Our Readers' Best Christmas Decorations, 2008

Check out these photos of Christmas trees, ornaments, mantels, decorations, and more posted by BHG.com users - and get inspired for this year's holiday season.

Our Top 4 Christmas Trees

Beautiful Pink and Lace from richegg

Why we picked this: Christmas doesn't have to be all about red and green. This pink-packed tree was created by richegg using lace, ribbon, ornaments, and white beads.

What richegg had to say:
"Last year was the last time this beautiful tree was put up. It takes about three days. As you get older you have to give up things, and this was one of those things. I miss my tree."

What Readers Had to Say: "STUNNING! Looks like it might be worth the work! It keeps you young at heart! Merry Christmas!" --milke.karen

"Absolutely lovely! A smaller version on a table-top would be just as breathtaking and you'd enjoy it more without all the work. Merry Christmas." -- rjohn20

A Black and White Christmas from vpowellusa229517

Why we picked this: We loved the way vpowellusa229517 incorporated black, white, and silver into this gorgeous tree topper made of ribbon.

What vpowellusa229517 had to say:
"I've always had a white tree. I've used gold decorations, then silver for 2 years. And this year it is black and silver. I'll add more next year as I find more black decorations! Though they are gone, the gifts under the tree were wrapped in coordinating paper and bows. They were very pretty!"

A Black and White Christmas from vpowellusa229517

Why we picked this: Black and white never looked so good. In this beautiful Christmas tree, vpowellusa229517 created a chic look by using black and silver ornaments, ribbons, and beads on a white tree.

What Readers Had to Say:
"It needs a top hat for the topper. Give it a black tie affair. Love it." --gaylewells0318

A Ribbon Tree from angelastansell

Why we picked this: We loved how angelastansell used ribbon vertically. Instead of draping ribbon around the tree, she wove in a Christmas-themed ribbon from the top of the tree to the bottom. Elegant white lights accentuate the ribbon along with the ornaments sprinkled evenly throughout the tree.

What Readers Had to Say: "It's a spectacular tree and it ties in well with the beautiful mantel. Merry Christmas." --ndanie11

A Ribbon Tree from angelastansell

Why we picked this: We wanted to give you a closer look at how the detail on this ribbon brings together the other elements on this tree.

What Readers Had to Say: "What a great tree! Good job!" --lindamay1210

A Human Tree from gab52521760

Why we picked this: Nominate one family member to be the "human Christmas tree," then let the decorating begin. We thought this game, submitted by gab52521760 is an easy way for everyone to play together. Simply use extra garland, ribbon, beads, and more to get started.

What gab52521760 had to say: "The grandchildren decorated their Dad/Uncle and as you can see from their faces, they had a ball doing it."

What Readers Had to Say: "FEEL THE LOVE." --benzmom90153

Our 4 Favorite Ornaments

Breast Cancer Ornament from nattynurse2001

Why we picked this: Pink ornaments look brilliant on a white tree. The meaning behind this breast cancer ornament makes it even more special for nattynurse2001.

What nattynurse2001 had to say: "A Breast Cancer ornament was given to me by my daughter several years ago. Now she has breast cancer also. She decorated my white Christmas tree with pink lights this year. I collect Christmas ornaments and this one is special as it was given to me several years ago by my daughter, Sue. I have had breast cancer twice now and she just was diagnosed with breast cancer."

What Readers Had to Say: "Very sorry to hear about you and your daughter's cancer. Wish you both all the best and I hope you both have a full recovery, and that's a beautiful ornament she gave you, what a special daughter you have." -- suzybfoster123

The Camera from tomatowoma

Why we picked this: A sentimental gift brings out the best in the giver and receiver, especially for tomatowoma.

What tomatowoma had to say: "The last ornament my mother-in-law gave me, she passed away in august...means a lot to me, she knew what I was into and tried to give me something every year that reflected my hobby...I miss her."

What Readers Had to Say: "I've never seen anything like this, I love it. It's a beautiful camera. My condolences." --djhm2003

A Black and White Christmas from vpowellusa229517

Why we picked this: This tree, created by vpowellusa229517,uses the color theme of black, white, and silver to create instance elegance without a lot of work.

What Readers Had to Say: "I love it. I am an Interior Decorator and do a lot of holiday decorating for my clients. I am always looking for different and unusual ways to decorate. This is a great look. I'd take it a few steps further, but way to go!" -- afj4072032

Red Bird Christmas Tree from kjbrandt

Why we picked this: The woodsy look created by kjbrandt is a great way to bring a touch of nature to your Christmas tree.

What kjbrandt had to say: "This is my Red Bird Christmas Tree I created this year. I used my existing red bird collection and some new ornaments and a real bird's nest for the topper. Here you can see I added some pinecones for a woodsier look."

