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How to Add the Christmas Spirit to Your Home: 13 Ideas to Inspire You

What is most important to you when you decorate your home for Christmas this year? Christmas decorations are more than just colors and patterns, Santas and elves. Christmas is also about how to add the Christmas spirit to your home. I have 13 ideas to inspire you for the coming season.

What is the Christmas spirit? It’s that intangible feeling that surrounds us this special time of year. No other holiday evokes a magical wonder like Christmas.

Need a few suggestions? Let me share my ideas on how to add the Christmas spirit to your home and make it the most wonderful time of the year.

These simple ideas are the things we can do to add that sense of Christmas. The sense of wonder, the feeling of anticipation, a cozy, warm feeling of family, friends, hope and joy.

It’s fun remembering projects, entertaining suggestions, and trying ideas that bring the Christmas spirit to mind. I hope you enjoy these suggestions.

These are easy ideas to implement in your holiday home. If you add no other Christmas decorations, these ideas will guarantee you a home full of the Christmas spirit.

13 Ideas to Add the Christmas Spirit to Your Home

Good news: these ideas to add the Christmas spirit to your home are simple and inexpensive.

Recently, I shared my 5 step process for how to decorate your home for Christmas. Once you have those 5 steps completed, it’s time to add the spirit of Christmas to your home.

What can you do to get ready for the Christmas spirit early?

Christmas Music

What’s my first idea is to add Christmas spirit to your home? Christmas music.

The day after Thanksgiving, Sweet Shark starts playing Christmas music. To me, nothing brings on the Christmas spirit like beautiful Christmas carols playing in the background.

We have collected Christmas CDs for over 27 years. In every genre, dozens of artists, both with lyrics and instrumental. Sweet Shark told me he thinks we have about 55 Christmas CDs.

I asked him to pick five of his favorites to share with you. He said it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever asked him to do. He kept changing his mind but finally decided on these five classics for holiday music.

Christmas albums

These Christmas tunes delight us every year. I can’t always remember the words by myself, but put them on the CD player and I know all the words.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights, whether stars in the sky or our modern electric ones have always been part of our Christmas spirit. Lights are such a beautiful addition to any Christmas vignette.

It always amazes me that people in earlier times put real candles on their Christmas trees.

They have become a part of our Christmas culture. Lights add such a festive spirit to the holidays that we can’t be without them.

We laugh together at Clark Griswald’s attempts to light up his home with a million lights.

Clark Griswold and Christmas lights

Jokes about men untangling Christmas lights are part of our Christmas culture.

We have our favorite neighborhoods to drive through, looking at Christmas lights.

At our home, we can’t have enough Christmas lights.

Lights aren’t just for your Christmas tree.

lighted large Christmas tree

We put them on our Christmas wreath, the banister, and the mantel. After years of discussion about white lights (me) versus colored lights (Sweet Shark), we concluded a few years ago that we can have both – now, that is the Christmas spirit.

Once we discovered battery-operated lights fairy lights, our lives changed. It got even better when lights with timers came on the market.

Now we can put lights wherever we want them – Look, mom, no outlet required!

snowman and Christmas tree

These days, as the lights come on magically as night falls, it does seem like the Christmas spirit has entered our home.

Christmas tree and Santa

Last year we added more Christmas trees with more lights. I love this pretty pink and blue tray vignette.

Christmas trees lighted at night

Christmas Trees

Is there anything better than a Christmas tree – or multiple trees – to make us feel the Christmas spirit?

For several years, we have had our big tree in the breakfast room – the only place it fits in our house.

lighted Christmas tree

and three medium trees throughout our home.

In Sweet Shark’s bar . . .

lighted Christmas tree

Our dining room

Christmas tree on bar cart

In our bedroom

white Christmas tree

. . . and multiple places throughout the house.

They bring a spirit of merry and bright throughout the house.

See my ideas for Christmas trees and lights.

Christmas Candles

When you think that for centuries, candles and campfires were the only way that man had light, we modern folk have embraced candles for all the ambiance they bring.

Candles bring the holiday spirit throughout our Christmas decor with their cozy warmth and glow.

