Wondering how to choose a Christmas theme? Here are four Christmas color schemes with ideas and Christmas finds for each one.

Don’t get overwhelmed by putting a Christmas theme together. Use these 7 simple ideas for Christmas themes and tips instead.

Christmas theme


It’s here.

And I am HERE FOR IT. Several weeks ago I asked for all the things and challenges and ideas and questions that you had about getting ready for Christmas. And you delivered (of course you did because you are amazing). I’m joining Leslie from My 100-Year-Old Home and over the next 12 Days we are answering all the questions that you asked.

Buckle up buttercup. We are sharing projects and ideas and the BEST solutions for Christmas challenges. And today we are going all Julie Andrews and starting at the very beginning—because—well you know—it’s a very good place to start. 🙂

Today we are talking about Christmas themes. Do you plan a theme for Christmas every year?

A color?

A winter floral?

A pattern?

A special Christmas find?

Every year when I’m dreaming of Christmas and it’s 105 here in Texas, I tend to think in themes. I group things together in new ways and take old decor and spray paint it to match the new theme and look at things in ways I’ve never looked at them before.

How to plan for them.

Ideas to plan around.

Simple, creative theme ideas and tons more Christmas inspiration. It’s so much fun to think outside the box. I put together four of my favorite color schemes for Christmas and linked how to put them all together. Please act surprised when I tell you one of them is blue and white (and I found the CUTEST new ornaments and ribbon and blue and white nativity).

Are you ready?


Christmas theme blue and white

How To Choose a Christmas Theme For Your Home

The goal of this post is not to overwhelm. It’s meant to encourage and uplift and inspire you for the Christmas decorating road ahead. You don’t have to have a theme—I just find it makes life a little easier when you are planning. There are so many options with Christmas decor (just walk the aisles of the store) and if you have a theme you can focus so much better.

If you haven’t planned your theme yet for this year, here are four categories of theme planning I usually use:

  • I go with an overall color scheme (like blue and white) for the room and tree and mantel
  • I go with an overall pattern (like plaid) for the room and tree and mantel
  • I go with a certain type of Christmas floral (like evergreens or hydrangeas) for the room and tree and mantel
  • I go with one of my favorite Christmas things (like snowflakes) for the room and tree and mantel

Does that make sense?

I pick one and go with that. When you think of it in categories, it makes it so much easier to choose.

Let’s start with color. There are so many options and I wanted to show you a few of them to (hopefully) inspire your theme.

Here are four amazing color schemes I’ve used before (and I’ll probably use them all again).

Christmas theme blue and white living room

Christmas theme ginger jar ornaments

Christmas theme living room ideas

Christmas theme eucalyptus

Choosing a Color Theme

1. Blue and white Christmas decor

You know this is my NUMBER ONE. This room is all about layers and layers and layers of blue and white texture and pattern. Here are a few ideas if you think blue and white Christmas decor might be in your future:

  • find blue and white wrapping paper for presents and use to decorate
  • flocked greenery mixes well with this color scheme
  • adding blue velvet into the texture mix elevates the entire room
  • create a mantel display with ornaments and wide ribbon looped around zip ties
  • add eucalyptus as an alternative to traditional greenery
  • a pretty blue and white table cloth makes a pretty patterned tree skirt

The cutest blue and white Christmas finds

Christmas theme red and white

Christmas theme red and white stockings

Christmas theme stockings

2. Red and white Christmas decor

Hello traditional Christmas. There’s nothing prettier. When I think of Christmas colors that make me truly happy? Red and green make the top of the list. Here are a few ideas if you think red and green Christmas decor might be in your future:

  • mix in galvanized buckets and other metal accents
  • traditional greenery like pine and fir and cedar are so pretty with red and green
  • add a simple mantel display with votives for each of the days leading up to Christmas
  • keep the wrapping simple with craft paper boxes and decorative ribbon
  • use skates and other vintage Christmas pieces to add to the traditional color scheme
  • fill a sleigh with red and white and green ornaments for an easy centerpiece

The cutest red and white Christmas finds

  1. this reversible tree skirt
  2. these red and white bows and tree topper
  3. this gingerbread house (similar)
  4. this elf tree skirt
  5. red and white knit stockings
  6. these red and white ornaments (10% off coupon)
  7. these gnome ornaments
  8. this star tree topper

