25 Easy Fall and Christmas Decorations for a Season-Long Festive Feel

green and copper table setting with lantern centerpieces
Photo: Adam Albright

Keep your decor fresh throughout the holiday season with our easy tips and ideas. We show you how to transition your holiday decor from Thanksgiving to Christmas with a few simple updates.

01 of 25

Make a Mercury Glass Statement

mercury glass vases
Jason Donnelly

Add holiday shimmer to your home with a quick grouping of mercury glass vases—and if you don't have any on hand, make your own! Create a variety of vessels in different shapes and sizes, then group them together for quick and classy fall and Christmas decorations. A few sprigs of greenery (with red berries, once Thanksgiving has passed!) provide delicate color.

02 of 25

Craft a Farmhouse Dried Orange Wreath

dried orange wreath on door
Jacob Fox

Place this lush, harvest-themed wreath on your front door or mantel for a fresh-and-fruity take on holiday decor. To form the leafy wreath, we made dried orange slices and secured them around a wreath frame with floral wire. Learn how to make dried orange slices and assemble them into a long-lasting holiday decoration.

03 of 25

Pick a Pretty Palette

gold green mantel holiday plant decor
David Tsay

Do you need an impressively festive color scheme for your mantel but don't want it too Christmassy? You can't go wrong with gold and green. String bold, shiny magnolia branches with green floral wire to create a lush garland. Layer eye-catching accessories like gold birds, starbursts, and towering paperwhites in metallic containers.

04 of 25

Buffalo Check Table Display

black and white centerpiece with plaid napkin
Adam Albright

Investing in a few neutral pieces can carry your table decor from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Buffalo check napkins ($12 for 4, Bed Bath & Beyond) are the focal point of these holiday place settings. A woven charger, simple plates, and a sprig of faux greenery complete each spot.

05 of 25

Enhance a Tea Light

rustic christmas table setting
Kritsada Panichgul

The flicker of a pretty candle is an easy way to add fall and Christmas decorations for cheer all season. Make these mini candle holders by placing mini grapevine wreaths around tea lights. Tuck in faux moss and succulents to finish the Christmas place setting. Add a few glittery birds and your holiday table is ready.

06 of 25

Take a Forest Stroll... Indoors!

green and copper table setting with lantern centerpieces
Adam Albright

Craving the lushness of evergreen foliage but not quite ready to put up your Christmas tree? Put it on your table! Create the holiday tablescape by laying wood slice chargers down the center of your table. Top each with a glass lantern, and finish with green bottle brush trees, copper mugs, and evergreen sprigs.

07 of 25

Create Simple Place Cards

Natural Beauty leaf name rag
Carson Downing

Holiday hosting can get expensive. Keep your table decor chic and budget-friendly by making homemade place cards written on the back of dried leaves using a metallic paint marker. Keep the place settings simple by mixing and matching dishes.

08 of 25

Easy Farmhouse Wreath Idea

winter wreath with plaid bow
Jacob Fox

This easy fall wreath idea is a cheerful way to greet guests all season long. Make your own with a plain grapevine wreath form ($10, Walmart), plus greenery, cotton stems, and pinecones. Finish with a buffalo check ribbon tied in a pom-pom bow.

09 of 25

Design a Simple Centerpiece

Christmas centerpiece with pomegranates and candles
Jay Wilde

As this project proves, a few pieces of faux greenery make a perfect fall and Christmas decoration. Lay down a burlap or linen table runner ($11, Walmart) and top with an artificial greenery garland. Fill in sparse spots with brass candle holders and pomegranates.

10 of 25

Display New and Old Photographs

clothes pins twine photo display
Kip Dawkins

Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally gathering times for family and friends, so when better to display a collection of photographs that are often hiding in an album or on the computer hard drive? Label the groupings in this low-cost display⁠—made with clothespins and twine⁠—with metal scrapbooking labels, and mount the photos onto pieces of cardstock using photo corners.

11 of 25

Take It Outside

holiday décor accent box on white porch railing
John Granen

Some decorations artfully evoke the festive nature of the season, making them perfect accents for entryways and porches. For example, fill a hanging railing planter with cut evergreen, red berry sprigs, pinecones, and faux succulents. Add a few clementines for a bit more color.

12 of 25

Dress Up Inexpensive Ornaments

painted ornaments holiday decor
Kip Dawkins

Paint and glitter can be fantastic helpers in creating miniature focal points around your house. For example, classic gray paint and a dusting of glitter add contrast and sparkle to ordinary decorations. Wrap a tiny box in neutral paper and add pinecones and greenery for color.

