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While I wouldn’t identify as the Grinch who stole Christmas, you won’t find me filling up a cart of holiday decorations at Target. There’s of course nothing wrong with garlands and tree figurines, but as a city girl who actively avoids all things cheesy, some harmless festivity can take an aesthetic turn for the worse fast. Here are four easy ways I like to bring a little holiday cheer to my home, none of which involves a snow globe collection. 

Light Taper Candles (Even for Casual Takeout Dinners)

Photography by Yoshihiro Makino; Styling by Elaina Sullivan 

Nothing could ever compete with a roaring fireplace, but an assortment of flickering taper candles evokes a similar romantic mood. There’s no reason to reserve tapers for fancy occasions only, especially when you can purchase them in bulk for less than $2 each. Your weeknight Chinese takeout spread can take part in some cozy spirit, too. 

Tie Delicate Ribbons Around Stemware for Your Next Party

Photography by Julia Stevens

Dainty ribbons were trending on Spring 2024 runways, and we’ve since been seeing them all over Instagram on more than just apparel. Because flouncy bows are an essential ingredient of the holidays, now is the perfect time to get in on the fun. Tying a thin ribbon around the stem of a champagne coupe or wineglass brings a cheery touch, not to mention it takes two seconds. While it’s a fine opportunity to bring in red and green, there’s nothing chicer than black satin

Make Mini Cypress Trees and Norfolk Pines Your Go-To Houseplants

Photography by Belle Morizio; Styling by Naomi deMañana

Like me, you might not have room for a 10-foot-tall Douglas fir, but no matter how small your home, there’s always room for some mini cypress trees or Norfolk pines. Most are around 5 inches wide and can easily be plopped into a petite planter. Treat them like you would any small houseplant; scatter a few down a table or style one atop a dresser. Unlike your typical monstera or ficus, these will subtly nod to the season. 

Decorate With All Plaid Everything

Photography by Justin Chung; Styling by Scott Horne

We’re big into plaid over here. And as much as the pattern can be used year-round, there’s no better time than winter. Evoke the coziness of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar and bring out your plaid table linens, throw blankets, and dinnerware; they celebrate a timeless pattern without feeling themed.