12 Festive Christmas Mantel Decoration Ideas

christmas mantel
credit: CB2

The mantel is the centerpiece of a home's Christmas decor. It dictates the theme of your holiday decorations and is a place where family gathers. So don't slack on sprucing it up! Below, 12 festive Christmas mantel decoration ideas that are anything but gaudy.

1. Don't be too literal.

holiday mantel
credit: Minted

Every inch of your mantel doesn't have to be decked out in Santa and reindeer. Try limiting the literal holiday decor to stockings and a garland, with the accents standing on top of the mantle being evergreen.

2. Embrace minimalism.

minimalistic mantel
credit: Nalle's House

A simple Christmas tree garland and matchy-matchy stockings are refreshingly minimalistic. It's totally possible to keep with the theme of your home while still decorating for the holidays.

3. Impress with fresh greenery.

mantel greenery
credit: Monika Hibbs

Nothing looks — and smells — quite as nice as a real garland and wreath. Go all out for a holiday party, or even just Christmas Eve with the family, with this look.

4. Fresh flowers are gorgeous and unexpected.

floral mantel
credit: CB2

On a similar note, a fresh flower garland is stunning for a special event. Although Christmas and flowers are totally unrelated, somehow this look just works.

5. Go for an eclectic look.

eclectic mantel
credit: Anthropologie

As long as there's some sort of color scheme, topping your mantel with all kinds of knickknacks is such a cool look.

6. Light taper candles.

mantel with candles
credit: West Elm

Christmas and candles are practically synonymous, so don't forget to light a few!

7. Try out a color theme.

green themed mantel
credit: Target

Pine green works great for Christmas, for example.

8. Let frosty, winter artwork shine.

Allow a winter landscape to be your mantel's centerpiece. Beautiful.

9. Create a garland out of the holiday cards you receive.

Sentimental, stylish, and super affordable.

10. Hang ornaments at varying lengths.

This is another high impact option that comes in at a low cost.

11. Go cactus crazy.

Live in a warmer climate? Cacti may seem a bit more natural to utilize as holiday decor than pines. Very desert chic.

12. Snowball pom-pom garlands are adorable.

This is an easy and affordable DIY with big impact.