13 of 25

Craft a Wintry Bench

bench decorated with greenery pinecones and orbs
Quentin Bacon

Creating a festive flurry outside your home is easy, even if real snow clouds haven't arrived yet. Get the look by placing cut evergreen branches, giant sugar pinecones, and oversize ornaments on a bench. As Christmas gets closer, add sprigs of red berry branches.

14 of 25

Maintain Your Existing Decor

entry way holiday decor blue mirror
Ray Kachatorian

Ensure your decorating feels at home from holiday to holiday by enhancing everyday spots with cheery fall and Christmas decorations. For example, here a bit of greenery on the table and hung as a wreath offers a subtle nod to the time of year. A chain of jingle bells adds sound effects to the decor.

15 of 25

Create an Artful Tree

holiday-theme decorated tree
Dana Gallagher

Try this space-saving, sculptural idea to start your display of holiday-themed trees a little early this year. Cut a short branch with many off-shoots; secure it inside a container filled with florist's foam and cover the top with moss. Next, spray-paint small pinecones in three complementary hues⁠—here we used blue, white, and silver⁠—and accent with small items such as stars and a length of chiffon ribbon.

16 of 25

Trim the Tree

tree with mushroom ornaments
Kritsada Panichgul

It's never too early to unpack a pretty collection of ornaments! Keep the classic red and green Christmas ornaments in storage and instead showcase trinkets that fit the fall season. A group of velvet mushroom ornaments adds an earthy touch to a tabletop tree. After Thanksgiving, add in your favorite Christmas designs.

17 of 25

Focus on Neutrals

silver gold orbs seasonal decor
Kip Dawkins

Festive colors that aren't exclusive to one season are a great way to ensure your decorating accents remain transitional from month to month. For example, bright silver and gold orbs add welcome textural contrast to end-of-season landscape items, such as pinecones, displayed under glass cloches.

18 of 25

Showcase Special Holiday Items

glass cloche christmas figure display
Richard Leo Johnson

One of the easiest⁠—and cheapest⁠—ways to add timeless cheer at Thanksgiving and Christmas is to take what you already have, but draw attention to it in new and unusual ways. For example, group a few of your favorite holiday figures and ornaments for an instant, no-cost tabletop focal point. The best part? You can change the still life from year to year (or day to day).

19 of 25

Use Greenery for Color

cabinet draped greenery
Richard Leo Johnson

Strategically placed greenery adds warmth and welcome texture to nearly any spot in the home from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Draw the eye up by draping greenery over a cabinet, or keep the focus on a tablescape or sideboard with a similar garland.

20 of 25

Mix and Match Glass Pieces for Your Mantel

colored candle holders mantel
Dana Gallagher

To make your mantel holiday-ready in minutes, pair a few red-hue glasses, votives, vases, and champagne flutes together and fill with mini white candles. Tuck a few real or faux berries around the containers for a lovely interior accent that will please you and your guests no matter the season.

21 of 25

Use New Ways to Display Holiday Cards

Christmas Card holiday garland
Helen Norman

Displaying holiday cards is a beloved tradition. Here, a collection is paired with an evergreen garland to decorate a doorway leading from the living room to the kitchen. Add a few small holiday balls or ribbons for additional color.

22 of 25

Combine Colors and Accents

white blue painted pinecones
Dana Gallagher

Pinecones evoke autumn, while silver and blue often call to mind winter. A deft combination of the two provides a dramatic yet easy decorating accent. Here, various shades of spray paint transform the textural beauty of pinecones.

23 of 25

Mix Fruit, Greenery, and Pinecones

candles oranges table centerpiece
Joseph Keller

To add decorations that smoothly transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, start with neutral basics. A beveled-edge mirror topped with simple white candles creates a classic foundation. For Thanksgiving, add a simple fall garland and mini pumpkins. When Christmas draws near, replace harvest elements with pine boughs, clementines, and pinecones.

24 of 25

Make-at-Home Simple Snow Globes

Snow Globe evergreens
Helen Norman

Oversize glass containers and vases offer a great see-through way to display holiday colors. Start with a large tray and a few jars and containers in various sizes. Plant evergreen saplings (we used Golden cypress) in several containers and cover the soil with faux snow. For contrast, fill another jar or two with red fruits⁠—apples, pomegranates, or cherries⁠—or red ornaments. Place the collection in front of a window, at an entry, or as a centerpiece for your holiday table.

25 of 25

Combine Greenery and Ornaments

Christmas centerpiece
Marty Baldwin

Trays filled with ornaments make a great holiday centerpiece. For warmth, temper the shine with small sprigs of greenery and miniature pinecones tucked between the ornaments or even inside small vases. Keep the look casual with a smattering of larger pinecones placed around or underneath the container.

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