Decorating a Wreath for the Winter Holidays: Christmas and Beyond

The winter holiday season is one of the most festive times of year for outdoor décor. With Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Yule packed into a whirlwind six-week period, there’s an abundance of holiday swag on every corner. If you want to get in on the festivity, one easy and eye-catching way is with a front door wreath, personalized to highlight your own taste and celebration.


Don’t know where to get started? There are almost as many wreath decorating ideas as there are doors to hang them on! From simple, traditional decorations to stylized modern baubles, there’s a multitude of adornments to achieve whatever winter wonderland effect you desire. Use these five ideas as a springboard:


  • Classic
  • Rustic
  • Fancy
  • Modern
  • Tidings



The classic holiday wreath is best known as a Christmas wreath. Simple pine bough construction with a bow, traditionally of red ribbon, makes this a holiday look that will never go out of style. Variations on the classic wreath include wrapped ribbon instead of a bow or a change in ribbon color that ties the look to different holidays, such as blue for Hanukkah, or red, black, and green for Kwanzaa. Additional ornamentation other than pine cones or berries on the wreath moves it away from the classic look, which is based on simplicity, so don’t go overboard with your accessories.



The classic wreath can be fresh or artificial pine, depending on if you prefer the delightful scent of the fresh variety or the year-to-year reusability of the artificial type. Any nursery or Christmas tree vendor will have fresh wreaths for sale. Artificial wreaths can be found all over the place during the holiday season- at big box and grocery stores, as well as craft centers.



If pine cones and berries are just not enough natural elements for you, a rustic-style wreath is probably what you’re looking for. Unlike the classic, which is always pine, a rustic wreath has lots of wiggle room for materials (as long as they aren’t artificial). Pine, birch, grapevine, reeds, and wrapped fabric are just a few ideas for rustic wreath building, and premade wreaths of these types can be found in many craft stores and nurseries.



The sky (and the field and trees) are the limit when it comes to DIY decorating your rustic holiday wreath. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and pine cones, berry sprigs, feathers, and pussy willows are just a handful of options. To complement nature’s offerings, consider adding primitive wooden ornaments, burlap, and uncomplicated metal accents to complete the homespun look.



Provincial wreaths don’t appeal to everyone. You can always try the opposite and go glam. Fancy wreaths come in all colors, sizes, and materials, and artificial is far from taboo. How about some glittered fruit, pearls, or tulle? The color palette is a free-for-all — pink, yellow, teal, etc. Whatever strikes your fancy. There’s no such thing as too much bling or “over the top” sparkle here.



All kinds of fancy wreaths can be found prefab, and adding more of your own embellishments is straightforward, and in most cases can be done with a hot glue gun, or possibly some floral wire. And honestly, you can’t throw an ornament this time of year without hitting some new spangled décor at any craft store or nursery worth its holiday cheer. Even the seasonal aisle in the grocery store is bound to have some goodies for gussying up your wreath.



If fancy is too hoity-toity for your tastes, a modern wreath may more up your holiday alley. Think sleek and shiny, chrome, and foil. Wreaths made out traditional metallic sphere ornaments are fantastically modern and eye-catching, giving this an old-fashioned holiday decoration staple a new spin. You can purchase an ornament wreath in numerous places, from Pier 1 to Target to Etsy. Foil foliage and monochromatic color palettes are also go-to modern wreath options, also widely available.



These styles work very well in warmer climates that don’t experience the winter season as it usually depicted when associated with winter holidays. Chestnuts are definitely not roasting by the open fire in Daytona or Los Angeles! Modern wreaths give a nod to the season without compromising a local vibe. They also create a chic, sophisticated entryway for your holiday home. If you’re not sure how to decorate for Christmas without those stereotypical holiday decorations, a modern wreath is a great starting point.



When there’s a heartfelt message of the season you want to share, a tidings wreath could be a perfect choice. Ornaments or a printed ribbon with your holiday message can serve as the focal point of your wreath, from Happy Holidays to Good Yule. Not into spelling it out? Adding a nativity, kinara, or a menorah to your wreath can signify the importance of religion and culture in your home, as can the incorporation of specific holiday colors. Looking for a warm, and wide-reaching holiday sentiment? Peace on earth is welcoming to everyone.



Let There Be Light

As you consider which style of wreath is right for your home, don’t forget the universal equalizer: holiday lights. Whether old school, LEDs, or tiny wired strings, lights add nighttime appeal and a festive look. They’re not a must, but an add-on that can be applied to any of the wreaths discussed here, especially with all the battery powered options available.



Whether you’re lighting up the night or powering down with a quiet holiday, if you get the right kind of wreath to match the aesthetic you’re trying to create, you’re setting the stage for a great New Year!


Images used with permission, courtesy of and

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