Decorate for Christmas With a Theme

Christmas decor with rustic details
Julie Ranee Photography

The idea of decorating a room or party around a theme has been popular for ages, especially around the holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, each one has its own themes that offer great opportunities for decorating, but none of them offer quite as much as Christmas. 

It's only natural that you'd think of choosing a theme to decorate your home for Christmas. Having a unified motif helps the look to flow from room to room or tree to table.

As you read about ideas for Christmas decorating themes, you'll probably think of many more, including ones that particularly express your interests. Gather up items that are special to you, add a red bow and some fresh green roping, and get decorating.

Choosing a Great Christmas Theme

Choosing your theme may be the most difficult part. It's often best to begin by deciding what you like and what you'd like to showcase during the holidays. Are you a traditionalist or do you like a modern flair? Is there a special ornament or sentimental item that you can build off?

Decorating themes can come from many different sources. Think about the colors, shapes, symbols, patterns, even a style or mood that can shape your theme.

Theme by Color

Colors can play a central role in defining any theme. You can go the classic route with reds, greens, and golds, then drape evergreen roping throughout the house, covering it and your tree with tons of white Christmas lights. For a modern twist, white and neutral colors can add sophistication to any room. When done right, it can be just as comfy-cozy as a more traditional color scheme. 

Then again, you may want to go with contemporary splashes of color. Choosing to feature blues and purples alone against white and silver decorations can really make an impact. Mixing a bright teal with gold accents is another fun combination that has a ton of style and potential.

Keep in mind that a single metallic always seems to set off a single color theme perfectly. Bring it in with garland and ornaments, or whatever fun sparkling things you find.

Theme by Shape or Symbol

Christmas has its signature shapes and symbols. While it's fun to mix and match stars, snowflakes, and angels, you can also choose a favorite and use it as your central decorating theme.

For example, you might choose to ramp up your collection of stars and pick up candle holders, ornaments, blankets, and stockings that feature the shape. Maybe your family is fond of snowmen or Santa Claus and you can fill the house with one of those jolly characters.

If you select the right decorations, this can be very stylish, just try to avoid going overboard. Incorporating some solid colors and accent patterns can help you fill the space without getting too thematic.

Theme by a Collectible or Hobby

You might also choose to showcase a special collection that you can't have on display all year. Christmas is the perfect time to give these items a place of distinction, enjoy them, share them, then put them away until next year.

Maybe it's a vintage camera or instrument collection or a model train that's often stuffed away in a back room. It could be your vinyl record stash that can be played throughout the holidays to add some cheer to the house. Your family may be into sports, so you can theme out the house like a ski lodge, tossing in hockey sticks, ice skates, and sleds as well. 

If it's special to you, it can easily become a temporary and festive display.

Themes for Christmas Trees

Even if you don't do a lot of decorating for Christmas, it's natural to decorate a Christmas tree with a theme. Many of us choose certain ornaments, lights, and garland or tinsel to follow our theme. If you have one established, bring that into the rest of your decor. Don't have a themed tree yet? Add that to the list of things to incorporate into the room's new theme.

It doesn't have to be just your main tree, either. For instance, you can place a small Christmas tree adorned with tiny toys, miniature dolls, or sports items in a child's bedroom. Add twinkling white lights and you'll have a wonderful nightlight for the holiday season.

Welcome guests with a small tree in the guest room. Place a small tree in a corner of the kitchen counter, decorated with miniature kitchen items found in a toy store. Think of all the fun nooks your home has that could use a touch of Christmas cheer.

Theme by Decor Style

Another fun approach is to decide on a particular decorating style, then give it the holiday twist using the elements we've mentioned. This may come naturally with your home's decor or it may be a complete contrast just for this season.

The style can also set the mood for your holidays. Bringing in elements of a rustic cabin theme like flannel, distressed wood, pine boughs, and burlap can create a cozy atmosphere. Shabby chic is another style that lends itself perfectly to the holidays and gives you the excuse to scour shops for unique, vintage finds.

Maybe you prefer a modern chic look with a daring, simple color scheme and accessories with clean lines and few details, but plenty of interest. For this, you can play with neutral colors, straight black and white with gold accents, or use a deep red or green to imply Christmas without being too literal. Add a fluffy white fabric tree skirt, be sparse and strategic on the tinsel, or even consider a minimalist alternative to the traditional tree. The ideas are endless once you get started.

Plan a Party Around a Theme

If you're planning a party this holiday season, think about adding a theme to that. If you decide on one early enough, you can even get a jump start on the decorations as you fill your home with holiday spirit and enjoy it every day.

Parties offer many theme ideas, just think about what you and your family or friends enjoy most. Children love breakfast with Santa, and musicians can plan a dinner around a musical theme. You can even pick a word, like "love" and host a holiday luncheon that celebrates it, decorating in red and white with hearts everywhere.

Look for Theme Inspiration

Whatever your idea, there is plenty of inspiration out there to fuel your creativity. Luckily, we have the internet today and places like Pinterest that are overflowing with fun and unique ideas. Spend some time browsing these resources, but try not to think about it too hard. Sometimes it's just best to dig in the closet or head out to the store and start picking out things to decorate with. Once you get started, it will all come together and you'll have a lot of fun in the process.