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Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

Red + Green = Christmas.

It’s basically a foolproof formula.

Ethical Christmas Decor | Fair Trade Holiday, Red & Green | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Ranking right up there with egg nog and a Christmas Eve viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the standard for holiday decorating is tried and true and unmistakably festive, if not a bit, well… expected.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Felt Holiday Pillows, handmade in India | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

One way to update this classic color combination is to focus on one color, use the other just as an accent, and mix in a hefty dose of white. Think cozy felt pillows, baskets and ceramics in red and white, with evergreen boughs to add contrasting textures and a natural touch.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Mitten Blessings Advent Calendar, handmade in Bangladesh | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

If classic isn’t quite your cup of cocoa, but you’re still not sure what is, think about your drink of choice, and take a cue from your favorite holiday movie.

Here are three more decorating directions to try.


You have refined tastes.

Ethical Christmas Decor | Fair Trade Holiday, Sparkle & Shine | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Maybe you are an urban dweller. You crave the clean lines of modern (or mid-century modern) design, but you still feel sentimental. Your holiday movie tradition involves Love Actually, and sipping something sophisticated, even sparkling.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Mixed Metal Ornament Tree, handmade in India | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Stick with metallics for your holiday decorating theme. Use a miniature mixed metal tree to bring glamour to your small city space and snowburst shapes that work as wall art all year round. Add mirrored tea light holders to catch the light and amplify the shine.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Iron Snowflake Decor, handmade in India | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair


You are a kid at heart, but that heart is a big one.

Ethical Christmas Decor | Fair Trade Holiday, Merry & Bright| Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Just like the villain-turned-hero of your favorite holiday flick. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, with a side of milk and cookies, is your kind of fun. In the great Christmas light debate, you fall squarely on the colored lights side.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Sari Wrapped Tree, handmade in Banladesh | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Let your love of whimsy and creativity shine in your holiday decorating. String up garlands of patterned fabric. Keep your extra ornaments in an upcycled sari basket. Add holiday sentiments crafted from colorful recycled paper. Spread peace on earth with a festive, global flair.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Recycled Paper Holiday Wall Art, handmade in Vietnam | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair


Movie? What movie?

Ethical Christmas Decor | Fair Trade Holiday, Natural & Warm | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

You are perfectly content to watch the flames dance in the fireplace (or stream a Yule Log from Netflix) with a mug of mulled cider in hand. Your holiday home conjures a quiet cabin in the snow-covered countryside.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Horse Bell Garland, handmade in India | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Decorate with neutral colors and natural materials to give a subtle but authentic nod to the holiday season. String up a garland of antiqued bells on jute roping. Position a pair of natural fiber reindeer at the door. Trim the tree with ornaments featuring the friendly faces of woodland creatures, and then snuggle up for the night in a soft throw hand-woven in shades of gray, taupe and white.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Jute Reindeer, handmade in the Philippines | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

OK, so you might not line up exactly with any of these personas. But chances are you saw a glimpse of yourself in at least some of these traditions and decorating trends. The point is, it’s your home, and it’s where your memories will be made. Mix it up. Borrow elements from each style story to set your own scene.

Fair Trade Christmas Decorations | Merry & Bright Garland, handmade in Kenya | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Christmas looks different everywhere; it’s how it feels that matters most.

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