Tips for Planning Your Holiday Decor

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure statement for details. 

Use these tips for planning your holiday decor to make the season easy and stress-free. Included are ways to organize everything in advance, and the free “Home for the Holidays” printable planner. 

Out there in blogland, and in the world of influencers, Christmas prep began weeks ago. I couldn’t wrap my head around it in October, but now that it’s November, I know I need to get busy! Even if you aren’t a planner, it will help so much if you at least get started. I do 95% of my shopping online, and I know for a fact that some things are already selling out. Now is the time to get the ball rolling, while the selection is still good.

When it comes to planning your holiday decor, the most important thing to remember is that nothing is written in stone, and that changes can be made. Even if you have the best plan ever, don’t rule out a last minute tweak. The second most important thing to know is that starting early will truly lessen the stress. I’m not suggesting that you decorate your home for Christmas right now, but start the process with my four-step plan.

There are four simple steps I follow every year when I’m planning my holiday decor. They don’t take much time, and they make the job so much easier.

*Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

4 Steps for Planning Your Holiday Decor

Inventory Your Existing Christmas Decor

It’s important to know what you have, so no unnecessary purchases are made. Take the time to look through your existing Christmas decorations. Two years ago, before we moved, I organized my Christmas decorations in clear bins. I can see what I have, and I know everything is in good shape.

Choose Your Theme or Color Scheme

Choosing a theme and/or color scheme will help you stay focused. My Christmas decor always includes red, but the other colors vary from year to year. A few years ago I added navy blue, and I loved it. I’m currently craving a calm yet traditional look, so there will be reds with shades of soft green added for something different. Fresh and faux greenery will also be everywhere. By narrowing down the colors, it makes spreading out your decor among your rooms a simple task.

Make a List

You’ve done your inventory, and you know what color(s) you will be using. Now it’s time to make a list. Here are some things to consider:

knitted stockings on christmas mantel 2022

Assemble Your Items

Designate a spot somewhere in your home where you can gather all your Christmas decor items. A large bin placed out of the way works great. When shipped items arrive, unpackage them, and drop them in the bin. My other bins of Christmas decor are in the basement, so my “gathering bin” is down there too. That way everything is in one spot.

Benefits of Planning Your Holiday Decor Early

  • You will avoid the frustration of finding just the right thing, only to discover that it’s unavailable. Most sites and stores are well-stocked now, but that won’t be the case in a few weeks.
  • You can take your time executing your plan. The beauty of planning ahead is that it gives you priceless peace of mind. Time is a Christmas gift you can give yourself. Avoid the stress of rushing around at the last minute, spread out the tasks, and enjoy the process.
  • You will have the freedom to decorate when you feel most comfortable. Some people like to get their decor up well before Thanksgiving, while others feel it’s important to wait until Thanksgiving is over. No matter when you decide to put your plan into action, you will be ready.
2023 free printable christmas planner

The Home for the Holidays Christmas Planner for 2023

Use this Christmas planner to keep everything in order. It’s been freshly updated for 2023, and it’s available by filling out the form at the end of this post. *If you are already an OSP email subscriber, but want the planner, go ahead and fill out the form. My email company makes sure you won’t have duplicate subscriptions.

My Holiday Decor Game Plan

I could not advise you on how to plan your holiday decor if I didn’t actually do it myself. What follows are my ideas and plans for the coming holiday season.

The Front Porch

I’m reusing this Norfolk pine wreath, there are inexpensive new pillows for the porch rockers, and a fresh doormat. I’m keeping my natural wood garden stool between the rockers, and I found these darling buckets to accessorize the sitting area.

I’m also reusing the Norfolk pine trees I got last year, because I still love them, and they look brand new. I saw these resin hyacinth planters and immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, they are way out of my price range. After some online sleuthing, I found these baskets that are almost the same size. I realize the baskets won’t last nearly as long as resin planters, but for the price, I’m going to give them a try. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just use my existing white planters.

Note: My Norfolk pine trees are sold out, but here is one that’s 36 inches tall and very similar, and this one is 3.5 feet tall.

