Christmas Reimagined: Striking New Uses for Holiday Ornaments, Wreaths, and Garlands

There’s something magical about traditional holiday decorations and the sense of joy they evoke. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, fully decorated Christmas tree standing magnificently in a living room or a sparkling garland wound around a staircase banister?


reimagined christmas decor on a wall pine boughs sit on top of framed art
A SIDE OF CHEER   Add Christmas picks, or boughs of cedar tied with red ribbon, to tops of framed art. (via Southern Living/Hector Manuel Sanchez)


But sometimes, it feels good to shake things up, and that time has come for Christmas decorations. Maybe you want a more modern or subtle Christmas. Maybe you’re working with a smaller space. Or perhaps, you just want to try something new this season!

We’ll look at different ways to display all the traditional holiday decor, a change in duty that should delight and surprise even the Grinch-iest of guests. 


Unique Ways To Decorate Your Home for Christmas

Get inspired by these new and innovative ways to use all the standard holiday items (garlands, wreaths, Christmas lights, picks, branches, and ornaments), and spice up this year’s holiday decor. 


new christmas decor idea ornaments hung on stair rail
STAIRWAY TO CHRISTMAS   Red ribbon and cords with colorful ornaments. (via REAL SIMPLE)



Ornaments are more than baubles to hang from the tree. Here’s how to incorporate these familiar bits and pieces into your reimagined holiday decor.

Front door disco 

It’s Christmas party time, so embrace this part of the holiday festivities with some good old disco balls.


disco ball and red bow christmas front door
A GLOW UP  With extra-large disco balls. (via domino)

If you’re throwing a holiday party, this is a great way to show guests they’re at the right place. Place a disco ball (with the same or larger diameter than the urn) on top of a garden urn next to your front door. Tie colored ribbon strands to the disco ball and make your front door extra Christmas-y with a giant red bow hung on the wall just above it.


Starstruck doorway

Usually, stars add sparkle to Christmas trees, while snowflakes play up winter decor themes like ‘white Christmas’ or ‘first snowfall’ alongside icicle ornaments and snow covered branches. This subtle but festive celestial decor is easy to achieve with larger versions of these ornaments. 


Christmas star ornaments frame doorway to a dining room
STELLAR ENTRY   Or, subsitute snowflakes. (via domino)

Frame a doorway — perhaps one to a living room or a dining room — in your home with your chosen ornaments. For a holiday celebration in a large event space or where you have wide and tall entryways, use starburst ornaments. Imagine the magical look using a mix of these large starburst ornaments that give it real depth and a sculptural feel.

We also love this recreated with snowflake ornaments in a mix of different sizes and styles, to give it a sense of movement.


Christmas cloche

A glass cloche is a classic and versatile decorative accent, and if you’ve got one, here’s one way to use it during the holidays. 


glass christmas ornaments under glass bell jar
UNDER GLASS   Pink glass ornaments. (via Martha Stewart)

Show off a collection of holiday decor, en masse, in a glass bell jar. It may be your collection of nutcracker ornaments, or santa ornaments, or vintage cars with Christmas trees, for example; the beauty of this lies in the quantity and repetition.

Get this look by gathering a handful of Christmas ornaments you’d like to show themed as a singular shape, as a monochromatic mix of ornament balls, finials, and other shapes, or a random assortment of shapes and colors to truly give it a ‘vintage Christmas’ decor feel. Get a couple of glass cloches in different sizes. Make the finished display more festive or dramatic topped with a gold plate, a wooden tray, or plain black or white ones.


christmas reimagined white amaryllis topiary
DROP POT   Ornaments cover up a grower’s pot. (via Southern Living)

Ornament topsoil

Make hyacinths, paperwhites, and amaryllis picked up from the store in plain grower’s pots, your new holiday stars. Drop your potted plant into a larger bowl, a tureen, or a. planter, and cover the top, to hide the pot from sight, with some evergreen picks. Finish with ornament balls in your colors and style; clusters of ornament balls make this an even easier way to add a holiday touch to your potted plants or flowers.


Garlands Galore

We’re in no way saying that garlands are unique Christmas decor — but it’s all about finding new ways and putting a spin on where and how you could decorate with garlands!

