The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Decorating

christmas ornaments
Photo: Getty

Face it: Tinsel can get the best of all of us. Feeling a little bit like Clark Griswold? Get down from that ladder and follow a few of our rules to trim by.

Check out all the holiday decor dos and don'ts.

  1. Do mix and match on the mantel.

    Let different items sit together. Bring on the candlesticks, vases, and ornaments. The trick is to pick one color and vary the shades. Think about how well light blue, navy, and cobalt look when they stick together.

  2. Do use oversized bulbs.

    Lighten up and start thinking outside the traditional box. Go big, bold, and bright on the tree or hang those colorful strings along your mantel, window frames, or stairway banister.

    25-Count Multicolor LED Christmas String Lights, similar found at

  3. Do keep in mind that not all trees are tall and green.

    Hello, small-space wonders! Apartment dwellers can celebrate too. Here’s our rule: If you go for a color -- like winter white -- then stick with a single color for your ornaments as well.

    Pre-Lit Crystal White Artificial Tree,

  4. Don’t think Advent calendars are just for kids.

    Sure, we love the chocolates, but here’s a new way to count down the days ‘til St. Nick arrives.

    Similar advent calendars,

  5. Don’t overdo the front-door decor.

    But don’t forget about it either. Why not make it easy on yourself and go with something that won’t die? Here’s to celebrating all winter long.

    Glitter Ball Wreath, $55,
  6. Do embrace those vintage finds.

    They’re back! Break out the hand-stitched stockings, ornaments, and decor. Don’t have any from the good ol’ days? No prob; just buy ’em!

    Find similar ornaments at

    Need ornaments for your tree? Check out these fun picks!

    Find festive holiday wrapping ideas here.

    And browse our favorite holiday recipes.

  7. Do personalize your stockings.

    Names? Been there. Monograms? Done that. Hobbies and interests? Game on! Let your stockings say something about you.

    Wool Felt Stockings,

  8. Don’t forget seasonal elements.

    “Festive” can mean a lot of things. Why not take a more rustic approach? Bring in bark mirrors, lanterns, and pinecones.

  9. Don’t forget the glitter.

    We’re all about glitz and glam -- to a point, that is. Beware of shimmer overload. Choose one metallic and let it steal the show.

    Spiral Wire Trees,

  10. Don’t shy away from the classics.

    Yep, you heard it here first: Go on and hang the garland -- but do it right! Red and green look pretty darn chic in felt.

    Cranberry garland,