It’s time to dust off your holiday boxes and pull out all the stops to make this season your best. Every year we take inventory of what we have, check those lights, and dream of new and inventive ways to freshen up the holiday decor. When taking this inventory, there are several key spots you don’t want to miss. They create a festive atmosphere the minute you walk in the door and give your guests a warm welcoming feeling throughout the holiday season. Whatever you do, pick a theme you can carry throughout your home. Below are some key spots in and around your home that are not to be missed.

Front Door

This can be as simple as a simple cedar winter wreath, or as elaborate as surrounding the entire door perimeter with cedar boughs and decorating them to the nines. Tip: Choose decoration that goes from fall into winter. Think about a grapevine wreath that allows you to switch its adornments from fall leaves and pumpkins to cedar boughs and berry twigs.


Passersby and visitors alike will enjoy some holiday cheer just by adding a decorated wreath, greenery, and/or a bow to your mailbox. It just may bring a smile to a stranger’s face during the season. Tip: Leave a “surprise” for your mail delivery person. It will brighten their day and let them know you appreciate them delivering your mail through sun, rain, sleet, and snow.

Front Porch

Nothing says “welcome to our home for Christmas” more than a well-decorated front porch. It sets the stage for the perfect moments to be celebrated and cherished inside. First think of your space, then add elements. These can be minimalist items (think holiday signs, garland, and poinsettias) or more elaborate (such as decorated trees, a bench with blankets and pillows, candle holders, and firewood). Tip: Add a wood sign, painted antique sled, or any other unique items for interest.

Stair Rails

A stair rail lined with garland adds depth and warmth to your home. Keep it simple and just add ribbon and lights, or keep the theme of your decor running up the stairs by incorporating some of those elements. Tip: Use clear zip ties to connect your garland to the stair rails.


This is perhaps the second most decorated space after your tree. The mantle is the heart of the home and can be the focal point for your decor—think mirrors, holiday signs, garland, lights, candles, and of course stockings. Tip: Layer some elements over each other and really strive for that holiday cheer.

Dining Table

This is where you can shine by creating a centerpiece that serves as the focal point of the room. Incorporate fresh greenery and use it to create a table runner, then add candles, berry garland, pinecones, and twigs. Tip: Create interest by using those old candle holders to add different heights.

Powder Room

Keep the festive lights aglow as guests head to your powder room. It can be as simple as a holiday candle and a cedar bough or as elaborate as garland, lights, candles, and holiday decor pieces. Tip: Holiday scented hand wash and lotion offers up a delightful end to the powder room visit.