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 you'll find 12 festive Christmas mantel decoration ideas that are anything but gaudy.
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1. Don't be too literal.
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 green accents standing on top of the mantel. Opt for a living plant as opposed to an arrangement for a more authentic (and long-lasting) look.
Get the look: The Sill Preserved Fern Kokedama, $75
2. Embrace minimalism.
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.
Get the look: Ballard Designs Chunky Knit Stockings, $49
3. Impress with fresh greenery.
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 a look that transports you to the outdoors.
Get the look: The Home Depot, 24" Live Wreath, $36.88
4. Fresh flowers are gorgeous and unexpected.
Garland is expected on Christmas. So, to give the usual decor a twist, add something less traditional. While Christmas and flowers might not be something we associate with one another, the combination of the two here — a dark green contrasted with a bright pink — just works.
Get the look: Grandin Road Brentwood Garland, $129
5. Go for an eclectic look.
As long as there's some sort of color scheme, topping your mantel with all kinds of knickknacks is such a cool look. If you're starting anew, look for vase sets that come with two or more different but complementary vases.
Get the look: VivaTerra Recycled Glass Balloon Vases, $89.99
6. Light taper candles.
Christmas and candles are practically synonymous, so don't forget to light a few!
Get the look: Bolsius Long Ivory Taper Candles, $29.98
7. Try out a color theme.
A color theme allows you to decorate to your heart's content while still maintaining a cohesive look. Pine green works great for a Christmas mantel decoration, for example.
Get the look: Berry & Thread Stackable Glass Trees (set of 3), $150
8. Let frosty, winter artwork shine.
Allow a winter landscape to be your mantel's centerpiece. The right painting can work perfectly as a backdrop to your other decor.
Get the look: Minted 'Morning Fog' (40" x 30"), $168
9. Create a garland out of the holiday cards you receive.
Sentimental, stylish, and super affordable. All you'll need is twine, wooden clips, and your favorite Christmas cards.
Get the look: Lee Art Designs Twine Photo Holder, $8+
10. Hang ornaments at varying lengths.
This is another high-impact option that comes in at a low cost. To secure the ornaments, you'll want a pack of clear Command Strip Decorating Clips.
Get the look: The Holiday Aisle 48-Piece Christmas Ornament Set, $27.99
11. Go cactus crazy.
Get the look: Succulent Market Red Graft Cactus, $7.99
12. Snowball pom-pom garlands are adorable.
This is an easy and affordable Christmas mantel decoration that is both cute and seasonal. Grab a set of matching, snow-white stockings to create a winter-inspired color theme.
Get the look: The Honaker Home Maker Snowball Garland, $12.50+