Alternative Christmas Decorating Ideas

More than any other holiday, people love to decorate their homes for Christmas. In many ways we try to recreate the home we grew up in … or the home where our best holiday memories were created. The challenge is sometimes you need to find alternative Christmas decorating ideas that work in a new house. My biggest challenge in Florida is no fireplace!

Collection of white trees are great Christmas decorating alternatives to enjoy through the winter
Holiday decorations on the dining room sideboard … white & silver to enjoy beyond Christmas.

Alternative Christmas Decorating with No Fireplace

While I love my collection of trees, it didn't take the place of a fireplace mantel. At one time I was planning to turn one of my kitchen walls into a faux fireplace, mantel and all … but that didn't happen. So year two left me wondering what other Christmas decorating alternatives I could create.

With 9 ft 4 in ceilings, one idea was a rectangular box/shelf at the doorway where the main hallway opens up to the great room. Procrastination took over so when it came time to decorate, there wasn't time to build the perfect shelf (maybe next year). Now I'm thinking my next alternative turned out even better and it's something anyone can do.

Christmas Decorating with a Shower Rod

Once I saw Christmas tree bulbs used to decorate kitchen cabinets, I realized all I needed to decorate the doorway was ribbon and lots of tree bulbs. Once I found the bulbs at Home Goods, the next part of the solution wasn't far away. The pole used to hang the bulbs is your basic shower curtain rod, chosen because you can adjust the width to fit any size shower … or doorway, LOL.

If you can't find a shower curtain rod you like, you can also find adjustable window curtain rods. Many curtain rods require brackets but the shorter ones have rubber tips so you can take them down after the holidays. If you already have window curtain rods, you can use them to hang decorations too, like the simple Christmas tree balls I hung with ribbon on all my windows

Alternative Christmas decorating ideas include using red ribbon & Christmas tree bulbs to decorate bedrooms like this one ...
Red ribbon & Christmas tree bulbs add holiday cheer to this bedroom …

Steps to Decorating with a Curtain Rod (Shower or Window)

Like most great ideas, the devil is in the details so here are the steps I took to create a wonderful doorway decoration, one of my favorite Christmas decorating alternatives ever.

  1. Put up your shower/widow rod and tighten so it's secure. Leave enough room over the rod to wrap decorations around the rod and/or tie Christmas decorations to your rod.
  2. Hang a few Christmas balls to see what you like. Try using different sizes and shapes (Target had a box with bulbs in lots of shapes like stars, snowflakes, etc).
  3. Experiment with different spacing between the balls. This will be more obvious after you've put up a third of the balls and realize how many you still have to hang … yup!
  1. Next I added the fairy lights, to see how their length worked with the length of the Christmas ball ribbon. It was nice to see they complimented the balls so no adjustments were needed.
Christmas decorating alternatives take some extra work to discover through trial and error, what works … and what doesn't work.
  1. Tested different ways to hang the Christmas balls to save time. For the windows, I put one ball on each end of the ribbon (see above) but didn't like how this looked (2 balls on right) on the curtain rod.
Red bulbs hung on a curtain rod using red ribbon show off one of many alternative Christmas decorating ideas
Bright Christmas tree bulbs can add sparkle to almost any part of a house, as this doorway illustrates …
  1. Once all the decisions were made, it was a matter of picking a Christmas ball, tying ribbon onto the ball and carrying it up the ladder to decide how long to make the ribbon. Snip, put the scissors in my back pocket and tie the ribbon to the rod.
  2. Step back and look at the project periodically, to make sure you still like the design. Once I'd passed the halfway point, I decided to add two balls on the right to match the left.
  1. Tired climbing up and down the stairs, I filled a grocery bag with the ribbon, some Christmas balls and hooked it on my belt … no more up and down.
  1. Had to thread a needle for about half the balls, because the holes were too small to maneuver the ribbon through. By cutting the ribbon on a diagonal, threading the ribbon through an embroidery needle worked well. It took several tries to find a needle big enough for the ribbon … and small enough to go through the ball hooks.
  1. Pulling the needle through the ball holes was easy, in fact easier than maneuvering the ribbon by itself.
  1. Once the ribbon went through the hole, I tied a knot … just a single in case I had to adjust the ribbon length later.
  1. Last step is tying each Christmas ball to the curtain rod. First you hold the ball up to gauge where the ball will fall once the ribbon is tied. Then you have to snip the ribbon (notice how I'm putting the scissors back in my pants pocket below) and tie it to the rod.

Success with My Christmas Decorating Alternative

Love how my idea came out better than I imagined. It's bright and when the fairy lights are twinkling at night, it's magical. The location is perfect because you see it the minute you come through the front door and it frames the Christmas tree perfectly.

The doorway leads into the great room, really four rooms in one that's 28 by 30 feet. It's fascinating how the unadorned entry that one never noticed before, is now a special feature of the room … visible from everywhere.

Doorway cheery with lots of red Christmas bulbs to greet you, just one of many alternative Christmas decorating ideas
Doorway cheery with lots of red Christmas bulbs to greet you …

PS If you're looking for more holiday decorating tips, here are some of our favorites:

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