27 Charmingly Old Fashioned Christmas Decorating Ideas {For 2023}

Inside: The old-fashioned Christmas decorating ideas to make your house feel warm and cozy all season.

garland with candles, orange slices, house with wreath, and paper snowflakes in window.

Imagine….you’re in an old Victorian house on Christmas Eve. You can feel the heat of the roaring fire and the white tapered candles flicker in every windowsill. The mantel and staircase are covered in fresh greenery, and the tree is just being hung with the last of the ornaments.

Chances are, this scene looks and feels “right” to you. Just like Christmas should. Even if, in real life, you’ve never experienced it once.

The phrase “home for the holidays” is about more than just being together with family. It’s also about our desire to go back to a simpler time, whether that’s a time in our personal history or a time in… you know… history.

And when you’re tired of trendy decorations and want a house that makes you feel like you’re home for the holidays, here are the decorating ideas to keep in mind.

Welcome to a Christmas that feels like home, no matter where you are. 🎄✨

Old-fashioned Christmas tree

grid of homemade ornaments; orange slices and crochet snowflakes.

1 A natural or natural-look tree. If you can’t make it to a Christmas tree farm and decide to get an artificial tree, that’s okay. Many trees are designed to look very natural and full; they might take a lot of fluffing and assembly.

2. Mixed ornaments with a simple color scheme. A combination of store-bought and handmade Christmas ornaments is the best way to get a vintage-looking tree. Remember that simple is better and focus on one or two colors.

3. Dried orange slices. An easy homemade project is making dried orange slices for individual ornaments or a garland.

4. Homemade cinnamon ornaments are fun to do with kids, make the house smell great, and have a classic charm.

5. Crochet snowflakes can be purchased for those of us who aren’t so crafty!

6. Cranberry popcorn garlands can be made on Christmas Eve and draped on the tree for a couple nights before going outside.

7. If you are going for a mid-century look, you could take this in a different direction with ball ornaments and multi-colored lights too!

8. Vintage tree toppers. There are so many authentic vintage tree toppers available in thrift stores or online.

 Crocheted Angel Ornaments, Set of 6 KI Store Mercury Glass Christmas Ornaments Set of 8 Champagne Gold Hanging Christmas Balls Finials for Christmas Tree Decoration Holiday Décor 46Pcs Christmas Victorian Style Banner Vintage Santa Claus Child Wood Ornaments Decorations, Christmas Party Theme Decoration Anniversary or Christmas for Party Decor (Vintage Style)

 

Gifts and packaging

grid of 3 christmas gifts wrapped nicely.

9. Vintage gift wrapping. The wrapped presents under the Christmas tree add another layer of tree decoration. Don’t miss this opportunity to add even more charm. So many choices have an old-fashioned feel, from Kraft paper to plain newspaper.

10. Pretty gift wrapping. You can of course, use expensive, pretty paper and satin ribbon too. Just remember that the gifts are visible, and you want to make sure every element of your tree feels put together.

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Fireplace and mantle

grid of 3 old fashioned holiday fireplace mantles.

11. Fire. If you have a working fireplace, you have one of the best Christmas decorations in the world already! (Bonus points if its wood burning.) If you don’t, you can get a lot of the charm if you just have a mantle. You can use candles to add a warm glow.

12. Greenery One of everyone’s favorite hearth-themed holiday decorations is a classic garland. Whether you use lights or just leave it plain, look for one that’s natural or at least looks natural. You can make you own by foraging for greenery outside, or look for one that will last year after year, like this realistic boxwood garland.

13. Homemade stockings. A handmade Christmas stocking will always be the most charming. If you don’t have a family member willing to knit you one, you can of course buy a hand-knit stocking, or something like this beautiful needlepoint stocking.

Favorite Vintage Inspired Finds

 A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems 200 Pieces From Santa Claus Stickers Roll Vintage Christmas Tags Stickers Santa Delivery From The North Pole Present Stickers Labels for Kids Christmas Party Decorations, 2.3 x 3.34 Inch (Light Color) Peking Handicraft Nutcracker in Red Hook Stocking, 13×21

 

In the living room and dining room

grid of 3 old fashioned christmas decor accents

14. Candles. If you are comfortable with the idea, there’s nothing like candles in your living spaces to bring back the feel of a holiday season from the past.

15. Battery-operated candles aren’t quite the same (but can work in a pinch!).

16. Christmas Village. Don’t forget the coziness of a Christmas village, particularly a Dickens village or similar themed one. They might not be precisely fashionable, but that’s the point.

17. Holiday Wall Art. Switching out your wall art can be an affordable way to decorate with vintage style. There are so many vintage-styled printables with a holiday theme.

Christmas kitchen

grid of 3 old fashioned christmas kitchen projects.

18. Homemade food. Nothing is more authentic than a holiday kitchen filled with homemade food. Honestly, when your kitchen as a busy place filled with activity, there is no need to go overboard with decorations.

19. Pretty + practical food prep. Kitchens in the past were more about function than form, even during the holidays. Should that stop you if you want to deck out the kitchen? Of course not! Special holiday pans, cookie cutters, and other practical things can be out on display, as well as yummy treats and candies.

20. Cut greenery. Never underestimate the simple power of fresh greenery stuck in a jar of water and placed on your kitchen windowsill.

21. Simmer pot. Make your home smell good by putting orange slices, rosemary sprigs, and cinnamon sticks in a pan of simmering water.

Outside

pretty and classic christmas exteriors with stone house and greenery
The best holiday exteriors hint at what’s inside the house.

22. Candles in the window. Don’t feel like putting up outdoor lights? Just tell the neighbors you’re going for the Victorian look this year. You don’t really need to do anything to the outside of your house! Put a battery-operated candle in each window.

23. Wreaths everywhere! Nothing is prettier than a wreath on every window if you know a brave soul who can get up there and hang them up for you!

Inspiration

24. Colonial Williamsburg is a great source of old-fashioned Christmas inspiration. This book has crafts and photos that are a good starting point.

25. If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch the super cheesy show Victorian Farm: Christmas Edition just for the scenery.

26. For more Victorian Christmas inspiration, you’ll enjoy Victoria Elizabeth Barnes’ house tours of her old home through the years at the holidays.

But don’t forget.

Christmas decorating is fun, but don’t let it become an idol. If your child makes Christmas crafts that don’t fit the look you are going for, go ahead and put them up anyway. It’s a happy holiday, not a decorating contest.

27 Charmingly Old Fashioned Christmas Decorating Ideas {For 2023}

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4 Comments

  1. I enjoyed this post and pinned it. It reminds me of my childhood home and how my mom would decorate, lots of memories, thanks and have a great day.

  2. Thank you. I look forward to ordering your booklet and one of the cookbook books from Amazon. It was very generous of you to offer the freebies, that in itself indicates the contentment in your heart, where it matters. I wish you the very best and pray that life continues to bless you with contentment. Sincerely, I.H.

  3. This is so pleasing! Brings back wonderful memories of the million times we visited my gramma’s house with my parents! I put flowers on their graves every holiday except Valentine’s Day as there is too much snow!