Your Official Guide to Noncheesy Christmas Decorations

Starting with tiny evergreen trees as houseplants.
Mini Cypress trees and taper candles on a rainbow tablecloth.
Photography by Belle Morizio; Styling by Naomi DeMañana Photography by Belle Morizio; Styling by Naomi deMañana

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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. 

D'light Online Elegant Sage Green Taper Premium Quality Candles (Set of 12), Amazon


Tapered Candles (Set of 6), Serena & Lily

$38 $18

Stripe Candles by Hay, DWR

$30 $21

Tapered Rainbow Candles (Set of 12), MoMA Design Store


Yummi Sandstone Taper Candles (Set of 12), Amazon


Century Natural Acacia Wood Taper Candle Holder, Crate & Barrel


Brass Taper Candle Holders (Set of 6), Amazon


Candle Holders in True Natural Marble , Amazon


Kava Neutral Glass Taper Candle Holders (Set of 3), CB2


Set of 12 Taper Candles, Chimney and Taper Holders by Yummi (Set of 12), Amazon


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

Thin Satin Ribbon (1/8 inch), Amazon


Red 3/8 inch Wide Double Faced Polyester Satin Ribbon, Amazon


Grosgrain Stripe Ribbon Christmas Stripe Plaid Ribbon, Amazon


Green Velvet Ribbon, Amazon


The Wine Glass in Cobalt Blue by Molly Baz, Crate & Barrel

$15 $8

The Vintage List Cocktail Glasses – Stars Design ( Set of 4), Kassatex


Vintage Gin Tonic Glass Set by Nude Glass (Set of 2), Ssense


Arlo Footed Wine Glasses (Set of 4), Pottery Barn


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

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. 

Emerald Green Thuja Arborvitae Evergreen Trees, Amazon


Live Dark Green Cypress Tree, Amazon


The Three Company Fragrant Lemon Cypress Tree, Amazon


Norfolk Island Pine, The Sill


Model Three Planter, Areaware


Green & White Planter by Henry Holland, Ssense


Hyde Planter, The Sill


Terra Pot, Georg Jensen

$89 $71

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. 

Hudson Plaid Napkins, Set of 4, Heather Taylor Home


Jubilee Plaid Table Runner, Atelier Saucier


Tartan Cocktail Napkins, Johanna Buchanan


Grid Tablecloth, All Roads


Tis Season Plaid Reactive Glaze Platter, Target


Plaid Double Old Fashioned Glasses, Set of 4, Godinger

$25 $14

Double Faced Check Wool Blanket by Johnstons of Elgin, Abask


Lambswool Plaid Throw, Schoolhouse



Julia Stevens

Contributing Editor

Julia Stevens is a Domino contributing editor. Basically, she’s a professional online shopper. She started at Domino as an intern and spent almost seven years in the style department curating products for our gift guides, trend roundups, and product reviews and on set styling the beautiful homes we get to share. Off hours, you can find her scouting New York’s newest design shops and restyling her shelves