30 Christmas party decoration ideas for a merry and bright celebration

A wooden table is covered in airy Christmas décor like honeycomb items, novelty and taper candles, small evergreen trees, a pink cake, and felt holly.
Paperless Post BlogParty Décor > 30 Christmas party decoration ideas for a merry and bright celebration

With mistletoe, holly, and everything jolly—and the cheery Christmas tunes you’re beginning to hear everywhere—there’s no doubt the holiday season is upon us.

As the season approaches, there will be a massive amount of holiday shopping, sugar cookie baking, and Christmas movie watching to be had. Not to mention, the time spent planning a Christmas party for your nearest and dearest.

While we can’t help you with all of your Christmas to-dos, we can assist you with your holiday party decorations, many of which are available at Paperless Post Party Shop. We deliberated with Santa’s wisest elves—and décor expert Marcie Pantzer, founder of Dear Annabelle, a luxury stationery and home goods brand—to find 30 Christmas party decoration ideas that would make Old Saint Nick proud.


Give your doorway a happy holiday transformation

An invitation with a delicate wreath and draped gold bow; a colorful wreath made of rainbow ball ornaments.
Holly Wreath” by Paperless Post; Image via Cody Foster, wreath available at Party Shop.


Out with the old fall wreath perched perfectly on your front door, and in with the new—a winter wonderland-inspired creation that joyfully greets your guests with holiday spirit as they arrive. “Setting the right atmosphere is super important. Set the stage from the front door,” says Ms. Pantzer.

Whether Mother Nature provides you with sweater weather and snow on the day of your holiday party or you end up wearing shorts, sandals, and a flannel shirt just to “feel festive,” you can set the holly-jolly mood with the right exterior Christmas décor. Take a look at our home décor ideas for the holidays, both DIY and from Paperless Post Party Shop’s holiday collection.


Meet the expert
Marcie Pantzer is the founder and CEO of the luxury paper and home goods brand Dear Annabelle.


1. DIY ornament Christmas wreath

Sure, you could hang a traditional Christmas wreath—you know the one. Or stand out from the rest of the neighborhood with a wonderfully unique wreath made from Christmas ornaments. Searching for something ready-made? Try this multi-colored version

Consider hanging a wreath above your mantel or dining room table—or host a wreath-making Christmas party.


2. Gold leaf garland

For an elegant greeting to your holiday party, hang a Gold Paper Leaf Garland by Cody Foster on your door. It sets the tone for a party that goes beyond ugly sweaters and White Elephant exchanges, and gets guests closer to sparkling Champagne vibes and refined conversation.


3. Mini Christmas trees

What better way to set the tone for your party than with two festively decorated miniature Christmas trees outside your front door? 

Pick the perfect size, pull some of those unused Christmas lights out of storage, and snag a few extra containers of miniature ball ornaments to decorate your tree. Just like that, your front yard has a festive feel.


4. Merry Christmas banner 

Your guests will undoubtedly sense that they’ve arrived at the right house with a Merry Christmas banner above your door to greet them. And it doesn’t get much cheerier than bold red-and-green fringe and glittery gold lettering. 


5. Lighted candy canes 

Welcome guests to a true Candy Cane Lane with a DIY-lighted candy cane project. All you need are some PVC pipes, red spray paint, and Christmas lights for this easy outdoor decoration idea that sets a sweet tone for your holiday gathering. 


Deck the halls—and everywhere else

A decorative cutout wooden train set; an invitation that says “LET’S GET MERRY” in large pink, red, and gold letters.
Meri Meri Railway Train Advent Calendar, available at Party Shop; “Get Merry” by Paperless Post.


Ms. Pantzer loves to go all out for holiday décor. “I’m sort of a maximalist. I like big flower arrangements. I like the table to be really full. With flowers and candles, you can’t go wrong with lots,” she says.

Add your own maxed-out style with cheerful Christmas party décor throughout your house and these holiday party decoration ideas—or take a look at Party Shop’s Christmas collection.


6. Christmas garland 

Add traditional holiday colors to the party—red and green, of course—with an aptly placed garland. With this addition, classic Christmas accouterments like candy canes, snowflakes, Christmas trees, and the Star of Bethlehem dangle merrily.


7. Kissing corner 

Romantics and newly coupled guests are likely to appreciate the sentiment behind a holly garland from Party Shop hung in a not-so-discreet location of your home. 

If you’re feeling particularly emboldened, you can include a handcrafted banner nearby that says “kissing corner.” Your creative mistletoe look-alike might even become the official Christmas kissing photo opp! 


8. Train-inspired Advent calendar 

If you’re interested in decor with a timeless sentiment and style, then a wooden train advent calendar might be the party decoration you never knew you needed. You can place it on your coffee table as the ultimate Christmas conversation starter, and your family can enjoy it all month long. 


9. Blue glass trees 

Place these delicate holiday decorations on bookshelves, coffee tables, and mantles for a modern touch on Christmas class. Also available in pink and teal, these trees feel like a walk through a magical holiday forest.


