Y! Homes | Design Center

Christmas decorations: new twists on traditions

(Photo credit: PositivelySplendid.com)

For many, holidays are about tradition. Everything from the food to the décor stays the same, year in and year out, because it just feels right.


But if you're looking to try something different this year, start by rethinking the way you decorate for Christmas. Try a new theme or new colors. Classic Christmas decorations are constantly being revised and twisted and turned into new, delightful trends.

Decorating with red and green is no longer mandatory; instead, homeowners are opting for blues and whites or a rainbow of colors. Santa doesn't need to make an appearance in your Christmas décor; instead, you might feature birds and reindeer.

If you want to break the mold, check out some of these alternatives to classic Christmas decor.

Updated classics

(From Holly Adler, via KurtAdler.com)

Adding a little glitz and sparkle is one way update classic holiday décor. For a twist on the popular "Nutcracker" theme, try a Hollywood version of the classic by matching the most basic elements with a twist in color and design. Pink, teal, purple and glitter separate the nutcrackers pictured (from Holly Adler via KurtAdler.com) from the rest of the pack.

Crafters are also adding a little glam to Christmas village collections. Instead of buying up lots of expensive little department store houses to create a small Christmas village, try using cardboard homes from a craft store and decorating them with all kinds of festive items, from glittery walls to sparkly snowy roofs. (Visit Positively Splendid to learn how to make the Christmas village pictured at the top.)

New colors

Every year there are new twists on Christmas colors as retailers such as Target and the Home Depot feature lines that incorporate new color combinations. Jewel tones are  increasingly popular, such as deep purple, bright teal, dark blue and burnt orange. Pastel purples and blues along with icy white imitate winter's natural snowy shades.

Try matching brown, bronze and gold with splashes of deep red to create a warm interior. Metallic colors are gaining popularity; combine classic shades of silver metal with metallic yellow, green or gold for a unique color scheme.

Themed decorations

Many retailers and homeowners are also using themed Christmas decorations. It helps them develop consistency in their décor and allows them to get more creative in how they decorate.

You can opt for candy-themed Christmas decor with bright colors and an abundance of lollipops, mints, candy canes and decorated gingerbread houses. (If you don't want quite so much color, stick just with the swirling stark contrast of red and white candy canes.)

Try a natural theme and stick with lots of evergreen trees and wreaths and natural hand-carved elements like deer or birds. Use acorns, pine cones, chestnuts and red berries in small bowls, and opt for lots of Christmas plants, such as poinsettias, hollies, mistletoe and red and white roses.

Or try to gather up some vintage decorations, from oversize holiday lights to cherry-cheeked elves and classic tins. Find some bubble lights and tinsel and get your needle and thread ready to string together some popcorn to truly adorn your Christmas tree in vintage style. Cut out construction paper in holiday colors to make classic decorative chains as well.

Look around for Shiny Brites, colorful glass balls sold at Woolworth in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The colors are bright, the patterns are bold and the imagery is often cutesy or kooky.

And if you're not a fan of picking up all the littered needles left behind from real trees, check out an aluminum one in an unusual color.

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.