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Single red ornament hanging on a cactus



It can be hard to get into the Christmas mood when you look outside and see a sunny desert landscape. But you don’t have to live in the snowy forests to bring a little holiday cheer into your home. Here are a few ways to cultivate that warm, Christmasy atmosphere – even in the Southwest.

Use Traditional Southwestern Holiday Decorations

Bring a little warmth into the home using luminarias – paper lanterns that are so popular at this time of year in our neighboring state of New Mexico. You can get plastic versions at various retailers, which are much safer. These are beautiful outside your front door, in a window sill, or along a hallway.

Play with Textures & Metals

You can create a sense of holiday warmth and charm without losing the Southwest’s unique style by showcasing decorations that echo the attributes of this region. For instance, decorate with rustic metal candle holders or top your tree with a shabby-chic metal star. Add throw blankets and pillows to your living room in white faux fur, and sleigh bells with soft leather cords.

Class Up Southwestern Kitsch

Unfortunately, thanks to the interior decorating trends of the ’90s, it’s easy for Southwestern decorations to tip into kitsch if you’re not careful. But you can use those same ideas and give them a modern, classy twist.

Try tying a few greens to a wagon wheel to make an elegant, Western-themed wreath. Find a tree skirt in a buffalo plaid pattern – a hint of Southwest style that happens to be super trendy right now. And look for décor with bold, modern lines and minimalist details like this Christmas tree set.

Indulge in Traditional Décor

If you really want to lean into that snowy Christmas feeling, decorate with faux evergreen garlands, holly wreaths, and pinecones, all of which you can find at local craft stores. You can even string white pompoms at intervals along a string of fishing line and hang these from your window to mimic the look of falling snow.

For more holiday decorating ideas, check out the Olympus Steelyard blog.