25 Christmas Ideas That Will Make Your Holiday Merry & Bright

'Tis the season for cozy Christmas recipes and creative holiday decor. Use our best Christmas ideas to make your house the most festive spot on the block!

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Ring of Piggies

This wreath takes a classic finger food—Pigs in a Blanket—and makes it perfect for a holiday party. The golden crescent rolls are flaky, buttery and beautiful enough to be the centerpiece for any buffet.
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Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bar

We love this idea for a “build your own” hot cocoa bar. Stock up on marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, candy canes and any other hot chocolate topper you like, and set them out with some decorative garland or twinkle lights. Invite guests to make a custom cup of cocoa with all the fixin’s. Check out these Christmas kitchen decor ideas from our stylists.

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Three-Chocolate Fudge

Christmas is the best reason to indulge in a bit of sweetness, and this fudge recipe will make a decadent treat for your guests. Serve for dessert with coffeeshop-style drinks.
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Creamy Peppermint Punch

Almost too pretty to drink, Creamy Peppermint Punch is a real crowd-pleaser. Serve it in a punch bowl and guests can help themselves, so you’re free to mingle. —Linda Foreman, Locust Grove, Oklahoma
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Learn how to cook prime rib with this step-by-step guide from our Test Kitchen.

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Christmas Tree Cookies

Delight family and friends with this holly jolly Christmas tree cookie recipe. Iced with creamy frosting and dusted with sparkly colored sugars, the 3-D cookie trees are as delicious as they are beautiful! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

See all our recipes for festive Christmas cookies.

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Christmas Pull-Apart Bread

Looking for a snack that’s as much a decoration as anything else? This pull-apart bread is ideal for Christmas breakfast, brunch or a snack after the presents are opening.
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Creamy Cranberry Salad

One of my piano students taught me the perfect lesson in holiday recipes: this fresh cranberry salad. The keys are tangy fruit, fluffy marshmallows and crunchy nuts. —Alexandra Lypecky, Dearborn, Michigan
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Orange Pomegranate Salmon

A colorful, festive salmon dish makes an impressive addition to your holiday table—and it is as delicious as it is beautiful. What will no one guess? How easy it is to cook. I serve this with roasted baby potatoes and asparagus for a showstopping meal that is wonderful for special occasions. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Wood Pallet Christmas Tree

This DIY Christmas tree is a chic and elegant way to repurpose old wood pallets. Just fashion garland, ornaments and lights or streamers in the shape of a tree and top with a gold star for a rustic Christmas decoration. This piece would be right at home on your porch, front entry or back deck. Here’s the best Christmas lights to buy according to our Test Kitchen.

Want a different decoration for your tree this year? Try these DIY edible ornaments.

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No-Bake Christmas Wreaths

These are a Christmas dessert table classic. Plus, Santa would love a few of these crunchy and chewy treats under the tree on Christmas Eve.
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Burlap Place Settings

These easy-to-assemble place settings will elevate your Christmas table. Burlap can be decorated with anything from red ribbon to rosemary sprigs or cinnamon sticks. You can even stuff them with chocolates or cookies that guests can take home at the end of the night. This roll of burlap is perfect for crafting ($15).

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Roast Turkey with Sausage-Cabbage Stuffing

There is no better Christmas dinner than a crisp and beautiful bird stuffed with sausage, cabbage and herbs. This dinner is an elegant centerpiece to celebrate the merriest day of the year.
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Mulled Wine

This mulled wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don't omit this essential step. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mantel Decor

A rustic, woodland theme is perfect for a DIY Christmas. This mantle uses pine cones, holly, mason jars and a homemade wooden sign to harness the holiday spirit. Hang some burlap stockings with twine and bring in some springs of rosemary or evergreen for color.

Here are 31 rustic Christmas recipes to enjoy.

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Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

It wouldn’t be a Merry Christmas without some holiday bark. This recipe is decadent and fruity, combining white chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut and pomegranate seeds. Make ahead of time and you’ll be snacking from Christmas to New Year’s Eve!
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Layered Candy Cane Dessert

This layered dessert is a fantastic way to use up extra candy canes you might have around the house. Even better, this no-bake holiday recipe frees up some much-needed space in your oven during a busy holiday week.
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Apricot Crown Roast

There is nothing more elegant on a holiday table than a crown roast. Don’t be intimidated—we’ve got a simple and decadent recipe that’s easy to prepare and even easier to devour.
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Bacon Beef Tenderloin with Cranberry Glaze

I made this for Christmas one year and now people request it for every special event. Omit the jalapeno if you like. —Rebecca Anderson, Driftwood, Texas
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Banana Nog

During my family's annual cookie exchange, we ran out of our beloved eggnog...much to everyone's horror! So into the kitchen I went to create this cool, creamy treat. —Jennae LeFebvre, Aurora, Illinois
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Chicken Crescent Wreath

For holiday appetizers that are as decorative as they are delicious, try this golden Christmas wreath. Stuffed with cheese, vegetables and tender chicken, this fuss-free recipe would be great as an appetizer or for a light Christmas lunch.
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Peppermint Pretzel Dippers

A friend made these treats and gave them away in pretty canning jars. The combination of sweet, salty and peppermint is just right. Try dipping them in white candy coating and rolling them in crushed candy canes for variety. —Michelle Krzmarzick, Torrance, California

Find more St. Nick treats

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Apple-Pecan Baked Brie

As family arrives for a get-together, I make sure this fruity and savory Brie is in the oven so the aromas of cinnamon and apples fill the house. —Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York
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Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

This Christmas, toast to great friends, a healthy family and more happy memories with these tasty champagne cocktails. Get the kids in on the family cheers with a “mocktail” version, using chilled seltzer instead of champagne.
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Rustic Christmas Crate

This homemade Christmas crate is the epitome of holiday DIY decor. Filled with birch logs, greenery, holly berries and burlap, it’s a welcoming addition to any entryway, porch or front door. We love the addition of vintage Christmas bulbs for extra flair and more light, too. Also check out these stunning nativity sets to celebrate the season.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Laura Denby
Cooking and writing have been Laura’s passion for 10 years. In addition to Taste of Home, Laura writes about food and culinary arts on sites like Food & Wine, Food Network and Delish. Though she’s a trained professional chef, Laura has branched into the wine and spirits space too. She has worked in multiple vineyards and earned a WSET Level 2 award in wine and spirits. Her work in professional kitchens, love of organizing and eye for the best kitchen products gives her a range of writing experience from cooking techniques to product testing. Outside of work, Laura loves wine tasting, traveling and hanging out with her dog and family.