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25 Christmas Ideas That Will Make Your Holiday Merry & Bright

'Tis the season for cozy Christmas recipes and creative holiday decor. Use our best Christmas ideas to make your house the most festive spot on the block!

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Ring of Piggies

This wreath takes a classic finger food—Pigs in a Blanket—and makes it perfect for a holiday party. The golden crescent rolls are flaky, buttery and beautiful enough to be the centerpiece for any buffet.

Find more wreath-shaped recipes for the holidays.

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Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bar

We love this idea for a “build your own” hot cocoa bar. Stock up on marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, candy canes and any other hot chocolate topper you like, and set them out with some decorative garland or twinkle lights. Invite guests to make a custom cup of cocoa with all the fixin’s. Check out these Christmas kitchen decor ideas from our stylists.

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Three-Chocolate Fudge

Christmas is the best reason to indulge in a bit of sweetness, and this fudge recipe will make a decadent treat for your guests. Serve for dessert with coffeeshop-style drinks.
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Candy Cane Punch

For a family party or an office happy hour, this candy cane “mocktail” is a tasty way to freshen up any holiday get-together. The strawberry-peppermint flavor combo is unexpected but delicious!
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Mustard-Crusted Prime Rib

If you really want to wow your guests, then make sure to break out this recipe. Roast beef is the ideal Christmas feast, and this recipe makes for an extra-special indulgence.

Learn how to cook prime rib with this step-by-step guide from our Test Kitchen.

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Christmas Tree Cookies

How cute are these Christmas tree-shaped cookies? Your kids or grandkids will love making them as much as they love eating them.

See all our recipes for festive Christmas cookies.

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Christmas Pull-Apart Bread

Looking for a snack that’s as much a decoration as anything else? This pull-apart bread is ideal for Christmas breakfast, brunch or a snack after the presents are opening.
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Creamy Cranberry Salad

This decadent “salad” will wow the whole crowd! Use a green apple to complement the red from the chopped cranberries.
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Orange Pomegranate Salmon

Orange Pomegranate Salmon

This citrus salmon is a decadent way to please the pescatarians at your table. The orange and pomegranate seeds make a dish that’s festive yet simple, clean and delicious.
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Wood Pallet Christmas Tree

This DIY Christmas tree is a chic and elegant way to repurpose old wood pallets. Just fashion garland, ornaments and lights or streamers in the shape of a tree and top with a gold star for a rustic Christmas decoration. This piece would be right at home on your porch, front entry or back deck. Here’s the best Christmas lights to buy according to our Test Kitchen.

Want a different decoration for your tree this year? Try these DIY edible ornaments.

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No-Bake Christmas Wreaths

These are a Christmas dessert table classic. Plus, Santa would love a few of these crunchy and chewy treats under the tree on Christmas Eve.
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Burlap Place Settings

These easy-to-assemble place settings will elevate your Christmas table. Burlap can be decorated with anything from red ribbon to rosemary sprigs or cinnamon sticks. You can even stuff them with chocolates or cookies that guests can take home at the end of the night. This roll of burlap is perfect for crafting ($15).

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Roast Turkey with Sausage-Cabbage Stuffing

There is no better Christmas dinner than a crisp and beautiful bird stuffed with sausage, cabbage and herbs. This dinner is an elegant centerpiece to celebrate the merriest day of the year.
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Festive Mulled Wine

Spiced wine is a mainstay at Christmas markets across the United States. Why not bring the spiced, festive flavors into your own home? This recipe is simple—and the aroma is amazing!
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Mantel Decor

A rustic, woodland theme is perfect for a DIY Christmas. This mantle uses pine cones, holly, mason jars and a homemade wooden sign to harness the holiday spirit. Hang some burlap stockings with twine and bring in some springs of rosemary or evergreen for color.

Here are 31 rustic Christmas recipes to enjoy.

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Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

It wouldn’t be a Merry Christmas without some holiday bark. This recipe is decadent and fruity, combining white chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut and pomegranate seeds. Make ahead of time and you’ll be snacking from Christmas to New Year’s Eve!
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Layered Candy Cane Dessert

This layered dessert is a fantastic way to use up extra candy canes you might have around the house. Even better, this no-bake holiday recipe frees up some much-needed space in your oven during a busy holiday week.
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Apricot Crown Roast

There is nothing more elegant on a holiday table than a crown roast. Don’t be intimidated—we’ve got a simple and decadent recipe that’s easy to prepare and even easier to devour.
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Bacon Beef Tenderloin with Cranberry Glaze

For a Christmas your family will never forget, whip up this mouthwatering recipe. Stuffed with bacon and dripping in a port wine glaze, this decadent entree will be the star of the show.
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Banana Nog

Eggnog is a Christmas essential, and our riff on the classic drink is a fun way to start a fresh tradition. This recipe is spiked with rum and creme de cacao for a truly tropical beverage.
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Chicken Crescent Wreath

For holiday appetizers that are as decorative as they are delicious, try this golden Christmas wreath. Stuffed with cheese, vegetables and tender chicken, this fuss-free recipe would be great as an appetizer or for a light Christmas lunch.
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Peppermint Pretzel Dippers

These sweet and salty treats are great for a stocking stuffer or take-home treat for guests. Put a couple pretzels in a festive bag and place at each guest’s table setting, or set a few under the tree for a late-night snack.

Find more St. Nick treats

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Apple-Pecan Baked Brie

We all know that holiday party snacks can be as important as the meal itself, and if your guests are filling up on eggnog and spiced wine, its important to keep them well-fed. This apple pecan baked brie is a warm, gooey treat your guests will love to munch while they anticipate the main event.
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Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

This Christmas, toast to great friends, a healthy family and more happy memories with these tasty champagne cocktails. Get the kids in on the family cheers with a “mocktail” version, using chilled seltzer instead of champagne.
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Rustic Christmas Crate

This homemade Christmas crate is the epitome of holiday DIY decor. Filled with birch logs, greenery, holly berries and burlap, it’s a welcoming addition to any entryway, porch or front door. We love the addition of vintage Christmas bulbs for extra flair and more light, too. Also check out these stunning nativity sets to celebrate the season.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.