Deck the Halls with These Nontraditional Christmas Decorating Ideas

Ditch the classic red and green color palette in favor of holiday decor that matches your personality.

Just like we all celebrate the holidays a little bit differently, there’s no one right way to decorate for Christmas. And while you’ll primarily see red and green decor lining store shelves this time of year, you don’t have to stick to the classics in order to feel holly jolly. If your visions of sugarplums are jewel-tone or pastel, consider this your go-ahead to ditch the traditional decor. 

Mix up your Christmas decorations this year by putting a new spin on garlands, wreaths, and trees. Embrace Barbiecore with pink Christmas decorations, or channel Elvis with a monochromatic blue Christmas color scheme

Nontraditional holiday looks are also easy to incorporate into your existing decor. Rather than hanging a red and green wreath that doesn’t match the rest of the room, display the traditional wreath form in a color palette that complements your space. To help inspire you, we've rounded up our favorite nontraditional Christmas decorating ideas.

colorful holiday honeycomb ornaments
Marty Baldwin

Jewel-Tone Christmas Decor

Jewel tones are one of the top Christmas color trends of 2022. You can still incorporate dark reds and emerald greens into your home, but consider pairing them with deep blues, pinks, and purples. Use jewel-tone ornaments on your Christmas tree, or create a bright and fun mantel display using miniature houses, bottlebrush trees, and paper lanterns in bold colors. 

garland-covered mantel with knit Christmas stockings and trees
Jay Wilde

Midcentury Color Palettes

Midcentury modern decor is one of the top design trends right now, and its iconic color palette is already making its way into holiday decorations. This season, skip red accents in favor of dark teals and mustard yellows that pop against classic Christmas greenery. Before you buy too many new items, check your parents’ basement or grandma’s attic for '70s-era holiday decor pieces to repurpose. 

antique birdcage with garland and wreath decor
Kritsada Panichgul

Vintage Christmas Decorations

Thanks in part to today's emphasis on secondhand and sustainability, vintage Christmas decorations are more popular than ever. But you don’t need to run to the thrift store to buy specific Christmas-themed antiques. Instead, look for ways to incorporate existing vintage decor with a few new holiday finds. Here, bottlebrush trees fill an antique birdcage that's decorated with a small wreath. The greenery coordinates with garlands showcased throughout the room.  

Door wreath with ornaments and pink bow
Greg Scheidemann

Pink Christmas Decor

Pink Christmas decor has been on the rise for the past few years, and with the increasing popularity of the Barbiecore trend, you can expect to see blush Christmas decorations everywhere this season. Add small pops of the rosy hue to items you already have, whether pink ribbon to a holiday wreath or a few bubblegum-pink ornaments mixed in with the classics you use every year. Or go all-out with a bright pink Christmas tree and sparkling metallic ornaments.

bottle brush christmas trees decor
Marty Baldwin

Earth-Tone Colors

Nature-inspired Christmas decorations aren’t new, but consider pulling your entire holiday color palette from seasonal earth tones. Mossy green hues make these bottlebrush trees give a fresh take to the Christmas classic and pair well with browns and creams for a calm, woodsy vibe. This color scheme blends easily with rustic design styles and complements farmhouse-style Christmas decorations.

Holiday decorations under glass on a mantel
Jay Wilde

Ornaments as Decor

If you’re not ready to part from tradition completely, consider new ways to display your tried-and-true pieces. Rather than decorate the tree the same way you’ve done for years, put your favorite ornaments on display somewhere else in your home. Large glass cloches filled with baubles make an eye-catching holiday mantel. Plus, it's an excuse to try out some new ornaments on the tree while admiring your favorite sentimental ornaments all season long. 

Christmas tree in corner of room with gold, blue, and white theme
Jay Wilde

Blue Christmas Decor

This Christmas color trend will have you humming "blue, blue, blue Christmas" as you trim the tree. Embrace wintry blue hues with a monochromatic color palette. Decorate the tree with blue ornaments, wrap your gifts in sapphire paper, and string navy ribbons through your DIY Christmas garlands. While unexpected, this look works well in traditional and transitional living spaces.

Upside Down Hanging Christmas Tree
Malkovstock/Getty Images

Upside-Down Christmas Trees

While definitely nontraditional today, the practice of displaying upside-down trees actually dates back to the 7th century. The practice can be traced to a German Benedictine monk who displayed the tree upside down as a celebration of Christianity; the inverted triangle is said to represent the Holy Trinity. In later centuries, families across Europe adopted this custom as a way to save space in tight quarters. No matter the reason, suspending your tree from the ceiling is certainly a fresh take on holiday decorating—just be sure it’s attached securely so it doesn’t come crashing down on Santa as he fills stockings.

gray armchair next to christmas tree decorated with flowers
Adam Albright

Unexpected Ornaments

Nontraditional Christmas decor isn’t just about straying away from reds and greens. Reimagine the holiday decor pieces you usually use as something completely new. Tired of ornaments? Opt for faux flowers on your tree instead! It’s an easy way to make the tree feel like a cohesive part of your home’s decor scheme, and you can get creative with the colors, sizes, and varieties of faux flowers. Plus, they can be reused year-round, unlike traditional Christmas decorations. 

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