10. Christmas chandelier

A centerpiece doesn’t need to be on the table to catch diners’ attention. Hang Meri Meri’s Classic Christmas Honeycomb Chandelier above your appetizer or dining table for a floating holiday decoration guests will love.


Light up the night

An invitation with simple retro Christmas tree ornaments in gold, silver, and red; a bowl of red ball and gold tree ornaments with a felted Santa-shaped ornament.
“Christmas Bulbs” by Paperless Post; Craftspring ornaments, available at Party Shop.


Christmas lights are a great way to get the holiday spirit flowing. Whether you’re going for curb appeal or an indoor festive glow, the right light display sets the seasonal mood—and it doesn’t have to take all day to set up.


11. Go retro with LED 

The classics never go out of style. Outline the frame of your house with multi-colored LED lights to save electricity and hearken back to a simpler time—the ’90s. Move up a decade with LED white lights for a more understated look.


12. Projector lights 

Want the Christmas-light look without the Christmas-light work? Set up a laser light projector toward your home at the proper angle. Many projectors alternate colors and patterns, making your project a moving piece of art.


13. Moravian stars 

Don’t spend your afternoon winding cords around the trees in your yard. Instead, hang Moravian stars from winter branches for a sparkling sight from any distance.


14. Christmas tree of lights

Light up the tree—minus the tree—with a DIY Christmas lights project. With just a few materials and a crafty afternoon, you’ll have an outdoor light display that looks as effortless as it is gorgeous. 


15. Mantel lights 

Once you’ve finished decorating your mantel with Christmas collectibles, drape the shelf with a string of small fairy lights for a magical indoor glimmer.


Rock around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree

A shabby-chic, maximalist Christmas tree in a wood-paneled corner with colorful bows and ornaments; an invitation with a Christmas tree that appears to be made of rainbow-colored feathers.
Image via The Blushing Bungalow; “Fancy Fir” by Happy Menocal for Paperless Post.


Whether you chopped down the tree with your own bare hands (and probably a power tool) or you used those same hands to unpack ol’ faithful from the dusty box in your attic, nothing says Christmas spirit quite like a lushly decorated Christmas tree. 

Some people prefer trees with a carefully coordinated color scheme, while others enjoy trees with multi-colored lights and a hodgepodge of well-loved ornaments. Ms. Pantzer recommends one important detail: “Wrap presents with beautiful paper and ribbons and stage under the tree or in empty corners.”

Regardless of which decor you like, it’s hard to say no to such festive gifts and ornaments—so just say yes.


16. Libation ornament 

Whether your tree has a specific motif or it’s covered with years of your children’s DIY ornaments, there’s always a place in your heart (and on your tree) for your favorite libation—whether it’s a six-pack of beer or a popping champagne bottle.


17. Favorite animal ornament 

Add charm to your tree with the help of your favorite four-legged friend in ornament form. Whether you’re into pigs, tigers, or dinosaurs, you can find an ornament to express yourself


18. Snowflake ornament 

Some people have been building snowmen and catching snowflakes on their tongues since they were old enough to don a snowsuit. Others live in a city that breaks out sweaters and boots any time the temperature hits a low of 78 and haven’t seen a snowflake in years. 

One thing they have in common? Those tiny crystals are synonymous with feelings of joy and happiness. Why not include some snow-inspired happiness in your tree with a snowflake ornament?


19. Diorama ornaments 

Take a trip back in time when you hang these beautiful Vintage Diorama Ornaments on your tree. Each shows a glimpse of a winter scene—snowmen, winter flowers, a reindeer against a snowy landscape—encapsulated inside a delicate glass ball. The collection contains 12 ornaments to display or share at your next holiday party.


20. Star ornament 

For a flash of drama and color against a green backdrop, place a Pastel Star Ornament amidst your festive tree décor. Seven inches tall and edged with gold glitter, this ornament catches attention no matter where it’s hung.


Decorate a dining table that’ll make Santa proud

An invitation reads “FALALALALA” in retro block print red and green letters; a table with multicolor taper candles in mismatched holders with honeycomb trees, mini crowns, and other holiday party favors.
“Festive Fun” by Paperless Post.; image via Meri Meri (some items available at Party Shop).


After everyone’s comfortably settled in, it’ll be time for the main event—cocktails and cuisine. Whether you’re hosting a sit-down affair, a casual potluck, or are keeping it simple (and just as savory) with a feast full of hors d’oeuvres, we’ve gathered some fabulous Christmas party table decorations to adorn your table spread.


21. Christmas tree plates 

If you’re unsure which color scheme to lean on for your party, why not try the entire rainbow of colors—and ornaments? Encourage guests to place one appetizer on each ornament shape, or use these Christmas tree plates to serve your complete Christmas dinner.


