"People are moving away from mild tones and toward rich color," says New York City-based event planner Harriette Rose Katz. "I'm seeing a lot of jewel tones -- burgundies, purples, royal blues -- used in combination this year." Put away the pastels of seasons past and indulge in richly colored fabrics for tablecloths, tree skirts, and more.

Green Gets Fresh

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Green is a traditional holiday favorite but this year it gets a modern update. Bright, nature-inspired greens from apple to lime to kiwi are popping up in place of the more traditional deep greens of past Christmases. Pair one of these stylish green shades with red for a fun twist on tradition.

Neutrals Add Drama

Black was back in a big way on fall fashion runways and it's making its way onto the holiday scene as a striking complement to red, gold, and white. Another trendy way to use neutrals: Pair gray with white or black for a fresh look. Also, consider swapping traditional silver accents for up-to-the-minute pewter and grays.

Crafty Is Chic

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Whether you actually do-it-yourself or purchase decorations that seem like you did, the homemade look is hot for the holidays. "Items with a real American, down-home, handmade feel are very popular this year," says design pro Max Wilker. "We're seeing a lot of stitching, quilting, and appliques." Introduce a handmade quality into your decor with a quilted table runner, stockings with blanket stitching around the edges, or ornaments lovingly crafted by your kids.

Faux Snow Is the Way to Go

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Flocked trees -- those with fake "snow" blown onto the branches -- are cool for Yule. You can opt for minimal flocking on just the tips of the branches or go all out with lots of flocking for a dramatic winter wonderland look.

Family Takes Center Stage

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Anything to do with preserving memories and creating family traditions is tops for Christmas 2005. A timely idea: Incorporate your favorite photos into your holiday gifts and decor. You can add them as appliques to stockings, tree skirts, or even seasonal throw pillows.

Two Trees Are Better Than One

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What's more chic than a single Christmas tree? A second tree that highlights a theme (Victorian, Southwestern, or sports, for example), a funky color palette (pink and purple; navy, silver, and white), or a cherished collection (tea cups, Santas, or miniature shoes). "People will have a tree in the family room that holds a mix of ornaments passed down through the years or made by the children. Then they'll also have a fashionable, 'show tree' in the entry, living room, or front window," explains design pro Wilker.

Warm and Cozy Entertaining

Event planner Katz is seeing hosts opting for buffets over sit-down dinners. The reason: They want to include lots of friends and family, and buffets typically allow for a longer guest list. Comfort food is back in a big way. On the menu for trendy holiday bashes: Homey foods like gooey grilled cheese and warm cream soups, says Katz.

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