If you're dreaming of a green Christmas, spending the holidays in a warmer climate or simply craving a break from the chilly weather, decking your halls in a tropical decor can add a touch of island charm to your holiday celebration. Chase away the winter blahs with these festive reminders of sunny beaches and blue water.
The centerpiece of most holiday decorations is the tree. If you don't feel like putting up the traditional pine, opt for a potted palm or a mini-citrus instead. Wrap the branches in strands of white twinkle lights or brightly shining pastels, such as hot pink, lime green, lemon yellow and aqua. Hit the craft store in search of beach-inspired ornaments. You can run a string through plastic starfish, create a miniature flip-flop garland or glue clips to imitation lobsters and crabs. Fake fruit pieces should be easy to find as well, so consider adding a few bananas, oranges, lime, lemons and coconuts to your tropical tree.
Alternatively, you can comb the nearest beach and decorate with found items such as shells, sand dollars and driftwood. Top the tree with a theme-appropriate item, such as a sock monkey wearing a Santa hat or an angel fish. Spread a grass skirt around the base of the tree to complete the effect.
Replace the usual pine boughs with garlands of white silk hibiscus or wrap the mantle in boughs of citrus greenery twisted together with florist wire. A lit garland can be fashioned from a strand of clear lights by removing the base of an artificial tropical flower and inserting a bulb into the center of the bloom. Baskets that typically would be filled with pine cones can be filled with limes, lemons and oranges instead.
Santa and snowmen cookies and gingerbread men can be replaced with tropical fish, butterflies and pink flamingos in Santa hats. Keep the background colors neutral or cover bright pieces with throws made from soft, cream-colored fabrics. Add a few colorful accents, such as throw pillows made from butter-yellow or avocado-green material.
Incorporate large outdoor items into the general theme. Give Santa a suitcase and a set of snorkeling gear or position him in a hammock underneath a fake palm tree. Put visors and sunglasses on your reindeer and put their "food" in colorful sand buckets. Glue some starfish to the candy canes that normally line your sidewalk or line the walk with tiki torches. Replace your wreath with a life preserver or an inflatable inner tube.