Christmas theme red and black plaid

Christmas theme red trees

Christmas theme red and white striped ribbon

Christmas theme black and white pillows

3. Red and white and black plaid Christmas decor

This is another one of my favorite Christmas color schemes. It’s so fun to mix in chalkboard and vintage lettering and black and white check. Here are a few ideas if you think black and red and white Christmas decor might be in your future:

  • make personalized chalkboard ornaments for the tree
  • decorate the room with black and white checked ribbon and a buffalo check tree skirt
  • make a garland out of old Christmas cards
  • create displays with vintage red and white and black books
  • use a plaid blanket as a tree skirt
  • add pom pom ribbon on packages and swag it through Christmas garland

The cutest red and black plaid Christmas finds

4. Neutral Christmas decor

The calm side of Christmas. Texture and natural materials and wood and burlap and all the greenery. Here are a few ideas if you think neutral Christmas decor might be in your future:

  • cut Christmas trees out of pallet wood
  • mix fresh greenery with faux greenery to add the smell of Christmas to your decor
  • add burlap and jute ribbons to the Christmas tree
  • make stockings from vintage feed sacks
  • mix in eucalyptus with pine and fir and cedar
  • create a mantel display with layers of ribbon and texture

The cutest neutral Christmas finds

Christmas theme plaid rug and navy bedroom

Christmas theme plaid bucket

Choosing to decorate with pattern?

Instead of color? Why not look at pattern?

Like polka dots or stripes or Christmas toile.

If you are going with a pattern, it’s a good idea to start with the ribbon. Sometimes a ribbon has inspired an entire Christmas theme. Like this neutral with red buttons. I did an entire tree around mixed in with burlap ribbon I painted with the words to Christmas carols.

Or you could go with my favorite pattern, plaid

Here are some simple ways to incorporate a plaid pattern into your theme:

  • buy plaid wrapping paper and wrap your presents and decorate with them
  • fold up a plaid blanket at the end of a bed
  • wrap a tree with plaid ribbon and make your own DIY plaid ornaments
  • make a garland out of plaid fabric
  • tie plaid bows on wreaths
  • add a plaid runner to your dining table
  • make your own DIY chargers out of plaid fabric

Choosing to decorate with greenery

Instead of pattern? Why not look at Christmas greenery instead?

Like magnolia or fir or cedar.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate Christmas greenery into your theme:

  • fill a vintage wheelbarrow with mixed greenery
  • add command strips and loop greenery up the stairs
  • add extra greenery or branches to a tree that’s a little scraggly to fill it out
  • fill vintage boxes with greenery
  • add greenery to a basket on the door
  • wrap a paper garland around a tiny tree
  • make tiny wreaths out of evergreen garland and decorate with them and add them to gifts

Choosing a Christmas theme around one of your favorite things

Instead of greenery? Why not look at one of your favorite Christmas things instead?

Like angels or mini-trees or red trucks or reindeer.


I adore snowflakes.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate snowflakes (or fill in the blank with your favorite Christmas thing) into your theme:

And this year? You may or may not have seen—but I’m going with GINGERBREAD. I’m so excited—and I’m also expanding the nutcracker bedroom from upstairs.

Christmas themes are fun and this post was meant to inspire you to think outside the box. If you are looking for hard-to-find items for a theme—I’m happy to help. Just leave what you are looking for in the comments and I’ll do a little research for you.


That was a lot.

But truth?

If you are having trouble wondering how to choose a Christmas theme or if you don’t have a theme or having a theme seems a little overwhelming. No worries. Decorate from your heart.

It’s the best place to start. 🙂

And now? 

Looking for more ideas and tips for choosing colors for your holiday decor?

Leslie from My-100-Year-Old Home has even more inspiration for all of us today.

You can read her post here.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for PJ PJ

    Good morning. When I read a post like this and others I've seen on YouTube, I wonder if I'm the only one that doesn't change up my Christmas decorations year to year. I'm in my late 60's and ever since I got married and had my kids, I've collected Christmas decor that holds memories. As my kids were growing up, I'd buy them each an ornament that was significant to what happened in their lives that year. Like the year they played soccer, I found a tiny soccer ball. They're now in their early 30's and for some reason I still have all the ornaments. Maybe one day they'll take them. My other decor is pretty simple too. A special music box, a figurine from my grandma, etc. I can't say I don't enjoy seeing the amazing things others do in their homes, so keep the ideas coming. I think I could use them to find new ways to display what I already have. Have a good week.

