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Are You Ready for the Holidays?

Tips for decorating your home for the holiday season

Decorating can be fun, but it can also be one more thing on an already lengthy “to-do” list. To make the most of decorating your home for the holidays, we spoke with Susie Prince of Susie Mae Design for tips and tricks to make decorating your home easy and fun!

Front Door

Start with a wreath. Make your wreath using a metal wireframe and cuttings from a Christmas tree lot. Weave cuttings through the frame to make a beautiful natural arrangement. For an artificial wreath, look for one with different kinds of greenery, as it tends to look more realistic. Red berries add a festive touch!

Swags of garland can decorate the front door. For this, artificial garland is best. Start at the top center and swag out to the top corners, then let it fall to the ground. Add a big bow to anchor the center and ribbon for color.

Christmas Tree

When decorating a real or artificial tree, you’ll need four times more lights than you think you'll need to make it feel really full. Wrap lights tightly to the branches using LED lights with green cords. Use a mixture of warm, soft white lights and big bulbed colored lights that Susie refers to as “Charlie Brown" lights to give the tree a soft glow with festive color.

Next comes garland and ribbon. If you have a ribbon tree topper, use ribbon throughout the tree. For other toppers, you can use garland. Worried about spacing the garland evenly? Susie suggests garland with loops on the end. Attach at the top of the tree at varying heights and let it hang vertically. With ribbon, go around the tree using undulating swags. Keep it loose using lots of ribbon.

Use personal ornaments and lots of them to make the tree nice and full.


Garland, ribbon, and lights – when you think you have enough, you need more. Susie suggests measuring the length of the staircase and doubling it for the amount of garland you’ll need. Measure the Newell posts as well, because you’ll want to swag the garland so it drapes off at the end of the Newell post. Use pipe cleaners or zip ties to attach the garland to the handrail and add a bow where the swag is attached for a nice finish. Floral picks of berries can add a festive look. Add lights to the staircase using battery-operated lights.

No fireplace? A staircase is a great alternative to a mantle for hanging stockings.


Start with bottle brush trees of varying sizes and colors on the mantle, the more the better. Add a garland with berries and lights on the mantle. Use nice stocking hangers or hide simple ones by tucking them in the garland.

The mantle is good for Christmas villages. Use faux snow, but don’t layer it too thick. Use risers to create dimension and height for your village.

A piano top can be decorated like a mantle. Display holiday collections of nutcrackers, snowmen, or holiday cards from Christmases past.

Rosemary trees add beauty to the hearth. Bigger is better, as smaller trees can look lost. When using poinsettias on the hearth, keep in mind they are poisonous to house pets.

Dining Table

A Christmas runner or tablecloth can instantly add holiday cheer. For place settings, include a charger with your fine china and layer for a luxurious look. Finish with cloth napkins and holiday napkin rings.

For the centerpiece, add fresh greenery on a tray with some holiday pieces clustered together or use greenery as a runner and add figurines of deer or other holiday pieces. Keep centerpieces low and add tapered candles for soft lighting.

Finally, add something small but special for the holidays in each room – a hand towel in the powder room or throw pillows in the family room!


"No fireplace? A staircase is a great alternative to a mantle for hanging stockings." Susie Prince, owner of Susie Mae Design

  • Use bows where the garland is attached for a nice finished looked.
  • Use a runner on the dining table and keep centerpieces low.
  • Layered place settings add elegance to the holiday table.
  • The top of a piano can be used to display holiday collections.
  • Use a swag of garland to frame the front door.
  • Add a little something in each room to spread the spirit of Christmas throughout the house.