What Readers Had to Say: "This is such a creative idea. It really makes an outstanding tree. You are just like your Mom when it comes to having these great ideas." --djbrown_61727

Our Top 4 Holiday Centerpieces

Red & White Centerpiece from pj-graham

Why we picked this: When pj-graham made this decoration, she created a centerpiece that works for two holidays.

What pj-graham had to say: "I bought red and white flowers, used a small vase I had around the house and three boxes of candy canes. Instead of packing it away for mice or other varmints to eat the candy canes, I will wrap the bottom part with red fabric and use it again for Valentine's Day!"

What Readers Had to Say: "GOOD IDEAS. THANKS! HAPPY NEW YEAR TOO!" -- amyvern3648012

Sports-Theme Centerpiece from kitkate33

Why we picked this: Decorate a small tree to save time and effort, like kitkate33 did. This blue, white, and silver wonderland creates a gorgeous centerpiece for small gifts.

What kitkate33 had to say: "Football ornaments and a few hockey for our sports themed tree in the dining room."

What Readers Had to Say: "Love the blue - didn't even notice it was sports until got closeup. Like the cotton under the tree." --txalice

Lime for Christmas from pier4phx

Why we picked this: This makes our top holiday centerpieces because it's so simple and quick to make. Pier4phx took red and lime green ornaments and placed them in silver holders.

What pier4phx had to say: "Finally got some lime green in the setting!"

What Readers Had to Say: "I'm a floral designer in a home decor store. Lime green and red were the hot colors this year! I'm told they will be for 2008 as well. Very pretty." --gaylewells0318

Candle Centerpiece from djbrown_61727

Why we picked this: Two red candles in a Christmas-inspired flower arrangement make an easy centerpiece.

What djbrown_61727 had to say: "Our grandson who lives with us while going to college and working gave us this centerpiece for out gift on the day our family was coming for Christmas."

What Readers Had to Say: "Beautiful -- could do it yourself with the picture in front of you. Use the leftovers cut from a tree around the bottom and get decorations that match your home, floral picks, round bowl, candles. Great idea!!" --txalice

The 6 Best Table Decorations

Jude's Christmas Table from jude244slu

Why we picked this: Find ornaments that match your dishes. Embellish simple ornaments with the names of your guests. Use them as name cards on a Christmas table setting.

What jude244slu had to say: "New table for work."

What Readers Had to Say: "Gorgeous!" --tamara_bart

Candy Cane Place Setting from tabear8888

Why we picked this: Nothing goes better with Christmas than red and white. Simply use a red and white ribbon as a napkin tie. Add red and white candles and a white tablecloth to create a candy-cane table setting.

Kathy's Christmas Table from kirbibear

Why we picked this: A beautiful green table cloth makes all the difference on this simple Christmas table setting. Find napkins that match your table cloth to create easy color coordinating.

What Readers Had to Say: "Very festive. I'd be delighted to sit at your table!" --tamara_bart

Christmas Table from plstyaylor2

Why we picked this: The tree centerpieces on this Christmas table setting made a difference.

What plstyaylor2 had to say: "This center piece was used to raise $112 for a youth group at our Church Christmas Party. The idea came from BHG's web site. Thank you BHG. We will be able to help one Young Adult go to Generation Unleashed in Portland Oregon. Thank You."

Christmas Table from plstyaylor2

Why we picked this: An inexpensive Christmas place setting can still look glamorous. Just layer paper plates of different sizes and stack green and red cups over each other. Wrap red plastic silverware in a festive napkin.

Christmas Heritage from annether

Why we picked this: Decorate to make a difference. That's why we love this table, submitted by annether, which helped a local charity.

What annether had to say: "The Tour of Tables event featured 24 tables all done 'a little over the top,' where traditional 'rules' are not necessarily followed. What a fun way to earn money for a local charity. The package on the left of the plate was a small token gift for the guests."

Our 4 Favorite Holiday Wreaths

Packed with Red from mmurray24

Why we picked this: Pick a color theme -- and stick with it. In this wreath, mmurray24 gathered red flowers, leaves, and ornaments, and then added them to a fresh green wreath. Pack in the red to really make a statement.

Cookie Monster Wreath from mmurray24

Why we picked this: Take your child's favorite TV show character and use that as the framework for a child's Christmas wreath. Gather a few colors, like the dark and light blues in this wreath, to create an easy theme.

Pink Door Decor from mmurray24

Why we picked this: Lots of pink ribbon adorns this homemade wreath. To achieve this same look, collect ornaments and decorations of the same color scheme. The soft pink in the ribbon and cream color of the ballet slippers create a beautiful holiday wreath that stands out from the traditional red and green. Place an ornament in the center to finish the arrangement.