Christmas Fireplace

Who doesn’t love the glow of a roaring fireplace during Christmas time?

The blaze of the fireplace evokes a sense of peace and home. Lighting the fireplace during the holidays is almost a rite of passage.

Christmas fireplace

When my kids were little, they couldn’t come into the living room on Christmas morning to see their Christmas presents until the Christmas tree lights were turned on and the fireplace was lit. Then the Christmas spirit was ready for opening presents.

Christmas Scents

They say that smell is one of our most powerful senses.

Aromatic scents from candles and potpourri convey the Christmas spirit and thoughts of Christmases past.

You can make your own Christmas scent with some cinnamon sticks, oranges, and cranberries simmering on the stove. I recently found this wonderful recipe from 11 Magnolia Lane.

white pot of oranges, cranberries, rosemary

Christmas Blankets and Throws

Cuddling up on the sofa under a throw in front of that roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate is one of my favorite ways to add the Christmas spirit to your home.

You can’t have too many blankets or throws in your home to keep Jack Frost away.

This year I made a new Christmas throw for our living room and displayed it on our ladder.

I used about 1 1/2 yards of flannel in a Christmas plaid and fringed the ends. It’s perfect for wrapping around your shoulders to keep the Baa Humbugs away.

This throw from a couple of years ago brings the Christmas spirit to the sofa for afternoon naps or movie-watching.

stuffed bear on red blanket

This chunky blanket from Home Goods was on our bed for extra color and to keep our toes warm. Some years I drape it on the ladder.

The Christmas spirit is all about warmth and cozy and that’s what blankets and throws provide.

This favorite Christmas pillow from Home Goods brings a fun and vintage Christmas spirit to our home.

How about our candy cane sheets? We can dream of sugar-plum fairies.

Oops. I just realized that one pillow is upside down.

Here’s our master bedroom decked out for Christmas from a few years ago.

Christmas Movies

There are hundreds of Christmas movies, some old, some new. Some classic, funny or silly, some dramatic. The Hallmark Channel has made a business of Christmas movies.

Watching a Christmas movie with family is a time-honored tradition. (Make sure the fireplace is lit, you have a cozy blanket and plenty of popcorn.)

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to spend holiday time together as a family.

We tend to like the older ones to bring in the Christmas spirit.

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – yes, I know it’s silly and slapstick, but it’s a classic. Every year we record it.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – Who doesn’t think that Clarence got his wings? When we hang our silver bells on the tree, I always think of that movie. I always cry when Clarence gets his wings.
  • Miracle on 34th Street – Who doesn’t believe that Edmund Gwenn is really Santa Claus?
  • The Polar Express – after reading this story to my kids for years, the movie didn’t disappoint. I cried.
  • The Holiday – a wonderfully romantic movie. If I cry, then Cameron Diaz has to.
  • Home Alone – next to Christmas Vacation, the funniest Christmas movie ever made. Who doesn’t wish that Macauley Culkin could have stayed young forever?

Last year we watched Christmas at the Greenbrier and Dolly Parton’s Magic Mountain Christmas. They will make you want to spend Christmas at these places someday.

Christmas Sweets

Why do we especially love sweets at Christmas? Is the Christmas spirit trying to make us fat? HAHA!

Christmas cookie exchanges bring friends together. Christmas fudge, Christmas brownies, Christmas cakes (Buche Noel, anyone?) – they all make us feel festive and joyful.

During the holidays, two sweets are always easily accessible. Red and green M & M’s and Christmas kisses are the sweets that we crave. Christmas spirit, come on in!

Christmas red and green M & Ms and kisses

I love making Christmas desserts during the holidays, like cherry cheesecake tartlets and the best brownies with chocolate and raspberries.

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas beverages put us in the Christmas spirit. Toasting the holidays is an age-old tradition. From olden days of mulled wine and wassail to hot buttered rum and eggnog, sipping a special beverage at Christmas time is something to enjoy during the holidays.

Whether it’s just enjoying a glass of wine by the fireplace while listening to Christmas carols or offering a special cocktail to guests, it’s always nice to share a celebratory drink.

Here are some festive Christmas cocktails to get everyone in the Christmas spirit:

Traditions of the Christmas Spirit

The Christmas spirit is all about memories and family and tradition.

