Oftentimes when shopping for holiday decor, it’s typical to find pages upon pages of Christmas decorations — and really, not much else. However, that’s certainly not the only holiday happening this time of year. While not always recognized by retailers, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa take place around the same time, and the celebrations and gatherings around them offer just as many opportunities to use chic holiday decor to create tablescapes, displays around the home, and more.
To ensure that those celebrating any holiday around this time of year can find the stylish accents they’re looking for, TZR has rounded up pieces for all of the aforementioned celebrations to help everyone commemorate these occasions beautifully. With the help of decorating and entertaining experts, we’ve broken down decorating approaches for each individual holiday, along with some tips for ensuring your personality shines through and a few products to make it happen. Continue on to read them all and start shopping for whatever holiday you’re celebrating this year, ahead.
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Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday (also called the Festival of Lights) that’s celebrated for eight days. According to the description from Britannica, “Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates in particular the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day of the festival.”
When it comes to decorating for Hanukkah, Misette co-founders and sisters Sarah Pecaut and Amy Burstyn Fritz say their family approach is to incorporate artful decorations around the home to make it look festive, and to set the scene for every meal.
In terms of decor, Fritz says it’s a family tradition to have multiple menorahs for different purposes. “We’ll put a decorative menorah in the front window, but one on the center island that’s more functional for the lighting of the candles each night,” she explains. “We'll also fill bowls with blue and white glass globes or dreidels on the coffee table or console tables for the children (and grown-ups!) to play.”
When it comes to tables, Fritz shares: “I love the traditional blue and white Hanukkah colors with splashes of gold.” And Pecaut adds, “We love setting the mood with candles, specifically tall tapers, and especially for the Festival of Lights!”
As Iris Hosea, president of Festively, explains, Kwanzaa is “based on the traditional African harvest festivals and includes aspects of various African cultural traditions.” It spans seven days, from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. As she explains it, each day focuses on a different principle, which are as follows:
Day 1: Unity
Day 2: Self-Determination
Day 3: Collective Work & Responsibility
Day 4: Cooperative Economics
Day 5: Purpose
Day 6: Creativity
Day 7: Faith
Each night, a candle is lit on the Kinara — a candleholder that holds seven candles, one black, three red, and three green (the colors of the Pan-African flag).
For Kwanzaa decorations, Hosea says that these three hues can serve as your base. “You will want to also add various African print fabrics to embellish your decor,” she continues. “African Americans typically use Kente cloth and mud cloths from Ghana as part of their Kwanzaa celebration decor,” which can be placed around the house. Additionally, African artifacts such as African masks, an African drum, straw brooms, or woven baskets can be used as accents, she notes. And on the last day of Kwanzaa, when Hosea says everyone gathers for a feast, you can decorate the food table with items that symbolize a fall harvest, like corn, fruits, leafy vegetables, woven baskets, and more colorful African fabric.
According to Cambridge Dictionary, Christmas is defined as the period just before and after “Dec. 25, a Christian holy day that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.” While most families who celebrate have their own traditions, common customs to commemorate the day are attending church services, gathering with family for a meal, and exchanging gifts around a Christmas tree.
Today, the classic colors for Christmas decor are red and green, which can be used in accents all around the house. However, Kathy Kuo Home founder and CEO Kathy Kuo says she likes to go beyond this for the holidays. “It's easy to achieve a very festive atmosphere by layering neutral tones alongside shiny accents and unexpected pops of color,” she tells TZR. In the same way, she likes to take a unique approach to the typical evergreen accents as well. “I advise mixing in olive and juniper branches with eucalyptus twigs and even dusty miller for holiday accents that are both chic and rooted beautifully in the natural world.”
Being that Christmas is thought of as a “cozy” time in many places, HomeGoods Style Expert Beth Diana Smith also says a great way to add holiday vibes is by creating a feeling of comfort. To do this, she suggests “adding thick throw pillows and blankets like a neutral, extra-plush faux fur or festive green wool cable knit around your sofa and beds for guests.”