    1. Image for Cyndie Cyndie

      No, PJ-you are not :) I, too, love seeing what's "new" in Christmas decorations and will buy a few new things from time to time (thank you, Karianne ;) ) but I love the sentimentality of my decorations. Plus, I have several vintage collections including figurines and ornaments that I'll always display. One year, I attempted to steamline my decorations and my then college age daughter came home from break and asked where they were and why weren't they out! Oh well, so much for streamlining!!

    2. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      PJ, Yes! There are tons of people that never change up their decor! And then---there are people that change it up every year! And I celebrate both (because I have both sides of my decorating too). This post is just meant to inspire---not overwhelm and suggest that you need to change the theme every year if it's not your thing! You got this friend!!!!! Happy day! KariAnne

  2. Image for Joan McCormick Joan McCormick

    Great ideas, thank you for sharing! Love the blue and white ginger jar ornaments so I had to have them for my tree this year.

  3. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    KariAnne of course I love all your posts. Christmas is my time of year. I fell in love with the spring snowflakes! I have a thing about Steampunk and it reminds me of that a bit. I looked and sure enough they actually sell springs on Amazon! I will be making some for sure. Thank you for the idea. I change my Christmas up every year. I may use my favorite items but put them in a different location or use something from whatever theme I am using. I did nutcracker in the entry last year I added a garland to the stairs and attached my daughters ballet shoes. On Ebay I bought a box of old ballet shoes and put potpourri in them for the tree. So much you can do once you get an idea in your head! Have fun decorating

  4. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Thanks for your ideas and without realizing it I sometimes do have themes and colors. Guess that happens when you get old,lol! Have a wonderful day.

  5. Image for Rizae Rizae

    I'm into snowflakes and snowpeople! I've been collecting both for years. My colors are red, white and silver. Keep the ideas coming. Big Hugs,

  6. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    KariAnne I was reading the blog and was SHOCKED to see you had come up with a blue and white color scheme, and even more surprised that you plan to incorporate it into your home. You sly devil. 😉 As always I enjoyed the read. I decorate my whole house, all 7 rooms, plus two baths and my laundry room and each gets a decorated tree (some bigger than others). But each room Has its own color scheme. I love your ideas and love decorating. Putting it away not so much enjoyable. Until we meet again. Enjoy your day. P.S. I just picked up my Eucalyptus Garlad from walmart. Ordered it on line. Its so pretty

  7. Image for June June

    So many great ideas! Last year I decorated our entire tree with my two sons ornaments they received since birth. Since neither has room in their rentals mom had access. Under the tree went the electric Lego train that belongs to my oldest. Bittersweet as we prepare to downsize. Two years ago my amazing brother in law passed from Alzheimer’s. Every Christmas he played Santa for all the nieces and nephews. He even surprised my staff at a holiday party at a very fancy restaurant in the Twin Cities and handed out candy canes. I also had given him three small rattles and after he gave out the candy he shock his bag and said something is rattling😊. I will always cherish that evening. He surprised three staff with baby rattles. All were pregnant. In honor of this amazing guy, Two years ago (a few months after his passing) I decorated my tree with all things related to Santa. I took a copy of a professional picture of him and placed it on the tree. Tried to add to this post but it won’t work. It turned out perfect and brought a lot of sentimental joy to all of us.

  8. Image for AnnTN AnnTN

    Red and white for the win. Every year for me. I love traditional/vintage Christmas decor. So much of it reminds me of my childhood when we went to my grandparents on Christmas morning.

  9. Image for Judy Judy

    How big are the large blue ornaments and the blue/clear ornaments on your tree! I am going blue and white this year and love all your ideas!!

  10. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    I love each and every option. Hmmm, I need a bigger house. Haha. I've tried a few different themes/colors and I always come back to red with faux natural-looking greens. Still, I love some of the rooms and wonderful accessories you've shared. Maybe I'll do one room in blue and white. I've always been tempted by that color theme. I'm so excited to begin the process of actually getting the tree out and starting. But I'm determined to hold of until the day after Thanksgiving. Wish me luck and patience. Haha. Karen B.

  11. Image for Mary Mary

    LOVE it all. I use blue and white in my dining room and was so excited to add the Kurt Adler nativity last year. It's lovely, but I can't understand why Joseph isn't include!

  12. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Theme keeps changing this year for me! I’m so in love with my hydrangeas and garden inspiration that heart strings are tugged there…and then there’s a tug for simple greenery and gold elegance! Decision will be made soon…maybe multiple trees to make me happy this year! Thanks for all of your inspiration!

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