15 Ways To Make Your Christmas Festive & Beautiful

Every year I say I’m going to get my wreaths up on my exterior windows earlier in the season so I can enjoy them longer and this year I finally managed to get it done! Yipee!

Hang Wreaths on Windows


I’m so excited to have them up early enough to really enjoy them for a nice long time. The days always pass so quickly this time of year, don’t they?

Christmas Wreath Hung On Windows


My landscaping across the front is on hold as I wait for the leaves to fall off the Waterfall Japanese Maple so it can be transplanted to another area of the yard. I’m not sure if I’ll get the shrubs in this fall, I may have to wait until spring. After planting 7 trees and 5 shrubs this fall, and having 6 shrubs removed, I’m ready to take a little break and just enjoy the holidays as they are fast approaching.

Wreaths on Exterior Windows


For a full explanation on how I hang the wreaths each year, check out this detailed tutorial post: Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows For Christmas

From all the pinning I’m seeing on Pinterest, I can tell I’m not the only one getting into Christmas planning mode. Today I’m linking out to 15 past posts I hope you’ll find helpful as you plan for your holiday decorating and partying. Happy Holidays!


Pssst: Click on either the title OR on the picture below to access each tutorial post.


1.  Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows For Christmas

How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows


2. Insanely Awesome Champagne Punch…Make several batches because it’s always a big hit!

Insanely Awesome Champagne Punch


3. Pottery Barn Inspired Garland Tutorial…Make Your Own



4. Decorating The Porch For Christmas

Between Naps on the Porch Christmas Porch



5. 10 Christmas Mantels Santa Would Be Lucky To Land Under

10 Beautiful Christmas Mantels


6. Easy Repair For Dead Christmas Tree Lights

Easy Repair for Dead Christmas Tree Lights


7. 21 Holiday Party Drinks

21 Holiday Party Drinks


8. Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

Christmas Tree Napkin Fold


9. 12 Beautiful Christmas Banisters

12 Beautiful Christmas Banisters

10. Line Your Walkway With DIY Lanterns For A Christmas Party

Mason Jar Lanterns for Christmas


11. Emergency substitutions for Common Ingredients

Emergency Substitutions for Common Ingredients


12. 23+ Themed Christmas Tree Ideas

23+ Themed Christmas Tree Ideas


13. Dress Up Your Presents With Christmas Mice Or Hang Them On The Tree

Christmas Mice Ornament or Present Topper


14.  Create a Table Centerpiece With Dept. 56 Lit Houses

Christmas Table Setting with Dept. 56 Lit Houses


15. Decorate A Lantern With Greenery From The Garden

Lantern Decorated for Christmas


Bonus: Who doesn’t love a bonus! 🙂

Make a Cranberry Trifle Your Guests Will Love

Cranberry Trifle, Great for a Christmas Dessert_wm


See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. Before even clicking on a link, there is so much to absorb. Your home seems brighter after all the landscaping–do you notice a difference inside?
    Thanks for all the holiday info and ideas.

    • I really do, Mia! The two rooms I have noticed the biggest difference in are the living room (that I’d like to turn into a library one day) and my master bedroom. Those rooms are soooo much brighter now without the gigantic holly that was completely blocking an upstairs and downstairs window. I was excited to notice today that the berries on the Savannah Hollies I planted have all turned bright red. I think I even saw a bird on one of the trees. Supposedly birds like the berries on a Savannah Holly. I’m trying to landscape with the birds in mind…love drawing them to the yard. Thanks for asking about the light, Mia…you are so perceptive!

  2. Good for you! I just can’t bring myself to do it though, Tgiving is still 2 weeks away. I think the neighbors would think I was crazy! Now inside, as I am not hosting anything for Tgiving, I may be tempted to get going!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to explain how you hung your wreaths. I was driving home from the store and saw a house with similar wreaths on their windows. I am going to do this for my house. I have a red brick house as well and the greenery against the brick looks marvelous.

  4. Wow! You have been busy! I know I need to have a game plan. Thanks for all the ideas!

  5. Patricia Alexander says

    When, if ever, do you sleep. You are an inspiration. Thanks for keeping us up to date and DIY savvy!

  6. Leslie McCoy says

    Stunning! I think I’d enjoy it seeing it as long as I could! Early is fine!

