The holidays are like no other time of year — warmth and good cheer are in the air as friends and family gather to celebrate. It is also a chance to turn your home into a fairytale version of itself, with twinkling lights, gauzy ribbons and glittery garland to capture the love, tradition and joy of the holidays.

“Decorating your house for the holidays is all about your personal touch,” says Dale Spalding, senior buyer for the Bombay Company, a home decorating and accessories retailer. Whether you’re known for your elaborate Christmas trees or for your whimsical home decorations, don’t be afraid to use this opportunity to express your personality. “Just like other decorating decisions you make year round, it’s all about the details,” says Spalding. The possibilities are endless, and that may seem intimidating to some people. Here are some hints to help you create your own winter wonderland.

You may want to choose a theme as the foundation for your decorating plan. Your theme can be as simple as a color scheme, or it can focus on a specific object. For example, you can focus on snowflakes, Santas or Spalding’s favorite, nutcrackers.

“Nutcrackers are a German tradition,” he explains. “They originally represented power and strength and were used as guardians of the home. Today, they are often given as a gift symbolizing luck and happiness.”

Part of the Bombay Company’s holiday tradition is a collection of nutcrackers in unique designs. “We always offer a Santa, a king, and a soldier,” says Spalding. This year, the assortment also includes Santa’s Workshop, complete with Santa’s essential tools for making special toys; and McIntosh the golfer, who is accompanied by a caddy wearing matching tartan plaid. These collectible nutcrackers are 15 inches tall, made of solid wood and meticulously hand-painted. There’s also a 42-inch soldier nutcracker that is a perfect way to greet guests in your front hall. He also looks good standing guard in front of your fireplace or Christmas tree.

The nutcrackers can serve as a focal point in your living room or family room. Line them up on your mantle surrounded by garland for a built-in conversation starter. Another option for mantels and under the tree are Bombay’s hand painted Nativity sets.

Once you’ve chosen your theme, try to come up with some unusual twists. Consider swathing your banister in netting and lights, then festooning it with ornaments for a bright, festive glow. Ornaments are also great hanging from the chandelier in the dining room. Gifts wrapped in ribbons and bows and adorned with ornaments add an extra sparkle to your Christmas tree.

If you’re serving food, make sure your table is set for the occasion. “There are so many ways to make a table sparkle,” says Spalding. “Use a pretty table runner, your best china and crystal and plenty of candles. This is the time of year to go all out.” The nutcrackers can also play a starring role in your tabletop decorations. Group them together and surround them with colorful votive candle holders.

Now that the main areas of your house are covered, don’t forget the kitchen and the powder room. Chances are your guests will be spending time in these rooms as well. And if you’re hosting out-of-town guests, add some holiday touches to the guestroom. Simple extras like holiday-themed hand towels and soaps go a long way to say “welcome.”

To find more holiday decorating ideas, visit or call (800)829-7789.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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