Have A Jolly Holiday Season With 45 Easy Festive Hacks

By Larissa C

This article was originally published on morehackz

The end of the year is easily one of our favorite times. Everyone feels the festive spirit, the streets and the houses are beautifully decorated, and the weather is incredible. How could we not love the holidays? If you’re visiting a family member this year, you probably won’t have to worry about setting up the party. Now, if you are the one receiving guests for the holidays, we are sure that you’re fretting over getting everything ready in time. In case you need some help this year, you’ll love this article. Here, we have compiled a list of tips that will come in handy when you’re sprucing up the house and adding festive touches. Here are 45 holiday hacks to help you decorate your home this year!

#1: Add tape to the wall

When the holidays come around, it means that it’s time to decorate the house. And when we do that, there’s an issue that almost always appears. If you have ever glued decorations to the wall, you already know what we’re talking about.

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Gluing decorations to the wall always turns into a problem. Sometimes they peel the wall and ruin the paint. If you want to avoid this issue, you can use Scotch Wall-Safe Tape, a type of tape that doesn’t damage the wall. Then, you can glue the decorations to the tape!

#2: Smaller places require smaller trees

We all know that buying or even renting a place can be pretty expensive, especially if it’s a large space. Because of this, most of us live in smaller homes — and the size of our homes affects decoration potential a great deal.

Image courtesy of sportnuevo.com

If you live in a smaller place, you know that buying a tall Christmas tree is simply not a good idea. Larger trees will make your house even more cramped. What you can do instead is buy a tabletop tree and go all out with it.

#3: Control your spending

‘Tis the season…to spend money! If you have a big family or if you have many friends, you know very well how much it costs to get gifts for everyone. Each year, these costs increase, and it can get overwhelming to keep track of how much you’re spending.

Image courtesy of Santa’s Bag

If you want to keep your “add to cart” finger under control during this season, you can download Christmas management apps like Santa’s Bag. Not only does it remind you to do your shopping, but it also helps keep track of your budget.

#4: Ditch the Christmas tree skirt

Christmas tree skirts have one purpose: to hide the tree stand and doll up the tree. However, these skirts are no good if you feel like standing out this holiday season since everyone uses them already! Here’s a tip for livening up your living room.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Strickland/Pinterest

Instead of using the same old tree skirt you have been using for years, grab one of the many Amazon boxes, make a hole in the middle, decorate it with some gift paper, and voilà! You’ll be singing “O Tannenbaum” with new gusto.

#5: Use Sharpies to decorate your glassware

If you don’t feel like spending money to buy customized glassware, you can make your own using the items you already have. All you have to buy for this hack is a couple of Sharpies and take some time to create decorations.

Image courtesy of connorinteriors.blogspot.ca

By looking at those glasses in the picture, you can already see that this is one of the cheapest ways to have customized glassware at your party. Get yourself a couple of metallic permanent markers and make these Christmas-y drawings. Pretty simple, right?

#6: Reuse decorations

Here goes another tip that is going to be helpful to those who are on a budget and can’t spend a lot of money this year. Instead of purchasing decorations, why not reuse the ones you have from the previous holidays?

Image courtesy of Pinterest / Victoria Nixx

It doesn’t even have to be those old Christmas baubles you have stored in your basement. You can give your Halloween decorations new life, as you can see in the image. Or if you want to turn that scary jack-o’-lantern into Santa, all you have to do is put a Santa hat and a cotton beard on it.

#7: Use regular paper for Christmas gift wrapping

We all know how busy life can get, especially when the holiday season is just around the corner. It’s like the planet’s clock starts spinning faster, and everything gets frantic. And that’s why sometimes we forget to go gift shopping.

Image courtesy of liveinternet.ru

If you forgot to buy wrapping paper, this tip is for you. Instead of freaking out, take a deep breath and follow our lead. Grab some regular paper and wrap the gifts. Then, get another piece of paper and draw a Christmas tree. Cut it out, glue it to the present, and you’re done!

#8: Get your kids to help you

Getting the kids to help in the kitchen is not wrong, as long as you make sure that they are safe at all times. Children love helping out, especially when it comes to hands-on experiences like cooking and baking.

Image courtesy of bettycrocker.com

If you have children, the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to get them to learn new things in the kitchen, like decorating cookies. Not only are they going to adore this experience, but their help is going to take some of the work off your shoulders!

#9: Don’t throw away the wrapping paper

When it’s time to wrap the gifts we bought, it’s not unusual to have a bunch of gift paper leftover. While they can’t be used to wrap more presents, these leftovers don’t have to be thrown in the trash right away.

