While red and green are popular hues, they are not married to each other. Red might be paired with ivory or amethyst; green may partner with copper, caramel or bright white.
As for what goes on the tree or the mantel, well, that's the thing: Anything goes. Some general trends:
While jewel tones and creamy palettes hold strong, red is red-hot.
"When it comes to an 'it' color for Christmas this year, it's red -- a bright, cheery red like you find on traditional Scandinavian ornaments," says Sara Peterson, editor in chief of HGTV Magazine.
Ikea has a cheery collection of traditional Scandinavian ornaments including folk people, stars and goats. Land of Nod's Rising Star tree topper features curly white embroidery on crimson felt.
Cranberry red candlesticks from Pier 1 take mercury glass down a different road, while beaded reindeer and snowflakes bring glamour to red velvet and satin throw pillows.
Winter white continues to appeal to holiday decorators; with or without touches of sparkle, it's calming, elegant and chic. And don't disregard earthier colors -- think of bare birch branches hung with gold and silver stars; luxe bowls brimming with copper ornaments; chocolate brown mohair throws.
Take stock of what you already have around the house.
A throw blanket makes a cozy tree skirt. Use a scarf as a table runner. Use nature for holiday decoration -- think backyard branches, berries and pinecones.
Fill a vase or candle holder with jingle bells or peppermints. Wrap red, green or metallic ribbon around plain white pillar candles.
Evoking the festive spirit without overt reference: faux fur or knitted throws and pillow covers; throw pillows with snow scenes or deer, antler and deer accessories; glittery pillows.
Vintage is going to be a popular holiday theme, especially when it comes to typography. Look for throwback fonts on everything from toss pillows to serving trays. HomeGoods has decorative hanging signs done in old-fashioned type with words like "Believe."
Critters both exotic and domestic abound. Land of Nod has felt dog ornaments, as well as rabbits, walruses and unicorns.
More Life Headlines
The Chat ... with son of Reptile Man, Isaac Petersen Today in History Salmon for Soldiers pairs boats and vets for a day of fishing Taking care of each other: Helping ill friends, relatives Lake Stevens man is your guide on Amtrak Meloncholy? Slice your way to delight Sunglasses you’ll never be without Eight things you want your soon-to-be college kid to know
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.