Style: Looks we love for the holidays

Mary Carol Garrity

Every holiday season is a new opportunity to honor your family’s cherished traditions, while also keeping the celebration fresh and fun by trying something brand new. That’s how I like to approach holiday decorating. Today, I want to share with you a few of my favorite looks for the season, and just maybe give you a few new ideas as you dress your home for Christmas.

Grand entrances: When decorating your entry, add a splashy display, like this towering bouquet made of bare sticks, pine branches and a little nest, tucked in for good luck. A shiny silver candy dish on the table cradles a sweet collection of vintage tree bulbs in a bed of pine needles.

Spoil guests: When friends and family travel to be together for the holidays, it’s a joyful reunion. Old memories are rekindled and new memories are made. I like to make my visitors feel like honored guests by creating a guest room that’s warm and welcoming. It can be as simple as setting out a service of their favorite teas or coffees, served in a special cup.

Lavish mantels: It can be easy to get into a rut when decorating your mantel. Challenge yourself to come up with something brand new. This magnificent garland, a mix of pine needles and leaves, is simple yet stunning as it loops through the mantel’s year-round display.

Bring the garden in: After you clean out your planters for the winter, bring a few inside for your holiday decorating. Garden architectural elements connect us to the outdoors and give us a fine place to stage displays, whether it’s holding logs for the fire or your Christmas tree.

Decorate a light fixture: If you are looking for a way to decorate your home for maximum impact with minimum work, try dressing up some of your light fixtures. Add greenery and ribbons to the chandelier over your kitchen island or dining table. Or, jazz up some wall sconces.

Beautiful bouquets: Scout through your china cabinet for a special vase or pitcher or urn, like a family keepsake or a favorite find from antiquing. Then, fill it with holiday greenery to make a lovely centerpiece for your coffee table or ottoman.

Quiet Christmas morning: Holiday tables don’t have to be lavish.Toss a vintage tablecloth over your kitchen table, add a bouquet of fresh flowers, a few candy canes in a little pitcher, and you’re ready.

Stylish storage: During the holidays, your china gets to dance out of the cupboard and sparkle on your table. Take a moment to rearrange your cabinets so they look like a piece of art.

Creative centerpieces: What do you have in your china hutch that you could use to make a unique centerpiece for your holiday table? We created a lovely display with a few odds and ends in my cupboard – an old silver riser, a glass bowl and a stemmed glass. Fresh fruit and flowers, all in shades of green and white, give it a fresh finish.

Dining details: Sometimes the tiniest details have the biggest impact on your table. Try tucking a fresh sprig of rosemary into your napkin rings when you entertain. It’s a clever way to add both color and flavor to your table.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at She can be reached at