The Living Room

I wanted to bring some green into the room, but didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on pillow covers. After a bit of looking, I found this budget-friendly set of covers in the perfect shade of green, and they will sit on the tufted chairs. Norfolk pine garland goes on the mantel, with these fairy lights. These stockings, and these vintage-inspired gold bells will again hang from the mantel.

Tip: If you want to invest in beautiful pine garland, but don’t want to spend the money all at once, buy one or two strands a year. I started buying my pine garland three years ago, and I now have 6 strands. It’s so nice to have ample garland to spread around our home!

The Christmas Tree

Before we moved, I didn’t put up a big Christmas tree. I was a firm believer in tabletop trees, and actually I still am. Our new house is set up differently than the house on Sutton Place, and decorating a big tree is very simple. In fact, I actually enjoy it!

I used the same red plaid ribbon on the tree two years in a row, so for this Christmas, I really wanted something new and different. I found this ribbon on Etsy, and I purchased these ceramic ornaments to add more green. I’ll use the same red ornaments I’ve had for many years, and my wicker tree collar.

The Dining Nook

I will be using a red striped grain sack table runner that I made over the summer, along with some sort of arrangement in my dough bowl. I will definitely be using things I already have!


Make it merry!

The Christmas Market

Everything in the OSP Christmas Market was curated with you and your budget in mind. From classic red decor, to beautiful throw blankets, ornaments, gorgeous wreaths, pillows, and more. With eight shop sections to choose from, decorating your home this holiday season will be fun and fulfilling! Take a look HERE.

This year, we need to count our blessings, celebrate what we have, and be thankful that we are here to celebrate. Let’s do it together. Until next time…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Teddee Grace says:

    Thank you so much for that link to Bella Wreaths Too. Their ribbon selection is amazing! I have been looking the last couple of seasons for a plaid ribbon that really said “Victoriana” and have ordered a couple of patterns that I think will complement the Victorian orangery/green house theme that should see me through till spring.

  2. I enjoy the greenery especially from Afloral and I didn’t know they sell on Amazon..that will save me shipping!
    Trees in pots are my favorite thing for the holidays.
    Thanks for sharing all these ideas with us:0)

  3. Good Morning Ann,

    I just finished printing the Holiday Printables and I love them!

    Thank you so much for making my Holidays that much more enjoyable.


  4. Melanie Hernandez says:

    Where did you purchase your candy canes you have under your table top decor? Thank you!!
    Love Sutton Place


  5. Thank you for such an in depth post. So very helpful. Would you please do a post on Holiday dinnerware.

  6. Sandra Long says:

    My decor is navy and white with light grey walls similar to yours, so I always enjoy seeing how you decorate. I have to admit that I never would have thought of using olive green, but I’m loving it!! Hope you will post pictures when it is all in place. Are you putting those precious sheep on the tree? I adore them!! I do a kind of winter wonderland theme, white and silver, and it all started with the little white ceramic houses from Target that I first saw on your page. I love them so much. I put fairy lights inside them and they are simply magical. Thank you for your great posts!!!

  7. Sue Daugherty says:

    Great post. Thank you for the ideas and the links.

  8. I confess, I’m so excited to begin the decorating for Christmas process. I’m savoring autumn and will hold off. :) But you’ve shown me some great ideas when I do begin. Thank you!
    Karen B.

  9. Loved the Christmas Market. It’s great to see everything in one place where you can click on the items that interest you. I loved shopping at your Market. Thank you. As always, your printables ‘are beautiful!

    1. Ann,

      So many great ideas! Love the shopping link too! Just printed my planner. Thanks for all the time and work it must take to produce such a great post!

  10. Susan McKim says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips! Last year, after 42 yrs of Christmas decorating, I did my decor the week before Thanksgiving. Doing that this year also because I love it and can’t wait any longer. Can’t believe I haven’t always done that!

  11. Next weekend I will be purchasing the Christmas cards to fill in any gaps in what I have left over from last year. Want to get them before some of the style I like gets sold out.

  12. As always, great ideas but I loved your last few lines and so feel that way this year…..being grateful, counting our blessing and be thankful! Thanks Ann.