22. Red patterned napkins 

Looking for minimal but worthwhile decorations? Annika Paper Luncheon Napkins in red (also available in gold) are an excellent detail in any holiday party décor. They’re traditional and modern, rolled into one perfect little napkin package. 


23. Candy cane napkin rings 

“I love tying ribbon around a napkin or putting little flowers on the napkins,” says Ms. Pantzer. “Something that’s really pretty so when you sit down, right away you’re opening a little present.”

Put a sweet finishing touch on your place settings with Furbish Studio’s Peppermint Raffia Napkin Rings. Criss-crossed candy canes come together with holly berries to wind around dinner napkins just before the feast begins.


24. Tree candles

“Make sure you’re lighting a beautiful candle,” says Ms. Pantzer.
I’m a huge fan of dimming lights. Everyone looks prettier when it’s a little dark.”

Add some beauty to your holiday dinner with elegant Ivory Tree Candles. Also available in a mini green version, these candles provide the perfect lighting for an intimate holiday meal without needing candle holders to keep them in place.


25. Naughty or nice place cards 

A name card at a wintery table reads “naughty or nice?”; an invitation with a candy cane-inspired border and candy cane and holly flourish at the top says “naughty or nice.”
Image of Naughty or Nice place cards courtesy of Marcie Pantzer, photo credit: MJ Kroeger; “Candy Cane Lane” by Paperless Post.


Beyond how cute they look (which is very), place cards are an important part of Ms. Pantzer’s table arrangement. “I feel comfortable when I get somewhere and I know exactly where to sit. “As the hostess, place cards enable you to strategically seat guests to ensure their comfort and encourage lively conversation and new introductions.”

With these Naughty or Nice place cards from Dear Annabelle, you can start instant table chatter when you underline the adjective that best fits each person. “It adds humor. It’s so much more fun when you get people laughing,” Ms. Pantzer says.


Don’t ho-ho-hold out on party favors

An invitation that resembles sheet music with holly flourishes in the corners; four party crackers that look like Christmas elves.
“Christmas Music” by Paperless Post; Meri Meri Elf Crackers available at Party Shop.


Santa may have yet to make his rounds through town, but that doesn’t mean guests can’t take home something thoughtful to commemorate the occasion. “I like to have something hidden under the plates for a little surprise,” says Ms. Pantzer. “Sometimes, I put a lotto ticket. The winner would have to share, of course!”

Party favors add a sprinkle of Christmas party decorations to a decorated place setting. You can also put your party favors in a Christmas-themed basket on the table in your foyer for partygoers to grab on their way out.


26. Elf crackers 

Maybe the elves were able to make an appearance at your party after all. Wonderful! To use your cracker, you simply pull at both ends of the elf—erm, cracker. Then, out pop the goodies, like a party hat and a joke. Elves can be surprisingly humorous.


27. Peppermint candy surprise balls 

Give your dinner table a splash of holiday cheer (and red and silver Christmas colors) with these beautifully decorated party favors. Inside, they hold fun-filled trinkets like a paper hat, a self-adhesive mustache, stickers, and a friendship bracelet. 


28. Reindeer antler headbands 

Children and adults alike will enjoy your party favor finesse when you hand out their artfully crafted reindeer antler headbands. Each one is a different color and is adorned with golden antlers—only the best for your guests. 


29. Flamingo gift bags 

If you’re giving out holiday party bags, use Caspari’s Christmas Flamingos Gift Bags to hold all your festive goodies. This durable gift bag brings a lighthearted, tropical touch to a wintery holiday party. 


30. Christmas party hats 

Don’t forget to decorate the party guests themselves. Pass out Meri Meri’s Mixed Christmas Party Hats for each guest to bring their own festive flair to the celebration. Gifts, holly, and honeycomb trees adorn guests’ crowns as they enjoy your fête—and feast.


Find the perfect invites and party supplies with Paperless Post

Reindeer-shaped party crackers, star sugar cookies, a Santa plate, antler headband, and taper candles on a green backdrop.
Meri Meri celebration crackers, Meri Meri Santa plate, Meri Meri antler headband, Dear Annabelle gift tag, The Floral Society candles, available at Party Shop.


Organizing and hosting a Christmas party is a breeze with Paperless Post. Whether you prefer a traditional stationery-inspired invite or are more interested in laidback and fun animated Christmas party invitations, we have plenty to choose from. Want to change the color or font size to make it more your style? Customize them in minutes, and send them out by email, text, or shareable link.

Then, check out even more of our elevated Christmas party offerings at Paperless Post Party Shop, where you’ll find a variety of unforgettable holiday décor. From garlands to mini Christmas trees, our elves have stocked the shelves with an abundance of festive goods to suit your party’s theme. While you’re at Party Shop, you can also stock up on party supplies for corporate holiday party décor to keep your eggnog warm and your sugar cookies perfectly plated for guests.

No matter what you’re looking for, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect Christmas additions for your big (or little) bash at Paperless Post.



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Hero image via Meri Meri.