Image courtesy of rainforestislandsferry.com

Instead of throwing them away, you can use the wrapping paper leftovers to make decorations. Those cone-shaped were made out of what was left after the gifts were wrapped. Just look up on Google, and you’ll find a bunch of design ideas that you can try!

#10: Fill up the space with other objects

Storing sparkly trinkets inside glass jars and putting them on display is a classic adornment. If you want to do something like this, you’re probably wondering how many ornaments you’re going to need. Well, the truth is that you don’t need a lot.

Image courtesy of blog.upack.com

Instead of filling up the entire jar with Christmas baubles, you can simply use a toilet paper roll to fill up the space of the jar. All you have to do is add a layer on the bottom, put the toilet paper roll on top of them, and then add the rest of the ornaments.

#11: Use a hook to hang a wreath

Are you even decorating for Christmas if you don’t hang a wreath on your front door? While wreaths can be used for different holidays, they’re super common during the winter holidays, and lots of people struggle to mount a wreath on their front door properly.

Image courtesy of Natalie Brown/buzzfeed.com

If your door doesn’t have anything that can be used to hang a wreath, you can always stick a hook to the door. If you don’t want to ruin the paint by using glue, you can attach the hook using the special tape we mentioned earlier.

#12: Don’t use just one bulb size

When we decorate Christmas trees, we usually put a lot of effort into making sure that the tree looks extra pretty. It is not wrong to want to impress the guests, is it? If you want yours to look anything but dull, here’s a tip for you.

Image courtesy of www.crnobelo.com

Instead of using all same-sized bulbs, you can get strings of different sizes and wrap them around the tree. While this tip may sound kind of simple, you will see that the final result will surprise you and your guests!

#13: Create decorations using colored glue

Depending on where you live, Christmastime is a synonym for snowfall. As such, you can’t leave the fake snowflakes out of the decor for this holiday. If you prefer to create unique snowflakes, you will have to avoid using paper.

Image courtesy of blog.168.am

Instead, you can use glue to create decorations. We’re not talking about that plain white glue that we use every other day. For this tip, you have to use colored glue. Draw the snowflakes on a piece of paper, cover the drawings with glue, and wait until they dry.

#14: Pictures will help you organize

Christmas and other holidays are extremely special, especially when we get to bring the family together for a delicious meal. However, there is one problem with holiday gatherings, and that problem is putting things away once the party is over.

Christmas Storage: Ideas for Storing Trees, Wreaths, Lights & More -  Hayneedle
Image courtesy of hayneedle.com

If you have problems organizing your home after the holidays, one tip that may be useful to you is to take pictures before you close the boxes. For instance, if you have an unruly collection of decoration bits, take the time to put them back in an orderly fashion and take a picture for next year.

#15: Use wreaths to add volume to your tree

Decorating the tree is one of the most significant parts of Christmas. It is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality fun time with the whole family as you add personal touches and old and new ornaments. Here’s a tip to make your tree even better.

Image courtesy of 3littlegreenwoods.com

If you’ve just bought an artificial tree, you’ll notice that sometimes the Christmas tree doesn’t have enough volume. If you want to add volume and fluff to it, wrap a couple of wreaths around it and you’ll have a more filled-out tree.

#16: Give a different purpose to other decorations

As we mentioned earlier, you can always reuse decorations from other holidays. You can try to reuse Halloween decorations on Thanksgiving or Christmas, considering how close these are to one another. With that in mind, here is another tip on reusing decor.

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If you used a decorative pumpkin on Halloween and it is still intact, you can always turn it into a flower vase. This is a great idea to take into consideration when you are preparing this year’s Christmas mantel.

#17: Spray paint your Christmas lights

If we were being completely honest, we’d have to say that Christmas lights are a bit dull. In case you agree with us, and you want to try something different this year, this next tip will be ideal for you. 

Image courtesy of laandelu.com

Instead of using those same old dark green lights, why not paint them? All you have to do is buy some spray paint and paint them the color you want. You can choose to paint the lights metallic gold or silver. Think outside the box!

When you reuse stuff, you are not only helping reduce waste (reusing things is very eco-friendly), but you are also helping your pocket, as you’ll be saving some money. When it comes to decorating your house for the holidays, possibilities abound.

Image courtesy of snowmancrafts.co

If you are thinking of reusing stuff to create ornaments or decor this year, here is a brilliant idea. Instead of throwing away those Pringles cans, store them for the holidays. When it’s Christmas time, decorate the cans and use them as cookie holders!

