The famous Christmas tune sung throughout the season calls for the hanging of "boughs of holly," which celebrates a tradition of decorating and merriment during the holidays. What was once a custom of hanging things like fruit, garland and simple paper streamers has evolved into a whole host of classic and new decor options.
Some people enjoy traditional decorations and others enjoy making new traditions with more contemporary holiday decor and accessories, but most people likely find themselves mixing the old with the new to create their own unique holiday memories.
Wreaths are a very popular - and very ancient - form of celebratory decoration. Their roots extend all the way back through early Greek and Roman history and were once a symbol of achievement and social status, but have since evolved to represent a celebration of the harvest, new birth and the circle of life.
Traditional Christmas wreaths are rather simple affairs that may be studded with pine cones, holly, berries, ribbon and the like. They also come frosted and in an assortment of colors that makes it easy to add a ring of zing to any holiday theme.
Christmas stockings are a time-honored tradition for many people who celebrate the holiday. They're a fun and easy way to decorate, and studies show that a wide majority of people enjoy getting presents that have been stuffed into oversized socks hung by a chimney with care.
Holiday stockings come in all shapes and sizes, most of which are coal-proof. Some are so huge that their tips drag in the hearth like the trunks of greedy elephants, and others are small enough to serve as Christmas tree ornaments or end up as ironic stocking stuffers themselves. They can have any number of designs and are great for giving people a chance to add a little personal touch to the holiday decor.
Christmas lights are awesome - and it should be noted that festive lights (and much of the rest of the decor discussed here) are great for any kind of holiday or occasion. It's hard not to love twinkly lights, especially when people try to turn their houses into Earth's version of a solar flare. Sorry, neighbors.
String lights are the decorator's go-to when it comes to jazzing up holiday decor, and there are a lot of different styles and colors from which to choose in that category, but there are several other lighting options that don't get much press despite being way cooler than what the showoff down the block is doing. Lawn-light and roof-light decorations in the shape of Santa, reindeer, nativity scenes and other holiday themes are a quick and creative way to make a light show pop without busting the budget and blowing the breakers.
On average, more than 12 million artificial Christmas trees will be sold this holiday season, which means they are a very popular way to go for many people who decorate for the holidays. The American Christmas Tree Association (yep!) feels that they are just as good as real trees and offer many economic and environmental benefits.
And, they do it at a tremendous value. Today's artificial trees last 10 years or more and are designed to be easy to move, set up and store. They also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that can blend in with an already established theme, or act as the foundation for a whole new spin on the Christmas tradition.
Christmas tree decorations are a beautiful way to preserve holiday traditions by adding new ones every year and remembering those of years past when they are hung again. The same goes for all holiday adornment, whether it's an ornament, Advent calendar, snow globe or other treasure.
One of the best things about ornaments is that there is no end to what they might be, or what they might mean to the people who display them. An ornament without an owner is little more than kitsch, but once it has lived with a family it starts to take on a history of its own that grows and changes each year. A new ornament means the start of a new story and no one can say what that story will be.