It seems like there are two camps of people: Those who start hanging the holiday lights up in September and those who won’t even glance at a box of ornaments until November is passed. Whichever camp you’re in, however, you’d better get started. It won’t be long, after all, before Santa’s on his way!

What’s Shaping the Holiday’s Direction This Year?

Undeniably, COVID-19 has had a massive effect on everyone and everything this year, including how we celebrate the winter holidays. Many of the seasonal trends we’ve spotted appear to reflect a combination of practicality and contemplation related to the pandemic’s omnipresence in our lives right now.

With many venues closed and the dangers of large gatherings evident, lots of folks are limiting themselves to small get-togethers with their close family members, instead. Coupled with the uncertainties and stresses of the past year, many are turning away from the overly commercial aspects of the holiday and focusing harder on the family values and experiences that make the season so impactful.

This does not mean, however, that the holiday decorations will be low-key. In fact, if anything, 2020 may be the year that people go wild with their decor, especially those who have been stuck at home for several months with lots of time to plan. After all, the winter holidays offer a refreshing sense of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal year — and that’s truly something to celebrate.

With all that in mind, here are the top holiday decorating trends we’re seeing:

Homemade Ornaments and Cottagecore Decorations

“Cottagecore,” the aesthetic movement that embraces a simple life and traditional skills, like crafting, knitting and candle making, has been steadily gaining ground all year. Folks have rediscovered the unpretentious pleasure that comes from things like making their own bread, pouring their own soaps and living without unnecessary complications.

For the holiday season, that’s translating into a lot more time spent on making memories with loved ones. Do-it-yourself ornaments and handmade decorations are inexpensive, fun to do and a great way for families to while away some time together.

If you want to emulate this trend, there are a lot of very easy ways to do it. You can make ornaments out of cinnamon dough with the kids, create origami birds for the tree or hang paper snowflakes in your windows. Wooden beads and string can be turned into garlands. If you’ve ever wanted to make a huge gingerbread house for your holiday centerpiece, this is definitely the time to try it.

When adding to your decorations, think natural winter colors, like forest green, bark brown, snow white, cranberry red, sky blue and poinsettia pink.

Sustainable, Repurposed and Recycled Decor

It’s probably not a big surprise that folks are also feeling nostalgic about holidays gone-by and their happiest memories of the past. That, plus a growing trend of environmental consciousness among consumers, has people thinking about ways to preserve the best parts of the past for the future.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that people are digging around in old boxes and scouring thrift stores for antique ornaments and decorations that remind them of their youth. A lot of people are skipping the mass-produced decorations for sale in the big box stores and choosing to buy locally-sourced, handmade items that are meant to be keepsakes forever, instead.

Natural, earthy decorations are also part of this trend — although many have a dusting of glitter or faux snow for the season. Farmhouse neutrals, like navy, black, white, gray and natural wood tones are all being incorporated into the holiday decor. Think dishes of pinecones, cinnamon brooms, metal centerpieces and mason jar candles when you’re looking for accent items.

Highly Decorated Doors and Greeting Card Strings

3d rendering. christmas decorated porch with little trees and lanterns.

All the necessary social distancing this year has forced a lot of people to shut their doors to visitors — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to share their holiday spirit. Maybe that’s why door decorations are a much bigger deal this year than they were in the past.

Forget about a simple wreath. This year, the trend is toward much more elaborate door decorations, whether they involve bundles of ornaments hung from a bow, tons of handmade snowmen or something else. Let your creativity shine and don’t worry about going overboard.

Greeting cards have also experienced a surge in popularity this year, most likely spurred on by the need people have to reinforce their connections with others. More than 50% of people say they’re either “very likely” or completely sure to send out cards this year.

That means you can also expect to see the resurgence of another old holiday habit: the greeting card string. If you fondly remember your parents hanging all the holiday cards they received on a string in the hall or entryway as decorations, now you can create your own.

Themed Trees and Matching Decorations

If Cottagecore, nostalgia, and a mishmash of homespun ornaments aren’t your thing, it’s okay: A lot of folks find that the visual clutter and noise surrounding the holiday is overwhelming unless it has a central, organized theme.

This year, one of the most popular themes we’re seeing in holiday decor is the use of deep blues and whites together, instead of red and green. That may have something to do with the fact that a lot of homeowners have incorporated navy, 2020’s color of the year, into their homes. Metallics, especially platinum and gold, are also very big this season.

Other prominent themes we’ve seen include gingerbread men, nutcrackers and snowflakes, but you shouldn’t be afraid to embrace whatever theme strikes your fancy. This is, after all, your holiday and home, so you should let your decorations reflect your sensibilities and passions.

If you’re just getting started on your holiday decorations, give one of these holiday decorating trends a whirl!

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