  7. Hi……thanks for sharing so many great links..I was looking at this one just this morning…I’m getting in the mood to get de’cluttered an bring on christmas..I’ve never been one to do it early..not til dec..but like you said the days fly by..even faster since I’ve been 50..for 6 yrs now..my mom said it just goes faster an faster..since you shared that sweet tablescape last yr with those charming Christmas plates from Walmart I’ve been looking for them..haven’t seen those here in MD yet..or maybe i’m looking in the wrong area..never the less..I’m keeping an eye out…


    • Wende, call the Walmart stores in your area and see if maybe one has them. Maybe some locations aren’t getting them or perhaps they are in a different area in the store. I am seeing them here in the Atlanta stores now. Here’s a picture I took in a Walmart in Atlanta a week or so ago:
      Better Homes & Gardens Dishware
      Best of luck with finding them…it’s still early so hopefully you’ll find them in a store soon.

      • Thanks..looks like they are in the Christmas area..I looked in the dishes area too..I’m going to save this photo to show our store..I did find the ornaments you shared the other week..I got the red hearts with the deer..I’m going to add some tiny fresh greens to those an hang them from the window locks..

      • Thanks..looks like they are in the Christmas area..I looked in the dishes area too..I’m going to save this photo to show our store..I did find the ornaments you shared the other week..I got the red hearts with the deer..I’m going to add some tiny fresh greens to those an hang them from the window locks..

        sorry if this comes twice..I didn’t see it the first time

        • Wende, one year I found them in an area with other Christmas stuff, but in another Walmart, they were with the dishes. I almost didn’t find because I was looking with the Christmas stuff. So I think each store may put them in a different place. You can also order them online…but they only sell them by the place setting…not just the salads alone.

  8. I always love seeing the wreaths on your home, they definitley say Christmas to me and are simply stunning. So many great ideas, I need to make that champagne punch, it sounds define.

  9. Thank you so much for such a wonderful post!! I love having so many ideas in one place that I can reference back to and trust me…I reference your blog A LOT!!! I also want to thank you for taking the picture of the dish display for us. It’s nice to see the components so I can plan my buying trip. In fact, this is what I want my DH to buy me for Christmas!! I’m practical that way!! We both will enjoy it, as well as our guests…like I need another china pattern. Haha Thank you so much for all you do for us.

    • Thanks, Susan! Well, tell your DH he needs to order it from their website really soon because I’m afraid it will disappear like it did last year. It is so cute! You sound like me…wanting dishes for Christmas. lol At least it’s something you can enjoy all through the winter season.

  10. Hooray for you for getting your wreaths up. I agree that the season comes and goes so quickly it seems we don’t really get to enjoy it. I am not planning to decorate this year except for a wreath I am making. Going to spend Christmas in Atlanta and I am just not up to putting it all up and taking it down. xo Laura

  11. I just love your wreaths, and I think I have told you before I love to see how you wrap packages. Thanks for the idea.


  12. Oh, I can’t wait to have some time to sift through all these! Am going to do my windows this weekend, too. But, because my top windows won’t come down, I put swags with red bows on my upstairs window sills and wreaths with red bows on my first floor – the ones I can reach. I do so love the double wreaths, tho…maybe I can figure out how to unstick the upper windows. Thanks for all the great info in one spot!

    • Judi, I had terrible time after my home was painted a few years ago. I could budge any of the windows. I was as mad as a wet hen! I got on the phone and called the painter who had painted the exterior of my home around 8-9 months before and he hightailed it out here and got every one of them unstuck. I couldn’t do it because they were painted shut on the outside, not the inside. He had to get on a very, very tall ladder to get to the second story windows and unstick ’em but he did it!
      Depending on how your’s are stuck, you can sometimes unstick them with a putty knife…by wedging it in where it’s stuck. If they are painted shut from the outside like mine, that will take someone getting on a ladder most likely. Hope you can get them unstuck but I love the your idea with the swags. That sounds beautiful!

  13. Oh your dining room is sooo beautiful, the red walls, that FABULOUS mirror, the crystal chandelier….so gorge. *drool* I’ve already printed out that cranberry trifle recipe, ahem. I’m for sure making this for Christmas.