Whether you have your grandmother’s Christmas china, your father’s favorite Christmas ornaments or the ornaments you saved from early marriage, bringing those things out at Christmas is truly in the spirit of Christmas.

However many decorations, trees, vignettes, lights or candles you have to bring in the Christmas spirit, I think there should be at least one thing that is a special tradition in our homes.

My Aunt Mildred was a fabulous knitter. Every Christmas she would knit my brother and me Christmas sweaters. I’d give anything to have just one of those today.

I remember the train that my dad would put up around the tree each year: all memories, all traditions, all part of the Christmas spirit.

For years, I have collected silver Christmas bells. Several years ago, I started giving one to our daughters for Christmas. Except for having to polish them, they are one of my most cherished Christmas traditions.

How Our Holiday Home Sparkles and Shines for Christmas with lights and ornaments in gold and silver with reindeer, Santas and snowmen.

Every year for Christmas, the kids received a Christmas ornament. Several years ago, I boxed them up and gave each one their ornaments to start their own collection. Now I give the grandkids a yearly ornament. Last year their ornaments were from our Alaska cruise with the family. This year we bought ornaments on our trip to Vail.

Sweet Shark and I have one thing that has come out every year for the past 22 years. In July 2000, we were on a 2-week bus tour through Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The highlight was the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany.

While there, we found a shop that made nativities. We thought that they were beautiful, each character hand-carved and hand-painted.

We ordered one and it arrived just before Thanksgiving that year.

Each year, we put out the nativity scene. Our holiday decorations aren’t complete without this special tradition. Nothing evokes the spirit of Christmas more than finding this beautiful re-creation of Christ’s birth in a little town in Germany.

NOTE: The Passion Play in Oberammergau was postponed in 2020 due to Covid, but returned in 2022. The next one is in 2030.

I hope these ideas inspire you or made you think of your own ways to bring out the spirit of Christmas this year or in the coming years. They certainly help to create Christmas memories. Remember: it’s the little things that count.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping is, of course, a Christmas tradition that gets us in the Christmas spirit. Here are decorative items that I already have my eye on.

Making Homemade Christmas Decorations

For me, another thing that gets me in the Christmas spirit is making DIY Christmas decorations, gifts and table decor.

DIY Christmas decorations collage

Well, that’s my 13 ideas to add the Christmas spirit to your home.

I wish you Christmas cheer and the merriest of Christmases.

These ideas are my little gift to you. Will you give me back a little Christmas spirit and PIN these ideas?

Christmas pin for later
spirit of Christmas
blog signature with red stocking

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  1. You are so right, Carol — it’s the little things that count! Thanks for sharing the 9 ways to add the Christmas spirit to our homes!

  2. Lovely post and wonderful suggestions and ideas on bringing more of the Christmas spirit in our homes. Happy Christmas Carol!

  3. Your home looks wonderful, and it’s definitely full of Christmas spirit. Love your ideas – I think this year more than ever we need all the help we can get to bring the Christmas spirit into our homes. Thank you for sharing and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you are having a safe and happy holiday season.

  4. This year I was hard put not to put Christmass music on til after Halloween–my body and spirit needed the uplift of Christmas music. I have the Pentatonix CD in my car–I’m gonna get stopped for speeding! Other faves include the oldies with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. I also love Mannheim Steamroller and Transsiberian Orchestra (more good ones for speeding!). I thrifted a partial set of Fontanini Nativity figures for $4 at GW 2 weeks ago. I’m tickled pink as the Nativity set is a big part of my decor. If I had to choose between presents for myself and a tree, it’d be the tree! Having it lit up at night (multi colored lights with no other lights on creates instant serenity!

  5. Great ideas and yep, we could all use a little more Christmas spirit these days. I will miss our Christmas Eve service. I look forward to that each year. Being in the darkness with only candle glow is lovely and hearing everyone sing praises to our Savior gives me goose bumps. Anyway, I’ll stick to the music, baking and movies. We’ve already watched all the oldies. Now it’s on to the funnies! Elf is my fave. Yes, I laugh at 5th grade humor. 😉 Merry Christmas