#19: Use tomato cages to make topiaries

If you are the kind of person who likes to go all out during Christmas, you probably want to buy and use every single type of fancy decoration. We bet that you even buy topiaries to decorate your home during this season!

Image courtesy of 17apart.com

In case you don’t want to buy a topiary tree this year, we are going to show you an alternative. If you have a tomato cage at home, invert it and decorate it with some lights. You can make it as colorful or classy as you want!

#20: Use disposable tablecloths

One of the main downsides of holidays is that having people over means having to deal with a mess once they are gone. If you are in charge of cleaning your house, you certainly feel the dread building up as the end of Christmas night approaches.

Image courtesy of lemonthistle.com

As you can see in the picture above, this person used a disposable paper tablecloth on the dining table. When you use one of these, it means that once dinner is over, you can simply remove the dishes and throw the tablecloth away. It certainly beats having to wash a brand new tablecloth that is covered in food stains!

#21: Make your own tree ornaments

If you are running on a tight budget this year, you are probably trying to think of ways you can save some money without skimping on the fun. There are at least three significant dates towards the end of the year, and the expenses on those dates are going to be significant as well.

Image courtesy of www.diaforetiko.gr

In case you want to save as much money as possible, you can try not buying new tree ornaments this year. You’re probably wondering how you are going to decorate your Christmas tree if you don’t replace the ornaments the cat broke last year, and the answer is simple: make your own ornaments out of salt dough!

#22: Glass makes trees look brighter

Want to make your Christmas tree stand out this holiday? The best way of doing this is to add as many shiny ornaments to your tree as you can. But that can cost a lot of cash, as well as fill the tree to the point that things fall off on their own.

Image courtesy of www.tilestwra.com

If you want a tip on decorating, here’s one. In case you don’t have lots of ornaments and lights to make your tree look bright, you can always use glass. When you hang small mirrors on your tree, it will look more impressive for sure.

#23: Use candles inside jars

Earlier in this article, we showed you a tip to help you save ornaments when trying to fill decorative jars. Here is another tip that is similar to that one. Instead of using a toilet paper roll, you can use a candle!

Image courtesy of sasankaperera.com

When you put a toilet paper roll inside a jar, you are simply filling the space in a way that no one else will notice. But if you want to add some atmosphere, you can always put a candle inside the jar.

#24: Put up holiday cards on the cupboard

Holidays are filled with traditions, and one of the most popular Christmas traditions is sending a card to members of the family. If you receive a bunch of them and you want to put the whole lot on display, here’s a tip.

Image courtesy of Natalie Brown/buzzfeed.com

If you wrap a ribbon (vertically) around the door of your cupboard, you can easily hang your holiday cards using clothespins. Why hang them in the kitchen? Easy. You can add some festive vibes to the kitchen without taking up counter space.

#25: Put a glass inside another glass

This next tip is both a way of saving ornaments and a way of making your holiday decoration fancier. For this hack, you will only need to have two glasses and the fillers that you want to use. Then, you can do what you can see in this picture:

Image courtesy of feltsocute.wordpress.com

Grab the smaller glass and put it inside the larger glass. Then, fill the space between them using the baubles that you want. Some people put chocolate coins, and some people put tiny sugar candies, but this is up to you. Inside the smaller glass cup, you can put flowers or other ornaments.

#26: Use environment-friendly bows

While this is not necessarily a holiday hack, it is a neat tip for those who want to fill up fewer trash bags this holiday season. It is always helpful to keep in mind that there is a sustainable version of nearly everything.

Image courtesy of klankosova.tv

If you want to throw a sustainable Christmas party, you can try to make your own bows. By using Dunlap strips to craft your very own sustainable decoration pieces just like that one in the picture, you can also add a retro touch to the holiday.

#27: Skip the tree altogether

We know that we have been talking about Christmas trees quite a lot. But that doesn’t mean that the only holiday hacks are for those planning on decorating a tree. If you’re planning on skipping the tree, we’re not going to leave you out.

Image courtesy of kvartblog.ru

If you don’t want to have a Christmas tree in your living room ahead of time (or at all), you might like the idea of hanging a themed photograph like this one. Just put the poster on the wall and glue some Christmas balls to make it look more festive!

#28: Try different types of tabletop trees

Earlier in this article, we gave you the idea of using a tabletop Christmas tree in case you don’t have a lot of space in your apartment or house or if you just want to have a smaller tree this year. 

