20 Ways to Have Yourself a Merry Country Christmas

Here's how to make this Christmas in the country your best yet.

country christmas decorations
Burcu Avsar

There's something especially magical about the understated beauty of December in the countryside. From brown paper packages to simple place settings, home-cooked holiday meals to homemade tree ornaments, here are 20 ways to have yourself a beautifully merry (and blessedly unhurried) holiday.

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Dress up your lawn.
hay bale, christmas decorations
Buff Strickland

Draw some inspiration from the Junk Gypsies, who assembled this hay bale Christmas tree outside their Wander Inn in Round Top, Texas. Make your own by stacking straw and adorning it with lights, a star, and some ornaments.

RELATED: This Texas Inn Is the Only Place You Should Spend Christmas

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Skip the tree skirt.
potato chip pail mini christmas tree
Jean Allsopp

And go for something a bit more rustic and retro! A vintage potato chip pail makes the perfect container for a mini tree, while an upcycled drum or stock tank works well for larger ones. Visit your local thrift store and get creative with whatever they have in store.


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Decorate with festive tartan.
christmas garland lights
Annie Schlechter

Blogger and Connecticut homeowner Nora Murphy infused her home with holiday charm using tartan blankets as tablecloths, plaid dishware in her tablescape, and buffalo check blankets in her bedroom.


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Light things up.
country christmas decorations lights
Burcu Avsar

Add a touch of green year-round by installing forest green lamps on the exterior of your home or barn, then dress things up for the season: Outfit a drape of greenery with lights, ornaments, or berries. Finally, use what you've got: Stash plain , pots, and pails with and bedecked with .


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Attend a small-town parade.
country christmas small town parade
Getty Images

Move over, Macy's! We love the pomp and circumstance of the big-city pageantry but, to us, nothing signals the start of the season—or shows off the heart of a small town—quite like a quaint Christmas parade. The excitement is everywhere, from the moment the homemade floats find their places. Folks happily take a break from the hustle and bustle the season brings. They slow down. They gather. They bid one another well. Year after year, along the never-changing route, Boy Scouts wave and toss out candy while little ones scramble to scoop up a treat or five. The local marching band cheerfully bears the cold, performing for friends and families huddled together. This year, don your and and hit Main Street to welcome the season the small-town America way.

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String your own garland.
country christmas decorations diy garland
Burcu Avsar

Tired of popcorn? Thread marshmallows with for a sweet update.


RELATED: Festive and Beautiful Ways to Decorate with Christmas Garlands

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Hang a country stocking.
country christmas decorations stockings
Burcu Avsar

Hang a grain sack, seed sack, or gingham stocking—they're just waiting to be filled with delicious dry goods.


RELATED: Beautiful Christmas Stockings to Hang by the Chimney With Care

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Build a better fire.
best firewood christmas
Courtesy of Amazon

$50

This crate of fire starters—formed from natural resin—is a simple way to get a holiday glow.

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Add rustic charm to a card display.
country christmas card display
Burcu Avsar

Show off the influx of season's greetings on a vintage tobacco basket by tucking well wishes into the overlapping strips of reed. (For old baskets, try , , or CL Fair vendor ).

RELATED: Beautiful Ways to Display Your Holiday Cards

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Celebrate family.
custom family christmas card illustration
Courtesy of Etsy

$70 for two people/pets

Artist Kristen Rosas draws inspiration from family photos to make custom gouache cards.

RELATED: DIY Christmas Card Ideas You'll Want to Send This Season

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Showcase your little one's artwork.
country christmas cards
Burcu Avsar

Starting at $9.13 each for 15


Commemorate the work of your budding artist.

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Get punny!
dog pun christmas card
Courtesy of Minted

Starting at $2.60 each for 25


Minted turns snaps of pets into howl-arious cards.

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Set a festive (not fussy) table.
country christmas table setting display
Burcu Avsar

Look no further than your backyard for the makings of a pretty table runner, then add a pop of plaid with a classic tartan tablecloth. For a whimsical place setting, slide good old handwritten name cards into the slots of (we found these ). Use candles in and —both help to reinforce the warm, magical vibe.


RELATED: Beautiful Christmas Table Settings & Centerpieces

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Head to the tree farm.
country christmas tree farm
Getty Images

Say what you will about the convenience of an artificial tree, but there's nothing like holiday decorating from the ground up. So pile into the station wagon (or your family's equivalent) and go on a hot cider-fueled pursuit of this year's specimen at your local Christmas tree farm.

As is true for most family outings, good-natured arguments will ensue (That one's too wide! Why, why are we walking so far? Mom, put down the axe!), but all will be forgiven by the time that one-of-a-kind fir finds its way home. And after Dad hauls down the ornaments from the attic and you go to hang that clay handprint from 1972, you'll be reminded that family, like the "too-wide" tree and its humble homemade trimmings, is perfect in its imperfection. Take that, plastic.

RELATED: The Best Christmas Tree Farms in the South That We Can't Wait to Visit

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Stack a Mason jar Christmas tree.
image
Burcu Avsar

This idea's perfect for a mantel or entry table: Fill six like-sized with ornaments, tinsel, greenery, you name it. Assemble the jars in a pyramid, then wrap it with a shiny garland and top with a star. Done!


RELATED: Magical Ways to Use Mason Jars This Christmas

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Hang a wreath made out of...
diy wreaths christmas craft
Brian Woodcock

...pinecones, wood, pom-poms, bells, paper, a wagon wheel, or rope! Or make your own Christmas wreath with flea market finds like Christmas carol sheet music, tinsel, bulbs, or shiny brite ornaments.

Simply affix the decoration of your choice to a and secure them u-shaped greening pins, tape, or hot glue depending on their size, weight, and shape.

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Top the tree with punched tin.
country christmas tree topper
Courtesy of Amazon

$19


From ornaments to garlands, punched-tin pieces are galvanizing to become this season's hottest holiday trend. Made of antiqued sheet metal, this star scores tons of style points.

RELATED: Creative Christmas Tree Toppers

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Cook up a warm glow.
country christmas centerpiece
Burcu Avsar

Yet another reason to spring for the next you run across at the antiques store: It makes for a beautiful centerpiece (or menorah). Fill the wooden bowl with floral foam, insert candles (we love the simplicity of plain old white), and nestle seasonal greenery in between the tapers.


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Prepare a Christmas Day breakfast.
country christmas breakfast
Getty Images

Blame it on the hurried pace of our hyper-connected world, but the sit-down breakfast, it seems, has fallen out of favor. Let's change that.

This year, on Christmas morning, after the gifts are unwrapped and the shiny new bikes make their inaugural trips down the driveway, assemble your family around the table to revive the lost art of a leisurely country breakfast.

Just promise us this: Between bites of sugar-cured bacon, pause, for a second, to sop up this delicious moment, when the humans you hold most dear are gathered, together, around the table, breaking flaky, buttery bread. This, this sunny-side-up moment is what matters. The rest—the tree, the gifts, the bikes—is just gravy.

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Shop at an old-fashioned country general store.
country christmas decorations
Peter Bregman

The spirit of the old-fashioned general store lives on, thanks to newcomers like Laurel, MS' and Pawhuska, OK's . Plus, they're great resources for distinctive gifts!

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