Eucalyptus accents

Typically, greenery for Christmas decor includes pines, firs, and other evergreens. With their bluish-green colors, eucalyptus leaves make for a visually interesting addition to the roster of holiday greenery.


new Christmas decor garlands in curio cabinet
OPEN DOOR  In your cabinets, weave eucalyptus garlands through your collectibles, curios, or books. (via House & Home/Donna Griffith)

Lay eucalyptus garlands inside curio cabinets, leaving the doors ajar to also show off its contents. For texture, layer different eucalyptus varieties like silver dollar eucalyptus, which has rounded leaves, with the long and pointed leaf willow eucalyptus


Garland frame

This idea borrowed from window dressing, works just as well for a set of shelves. Draping long, lush garlands around the edges of a built-in bookcase is a great way to add holiday decor to any room.


christmas decor reimagined garland framed built-in cabinet
DRINK STATION   Designate a couple of shelves in your built-in bookcase to hold items for serving wine and cocktails when you’re entertaining. A garland drape calls attention to this spot so guests know where to grab their drinks. – Southern Living (Hector Manuel Sanchez)

If you’re throwing a Christmas party, use the idea to note a self-serve drinks station or food station, that signals to your guests where to come and help themselves. 

Not having built-ins is not a problem. Boughs look just as regal around a regular bookshelf.


Accent Mirror

Just like dressing up your shelves, a cypress garland makes for a beautiful holiday trim on a large mirror in any room of the house. Dress up a tabletop below the mirror with more holiday items or use it to hold gifts.


striking christmas decor garland framed mirror
PARTY ON THE SIDE   A decorated mirror above a sideboard filled with Christmas gifts, and candle hurricanes with ornaments. (via Southern Living/Hector Manuel Sanchez)

A cypress garland is the best choice here, as its flat leaves that lay on top of each other give a full, verdant look. 



christmas reimagined chinese lanterns hung on framed art
BUNDLE UP   Chinese lanterns gathered in a bunch, hung casually on framed art. (via House & Garden)

Picks and Branches

Your living room may always get the Christmas tree, but branches and picks let you spread holiday cheer throughout your home. 


evergreen branch with pine cones hung on the wall
HOLIDAY ART   Make use of wall space. (via Lynda Gardener)

branches as wall art

Particularly if you’re working with a small space, a lush pine branch makes a visual splash when hung alone on a white wall. Opt for a branch with pinecones attached for a truly cozy Christmas vibe.

Hang it on a hook or tied with a simple piece of twine for a rustic look. If you’re aiming for more glam in your decor this Christmas, a tied bunch with two or three pieces of this silver Japanese pine branch, adds metallic glitz using the same concept. 



modern christmas home with greenery arrangements around fireplace
MINIMALIST   No traditional pine. (via House and Garden/Anders Schonnemann)

Minimalist Foliage Arrangements 

Let your own personal style shine through while still serving Christmas as a decor piece. Here, less is more. Eschew typical floral arrangements for soft, green, leaf-only bouquets.

Let your creativity run free and choose the plants that resonate with you. Combine powder eucalyptus sprays with seeded eucalyptus bouquets and rounded leaves to emulate this design. Finish it off with a healthy dose of asparagus fern to fill it out, and place them in unadorned pots like these rough gray ficonstone ones


christmas holly arrangement in black urn
IN THE WINDOW   Holly with berries. (via House and Garden/Mark Fox)

A holly filled urn

In pre-Victorian times, “Christmas trees” were not pines but holly bushes. During Christian times in Europe, its spiny leaves came to represent the crown of thorns put on Christ’s head. Holly’s deep green leaves and red berries make for grand holiday arrangements arranged as huge, leafy bunches. Start with a large urn as your vessel. An aged bronze urn adds classic holiday metallic tones to your home, or opt for a modern solid black urn for a room with contemporary style.

Then, gather up your holly sprigs and fill the urn with as many as you please. You could even wrap a long holly garland around the base of the urn. Add other holiday branches if you’d like to bulk up the arrangement. 


Christmas Trees

If you’re looking for ideas for unique Christmas trees, we’ve got you covered.


Wall tree

For small space living, a wall tree is the answer. It’s ideal for an apartment or if you want a more pared-back Christmas aesthetic to your holiday decor. 


small space living christmas tree on wall
2-D TANNENBAUM   A genius small-space Christmas tree. (via Martha Stewart)

Making a wall tree is easy — just gather five pine boughs, and trim them to five different lengths. Attach them to the wall with adhesive utility hooks, and there you have it! 

Of course, it’ll need trimming. Opt for smaller, subtle baubles to match the low-key vibe of the tree and pair mini gold baubles with mini silver baubles to complete this look. 


Pine cone tree

Christmas trees don’t have to be actual trees! This DIY pine cone tree may seem like unusual Christmas decor, but it’s an eye-catching piece and a subtle way to celebrate the holidays. Plus, it’s a fun project that kids can get involved with.


diy natural pine cone christmas tree
WOODSY CHARM   A DIY tabletop Christmas tree made with natural pine cones. (via HGTV)

All you’ll need is a foam cone, wired floral picks, and a handful of pine cones. Use artificial pine cones here (which also allow you to adapt this idea to match your style with glittery gold or silver pine cones). 