Image courtesy of www.iheartorganizing.com

But if you don’t want a tree at all, you may like the idea of making these Christmas decorations that are supposed to resemble a Christmas tree. All you need is to get a cone-shaped object and decorate it with green and red beads or whatever colors you like.

#29: Decorate your curtains with bows and necklaces.

Unless you are buying holiday-themed curtains or you already have curtain decoration stored at home, you are probably wondering what you are going to do about the living room curtains. They can look pretty plain and boring if you don’t decorate them, right?

Image courtesy of taodecor.vn

If that is how you feel about the curtains in your home, you can decorate them in a very simple way. If you have bead necklaces or one that has a bunch of stones, just wrap them around the curtains. Alternatively, you can also use hair bows to decorate them.

#30: Make snowflakes out of paper

If you are looking forward to taking a more hands-on approach to Christmas this year, you are probably thinking of ways to make your own decorations. We showed you how to make snowflakes out of glue, but here’s another way of making them.

Image courtesy of HGTV

In case you don’t want to use glue, you can make the classic version. You just draw the shapes on a piece of paper and carefully cut them. But keep in mind that this task can take quite some time, so you may want to start doing it a few days before Christmas.

#31: Spice up the garland

When we don’t take the time or put in the effort to decorate our home, the holidays may lack a bit of their luster. Decorations are a huge part of the holiday season, and they help set the festive mood. 

Image courtesy of thefreshexchange.com

If you feel like your garland doesn’t look quite as nice this year, you can always add a few branches of a real tree to the garland. Your guests will certainly notice how much effort you put into decorating once they see this beautiful ornament.

#32: Decorate the tree with candy

Have you ever thought of using candy to decorate your Christmas tree? We know that it sounds kind of peculiar, but it is actually a great idea for you to try this year. We know for a fact that the younger guests to your holiday party will love this!

Image courtesy of vlaz.info

As you can see in the picture, all you need is to get a candy recipe on the internet, buy some hard candy molds, and red (and maybe green, as well) food coloring. Make the candies and put them inside plastic bags — after that, all you have to do is hang the candy on the tree.

#33: Use removable wallpaper to decorate the living room

Red, green, gold, and white are the “official” Christmas colors. You probably know this, even if you don’t know why exactly these are the official colors. In case your home has a different color scheme, you’re probably thinking of ways to make it look more Christmas-y.

Image courtesy of iustitia.info

This woman, for instance, wanted to add some color to her living room because her wallpaper was black and white, which are not necessarily Christmas colors. Like her, you can add some temporary decorating to the wall by adding some red stripes, decorative pictures, and other bits and baubles.

#34: Hot-glue the lights

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t mean simply decorating the inside of your house. In fact, it seems that, lately, people have been more interested in decorating the exterior. We’re sure that you have probably seen pictures of flamboyant Christmas decorations before.

Image courtesy of Christmas Designers/YouTube

Even if you’re not aiming for an ostentatious presentation, you are probably thinking of hanging some lights outside your house to make it look more festive. In this case, our tip for you is to use a hot glue gun. Tape is not always reliable, but hot glue will make sure that the lights will stay in place until the end of the holidays.

#35: Decorate other objects in your home

If you want to take the festive feeling to the next level and you are good at knitting, we have the perfect DIY project for you. Why not decorate other items that will be used at the party, like chairs and maybe even cups?

Image courtesy of news.xopom.com

Cups are probably the last thing anyone would think about when it comes to decorating for Christmas. But if you do think about them and want to make them look cute, buy some red or green fabric, and sew it up like a Koozie.

#36: Make DIY garlands

As we mentioned before, garlands are a Christmas must-have, but maybe you want to jazz them up this year. Luckily, there are many different types of garlands that you can buy to decorate your home these days, and you can even try to make your very own garland.

Image courtesy of www.postfun.com

For DIY Christmas garland, all you will need are a couple of sheets and some fairy lights. Cut out the sheets and make ribbons out of them. Then, tie them into bows and wrap them around the lights and there you’ll have it.

#37: Use a log as the base of your tree

Earlier in this article, we showed you a way of changing up the base of your Christmas tree. Instead of using the classic tree skirt, we gave you the option of using a cardboard box wrapped in gift paper.

Image courtesy of unamon.com

But if you feel like doing more than using a cardboard box, you can carve a hole in the middle of the log and use it as the base of your tree. It is certainly going to add a certain rustic twang to your home!