Real Wreaths Every Year from Bobbi Slagle

Why we picked this: We love to reuse cherished decorations and make them look new. That's exactly what Bobbi Slagle did in this beautiful outdoor wreath.

What Bobbi Slagle had to say: "I take the trimmings from our tree and make real wreaths and centerpieces every year. They look so much nicer than the fake ones. Although I use the same decorative pieces every year, they always come out a little different."

What Readers Had to Say: "Very lovely. People must enjoy coming to your doors." --westiegal831

Our Top 6 Mantel Displays

Mantel of White and Gold from dwlhdl

Why we picked this: Another unique color scheme to try: creamy white and gold. It's elegant. It's simple. It's classy.

What dwlhdl had to say: "This is our first Christmas in our new home and I wanted to do our mantel in a creamy white and gold color scheme. Although I have been collecting antique Santas and ornaments for many years most of what I used on the mantel is relatively new but made in the old style."

What Readers Had to Say: "I love it! Great job and gave me some great ideas for next year! Did you make the mantel fringe or buy it? It certainly adds to the look." -- kristina.adams3685909

Mantel of White and Gold from dwlhdl

Why we picked this: Using clear bell jars is an easy way to protect and display sentimental ornaments.

What dwlhdl had to say: "I love creating vignettes using cloches or bell jars and have included some close-ups of the two on my mantel."

What Readers Had to Say: "Nicely done. I love your use of the bell jars." -- tamara_bart

Glam Christmas from vigilantpraise

Why we picked this: Use a variety of white pieces to arrange a mantel display. Collect decorations of the same color and arrange them in the scene for instant unification.

Our Top 7 Mantel Displays

Christmas in Our New Home from ttmire3

Why we picked this: Use the same shade of red throughout this display to tie a scene together. Add glistening gold ribbon to create a sparkling effect.

What Readers Had to Say: "This is beautiful. It looks so inviting and homey and comfortable. I wish I was there!" -- monique_diva

"This is very beautiful. That look makes you want to have Christmas everyday at your house." -- paigeoneshia

Glam Christmas from vigilantpraise

Why we picked this: We love the unique color combination on this holiday mantel. Use shades of one color to arrange a cohesive display. Editor's tip: Silver looks great with almost every other color.

What vigilantpraise had to say: "Mercury glass, black feathers, and the staple bright green make this mantel the focal of holiday entertaining!"

Sparkly Holiday Mantel from iloveivy2

Why we picked this: Use lights on your mantel to make the scene sparkle. Add oversized decorations, such as the star shown here, to set a holiday mood.

What Readers Had to Say: "This is a very pretty mantel, very festive and brilliant with lights." --svinch1992581

"Looks beautiful! Very festive." --cujo6119

Our Top 7 Picks for Holiday Inspiration

Christmas on Maryland Ave from millardh99

Why we picked this: Adding black vases and pillows with red flowers and ornaments gives a twist to traditional Christmas decorating.

What Readers Had to Say: "Wow - How GLAMOROUS!!! Looks like a magazine layout only better!!!! Enjoy!" --ma19572006

Homemade Christmas Stocking from One Scrappy Girl

Why we picked this: Stockings don't have to be inside. Try making an oversized stocking to display on the front door like One Scrappy Girl did.

What Readers Had to Say: "Very cute and unique!" --dcarey03

Homemade Christmas Stocking from One Scrappy Girl

Why we picked this: A curtain rests on this homemade Christmas decoration. Take an empty jar or vase and gather different Christmas items such as ribbon, snowmen, garland, etc. for a quick window display.

Tiny Max at Christmas Door from kgdalg

Why we picked this: Simply adding red and white flowers to a porch tree creates an inviting entryway.

What kgdalg had to say: "New puppy Maximus sits next to decorated porch tree."

Vintage Christmas Mantel from thilgesh

Why we picked this: Put your collections to use. Gather your keepsakes together and display them as a whole for a beautiful holiday display.

What thilgesh had to say: "I collect antique and vintage Christmas decorations and can't wait to bring them out each November. I collect antique miniature dolls and like to add them to displays."

What Readers Had to Say: "Such a good use of your collections. You have a knack." --mldurrer

Cindy's Gingerbread House from cindyg307

Why we picked this: Try experimenting. The next time you make a gingerbread house, use more frosting, add a chimney, or make a tree. Don't be afraid to use non-edible items, like the Santa and snowman shown here.

What Readers Had to Say: "A beautiful creation!" --Ms. Creative

Gingerbread House from sillyolethang

Why we picked this: Use the design of your own house for gingerbread house-making inspiration.

What sillyolethang had to say: "This is my first attempt at building a Gingerbread House. I had the most fun making it and detailing the little things. It's inspired by my own house but with a few embellishments."

What Readers Had to Say: "Fantastic job!!! You need to post a how to do it!!!!" --loriorama

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