    Oh, I’ve already been scouting for the Christmas dishes at Walmart…found the dinner plates, crammed up under the Fall stuff, you couldn’t even see the plates it was crammed all the way up under the shelf. I just saw the red edges and suspected I had found something Christmassy, I had to dig them out, one was cracked~~none of the salad plates or serving platters were there. I asked about them (actually found a sales associate that hadn’t managed to run away, lol)and they said they hadn’t got them in yet. So I went ahead and bought most of the dinner plates, cuz you see ’em you better get ’em or they will be GONE with the wind, hehe. This is in southeast Alablama. Nice things don’t stay at Walmart for long ; )

  14. Oh my! Your home is lovely with all the wreaths up! I would think your neighbors would love seeing your lovely home all decorated so nicely. I would love having you live on my street! So many wonderful Christmas ideas here, I have pinned and pinned away! Thanks for always being such an inspiration. I was so complemented when a reader of mine told me that your blog and mine are her favorites!

  15. GORGEOUS home!

  16. Susan, this is a great post. I have had a wonderful time going through the links to past posts. I printed out the cranberry trifle recipe. I was wondering if there would be a good substitute for ginger?

  17. I’m a pinnin’ fool right now!!!!!!!! Such great ideas! I’m so glad you did the tutorial on hanging wreaths from the upstairs windows. We now have windows like Iris’s and I wondered how on earth I was going to get those things to hang since I no longer had wood to work with. Problem solved!!! I’m going to get started this weekend working on cutting and stapling ribbon!!! THANK YOU!!!

  18. Gray Matthews says

    Great blog. Your home is so pretty and l hope to try the punch.
    The point of this note is your wonderful porch….mine is not screened as yours
    Appears…is it hard to keep clean:-) (l have a little problem with that)
    Thanks…..any more good bks.

    • Thanks! The only really bad time is pollen season which is pretty rough. Everything gets coated in thick pollen. Fortunately, everything on the porch handles the pollen well and I just vacuum it all off. Once pollen season has past, it just needs vacuuming about once a month which only takes about 10 minutes. I think because it’s up a full story, that may help it stay cleaner than if it were on ground level.

  19. Good for you on getting that job done!! Yes, the season seems to move quickly and your home looks lovely!! Your maple has the most beautiful Fall color, looks nice against the brick.
    I had that same thought, funny you should mention it……that it seems everyone is decorating for Christmas already!! That’s fine by me, I’m starting next week……..

  20. bobbi duncan says

    Thank you, Susan, for all the kind things you think to do for us readers…I know you have such a good heart just from the things you do to make our lives easier and the kind way you have of speaking to everyone. Just want to let you know that you are such a blessing! I have learned so many shortcuts and interesting ways to make things from your tutorials, your decorating ideas are brilliant and lovely, and, and, and. LOL. Even my hubby loves your blog. When we were looking to seal or stain the deck Michael said, “Does Susan have suggestions for a good wood stain listed somewhere on her blog?” Of course, you did! Thought you’d get a kick out of the fact that you’re even popular with the guys ( plus he thinks your pretty, but we won’t mention that to your other half ). I can’t wait to try the holiday drinks at my Xmas party. All the decorating ideas in one place are fabulous…so many great ideas. Your home, all decked out for the holidays, is beautiful. I don’t know how Marie puts up 16 trees and all the other decor…I have a time of it just planning my theme for one or two trees. Amazing! BTW, thanks ever so much for the article on the Doe Run Civil War happenings as I am a history buff. I hate to even say this as you were sweet to send it along, but that is another Doe Run located in York Co., two counties west of us. The Doe Run Farm and creek near us are in Chester Co., about 10 to 15 minutes NW of us. I did enjoy reading the article, though, so thank you very much.

    • Thanks so much, Bobbi! You are a sweetheart and I appreciate those kind words so much. It’s dearhearts like you and your sweet hubby who make blogging so much fun…thanks so much for being here and reading! Sending a big hug your way! XO

  21. What a power pack full post, thank you! I always look forward to seeing your wreaths up, it’s like the official/unofficial start to bloggers Christmas season! You have been so busy inside and out of your home you deserve a break. Pour yourself a glass of that champagne punch and chillax!

    • Sandra, if you could see what all I did today! lol It’s been a crazy day. This girl’s going to bed early tonight! 🙂 Hope your week is off to a great start!

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