#38: Wrap your front door

In case you are running on a shoestring budget this year and can’t spend much on holiday decorations, here is a helpful tip for you. Especially if you would prefer to spend the money to liven up the inside of the house.

Image courtesy of gagohome.com/Pinterest

In this case, you can simply wrap a ribbon on your front door. It will make your door look like a giant Christmas present, and whoever is walking by your house will see that you are not skipping the holiday celebrations this year; you’re just keeping things simple.

#39: Try alternatives for the Christmas tree topper

When we think of Christmas, certain things immediately come to mind. For instance, this holiday is associated with Santa Claus, gingerbread cookies, colorful decorations, and a huge tree covered in sparkles. One of these decorations is the tree topper, which is usually a golden star.

Image courtesy of popsugar.com

But who said that you could only use a golden star? While this may be the classic choice, you are not prohibited from changing that. If you want to use something other than the usual, do it! Some people use other symbols like angels, and others use a word that reflects what they want for the following year.

#40: Don’t scrape the wax off the menorah

We have been talking about Christmas an awful lot, but not everyone celebrates this holiday, which is related to a specific religion. If you’re Jewish, for instance, you celebrate different Hanukkah. And this tip is for those who struggle to clean the menorah after the eighth night is over.

Image courtesy of Natalie Brown/buzzfeed.com

When you look at the picture on the left and all that dry wax on the menorah, you are probably reminded of every single time you used your own. More specifically, you’re probably thinking of how hard it is to remove the wax without scratching the metal. Instead of scraping the wax, you can simply put the menorah in the oven at a low temperature and wait until the wax melts away!

#41: Pack everything in the same box

Earlier in this article, we briefly mentioned a touchy subject related to decorations. That subject was having to clean and organize the house once the party is over! The whole cleaning thing is basically the worst part of the holidays, but we are here to give you a helping hand.

Image courtesy of dakanhomes.com

If you have a big cardboard box at home, store all the decorations in that box. We do realize that they might be all cramped in this box, but it is better to store them this way for organization purposes. Keep in mind that next year you’ll just have to get that one box from storage.

#42: Hang ornaments from the living room lights

If you have pendant lights, or others with pieces that jut out, in your living room, you may want to get them in the holiday mood too. If you are wondering how you are going to do that, we are going to show you just one of many options.

Image courtesy of dom-and-sad.ru

Hanging ornaments from the living room light is a great idea to decorate your home for the holidays. Not only do they make your house look more festive (you can put different ones up for each holiday), but they’re also easy to hang; you won’t even need tape or glue.

#43: Use glassware to decorate the cookies

We all know that if we don’t watch it, the holiday season can become stressful. There is so much to do that we may even end up forgetting essential things, like buying gifts. If you have ever gone last-minute gift shopping, you know exactly how chaotic that is.

Image courtesy of www.wookmark.com

In case you forgot to buy molds to bake the cookies for your holiday party, no worries. Instead of freaking out because you don’t have the molds you need, use a glass cup or vase with a detailed bottom. Just press it against the cookie dough, and you’ll have an ornate cookie.

#44: Carve a pumpkin and use it as a bowl

In case you are looking for last-minute Halloween decorating tips, we have one that you might love. This easy tip is particularly helpful for those who are looking forward to really displaying just how much they love the spooky season.

Image courtesy of nieuw.ambiance.be

Buy a few pumpkins and carve all of them. Once they’re carved, you can use the pumpkins as bowls and serve food in them. Well, you can’t serve just any type of food using this pumpkin bowl, but it sure will make your house look more festive!

#45: Make a gingerbread house out of a cardboard box

Gingerbread is something that we immediately associate with Christmas. Gingerbread cookies are a classic during this season, but the houses are also quite popular. The only problem with these fun and edible projects is that they are not necessarily easy to make.

Image courtesy of potatocakely/buzzfeed.com

In case you struggle with baking in general or if the issue is just the gingerbread house, you’re going to love this. Instead of making a house out of actual gingerbread, you can make it out of cardboard. It’s not going to be edible, obviously, but it will look just as pretty as any other gingerbread house!

#46: Hide all the wires

Dealing with a bunch of wires is one of the greatest problems that come with holiday decorations. We live in the Bluetooth era, so it’s no wonder people dislike it when they have to figure out what to do with the loose wires that are ruining their decoration.

Image courtesy of marshalmellow/Pinterest

Try this useful hack if you have an F-trim at home. Cut holes that fit the lights and carefully get them through the holes. It takes a bit of patience to get all the lights in place, but it’s worth it because you get to hide the ugly wires and make your place festive.