Bar cart

What’s Christmas without a few drinks to get everyone in the festive spirit? If you don’t have time or energy to dress your whole house for the holidays, just focus on one area — like a bar cart.


christmas party bar cart decorating
BEAUTIFY A BAR CART   With a gold Christmas tree. (via Real Simple/Johnny Miller)

This gold mercury glass Christmas tree will look stunning nestled between your bottles and requires zero set-up. Make it even more eye-catching with this towering 26-inch gold faceted tree sculpture. Add a simple bouquet of purple seeded eucalyptus in place of flowers. 

Add a few more accents to the cart — glassware for drinks, and cocktail garnishes — and you have the easiest tree replacement ever. Plus, you won’t have to play bartender.


Christmas Lights

Nothing says Christmas like dozens of twinkling lights strung up inside and outside your home. Here are some unique holiday decor ideas for those lights we all love so much.

Faux hearth

Ideally, we’d all be living in beautiful manors with fireplaces in every room, ready to be decked out for the holidays. Alas, that’s not always the case. But it’s pretty easy to replicate the warm energy of a hearth with a few simple items.


faux hearth with glowing birch logs
LIT LOGS   Glowing with fairy lights. (via Real Simple/Nicole Franzen)

Wrap a few birch logs in fairy lights and place them in a wire basket. Be sure to opt for warm white colored lights to get that fireplace-glow look.

Your glowing logs don’t just have to serve as a replacement fireplace in front of a fireplace. Add their fiery glow to other rooms that don’t traditionally get any or much holiday decor, a bedroom, den, or home office.


magnolia branches in wood vase with fairy lights for reimagined christmas decor
MAGNIFICENT MAGNOLIA   Asymmetrical arrangement. (via Southern Living)

Glowing magnolias

Magnolia, unique and loved for holiday decor, also makes for stately arrangements with branches that show of its handsome and smooth leaves. Make it more festive with fairy lights.

Start with a rustic wooden vase — opaque, it will hide the florist foam keeping your stems and branches in place. Fill the vase with magnolia leaf sprays. Use these battery-operated naked LED lights so you can hide the battery packs out of sight in the vase. Wrap fairy lights around the stems of the branches, with some of the lights spilling out of the vase. And finally, sculpt the branches and leaves to get a beautifully shaped arrangement.


Woodland Branches

This is similar to the magnolia branch idea but on a grander scale. These glowing branches wrapped with fairy lights look stunning flanking a doorway, perched in a corner in place of a tree, or even outside your front door.


branches wrapped in christmas lights modern holiday decor
LET THERE BE LIGHT   Borrow this trick for installing a dramatic display, inside or out. – Martha Stewart Living

They’re simple to assemble, too. Grab some lightweight urns, and fill them with floral foam to keep your branches steady. Then get the biggest branches you can find (which will still fit indoors), like this 62-inch twig branch, or this 48-inch artificial birch, and anchor them in the foam. Wind naked-wire LED lights around the branch (you may need a stepladder), and hide the battery packs inside the pot. Place green moss around the base of the branches to complete the look.



How do you turn wreaths — one of the most classic Christmas decorations — into something a little more exciting? Here are three ways.


reimagined christmas modern home holiday decor wreaths on staircase
STREAMLINED STAIRS   Plain wreaths with simply tied ribbon. (via domino)

Wreaths on stairs (modern)

Christmas wreaths are typically lush, adorned with berries and baubles, and designed to catch the eye. But here, simpler is better. 

Hang a trio of modern, minimalist wreaths on the staircase railing. Find a wreath that perfectly suits your decor and style, then add a pop of color with thick strands of wide ribbon. Voila!


Wreaths on stairs (classic)

To channel a more traditional take on wreath-based decorating, all you need is a big, thick, wreath like the ones in this photo.


reimagined classic christmas home decor wreath with bow
GRAND STAIRCASE   A classic bow on a lush wreath. (via House & Garden)

Opt for a single evergreen wreath at the base of the staircase or multiple placed at regular intervals. The type and size are entirely up to you, and we have plenty of varieties to choose from. Add a red and gold holiday ribbon for a festive touch.


In the bedroom

Wreaths shouldn’t just be saved for windows, doors, and stairs. Add a cute touch of Christmas to your bedroom, by hanging a small wreath above your bed.


new christmas decor wreath on bedroom wall
BEDSIDE MANNER   A wreath just above the headboard. (via Suzonne Stirling)

Get this three-piece wreath set so you can have matching wreaths throughout the house; just save the smallest one for the bedroom. Complete the look with a mini burlap-wrapped tree mini Cypress tree on a bedside table. Optional: Decorate the tree with mini Christmas ornaments.



If you’re feeling inspired to try something new with your holiday decorations this year, Jamali Garden is here to help. Check out our wide range of holiday decor to help bring these unique Christmas decoration ideas to life.