My Favorite Christmas Decorating Books

Every year, around the end of October I start to see the first signs that the holidays are approaching. I am sure you are beginning to see them also – like seeing Hobby Lobby and HomeGoods filled with holiday decor and television ads for Christmas gifts from Walmart and other retailers.

A sign that Christmas is coming. A sign on a town's street lamp pole that says Lake Murray's Christmas Light Boat Parade Dec. 2

Or when I see signs hanging from the light poles in my town with the date of an upcoming annual holiday event. When I see the stores filled with holiday items and these signs, I begin to get a hankering to go in search of Christmas decorating inspiration. How about you?

I used to like to go to Barnes & Noble to browse the newest Christmas decorating books, but not many are published anymore – hardly any. Most come in a magazine format nowadays. I enjoy the magazines, but I still love to get my hands on an actual Christmas decorating book to find ideas and inspiration. Sometimes, the older the book, the better for finding new-to-me ideas.

I like to schedule an afternoon to make the time for reading my favorite Christmas decor and craft books or bringing home new ones that I haven’t read. It is a day I look forward to. This year I brought out a few of my long time favorites, some I have owned for years. The rest I requested from my local library.

If you watched Carrie Mader’s interview with me a week ago, I mentioned how I call the days that I am out and about looking for decorating inspiration in books my Bookstore Days or Library Days.

14 Years of Christmas Decorating Ideas

Before I share my favorite Christmas decor books with you, I have to remind myself that I can find inspiration right here on my blog. I have so much holiday content – 14 years of Christmas decorating projects and ideas to browse through.

This time of year I go through all of them and always come up with a new way to do something I did in the past. I created a page here on my blog where you can find all of my Christmas projects and ideas in one place.

This Christmas page is better viewed on a desktop or laptop computer versus a phone where you would have a long scroll to find over 100 Christmas ideas. Here is where you can access this Christmas content: DIY Christmas Decorations: 99+ Creative Ideas.

My Favorite Christmas Decorating Books

Both of these books can become actual Christmas decor as their colorful covers look festive all by themselves when stacked or simply placed on a coffee table.

Christmas At Home

Country Living Christmas At Home is my favorite Christmas decorating book.
It has become my go-to resource every year with more than 200 festive decorating ideas, recipes, crafts, and tips. With each passing year, I always seem to find new ideas just by browsing through the clean-lined format with vivid photos showing festive table settings, colorful trees, pretty wreaths and even no sew projects along with yummy treats from the kitchen.

Christmas Joys

Christmas Joys: Decorating, Crafts & Recipes covers everything from Christmas dinner ideas and baked treats to home decor and crafts.

The book is more of an inspirational book with fewer tutorials than Christmas At Home has. You will find decorating ideas for every room in the house, advent calendars, and of course ideas for trimming a Christmas tree.

Christmas From the Heart of the Home

Christmas From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch is a classic in my mind. It was published in 1990. It has made it through many of my book purges over the years when I needed to declutter the house.

Susan Branch's illustrated Christmas books opened up on a table.

Reading through the decorating and recipes ideas all beautifully handwritten and illustrated by Susan always puts me in the Christmas spirit.

The cozy New England holiday traditions she shares always reinforce all the reasons I like to make my house feel special at Christmas.

Christmas Joy

This little Christmas Joy book is just as inspiring as Christmas From the Heart of the Home, but in a mini size. It has some of the same artwork and projects. It is more of a keepsake or gift book for someone who loves all things Christmas.

More Favorite Christmas Decorating Books

When it comes to decorating my house for Christmas I always like the old-fashioned and vintage style of decor with sparkly glitter that reminds me of when I was a kid and the Christmas season was magical.

Christmas With Southern Living

Christmas with Southern Living 2023 book cover.

Christmas with Southern Living is the newest book on my list. It came out in September. I haven’t gotten a copy of it yet, but it is ordered.

When I first met my husband Ed, he had a full collection of all Southern Living books that his mother gave him. We continued to get them for many years. We no longer get them, but I do look forward to getting this Christmas book that comes out with a new edition every year.

A Very Vintage Christmas

a very Vintage Christmas book cover

A Very Vintage Christmas by designer Bob Richter is filled with many traditionally vintage ideas for ornaments, decor, and projects that will give your home that old-fashioned Christmas feeling with lots of sparkle and glitter.

Each chapter covers a specific Christmas decor category. He also shares tips for finding the best vintage Christmas items at flea markets, yard sales, and online.

Christmas In the Cottage

Christmas in the Cottage book cover

Christmas In the Cottage is from the editors of The Cottage Journal magazine.

It’s filled with with 400 beautiful photographs across 220 pages, each filled with ideas for creating a beautiful home for the holidays. It was published in 2022.

Traditions of Christmas

Traditions of Christmas book cover

Traditions of Christmas is from the editors of Victoria magazine. It was published this past summer. It is filled with pages of seasonal inspiration that include decor, entertaining, gift giving and recipes.

The featured homeowners open their doors wide, allowing glimpses into grand old residences where holiday traditions of the past meet new ones in the making and treasured collections find pride of place amid the holly and the ivy.

Merry & Bright

Country Living Merry & Bright book cover.

Merry & Bright is another book I like from the editors of Country Living. You will find a bit of everything among the 301 ideas in the book that range from repurposing ideas to classic Christmas decor and even a few holiday recipes.

Every project is fast and easy, many you can even do in minutes.

The Farm Chicks Christmas

The Farm Chicks Christmas book covers.

The Farm Chicks Christmas by Serena Thompson shows us how to spread the magic of the season, with ideas for entertaining, decorating, tree trimming, charming crafts, and 17 recipes for holiday sweets-plus tips for wrapping food and gifts.

Serena weaves delightful stories of her family and friends throughout the book, calling forth nostalgic smiles that remind us of the importance of Christmas traditions.

Vintage Christmas Cut & Create Paper Books

3 Christmas Ephemera Books

I may have an extra need to be very crafty this Christmas. I think these books that are filled with vintage or nostalgic images to cut out will come in very handy to make not only Christmas decorations, but table decor and more.

I am not 100% positive yet if I will need them, but I will keep you updated on the reason why soon. Here are 3 that I am interested in getting:

Do you have any Christmas decorating books that you like to bring out around this time each year to start getting excited for the holiday season? If, so what books are they? Please share them in the comments.

More Christmas Decorating Ideas

Image of 8 inspiring Christmas decorating books you don't want to miss.

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  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve requested your two favorite books from my library. I’m newly retired and have a bit more time for Christmas this year. Love your posts!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Leslie XO Enjoy the books.

  2. I saw the picture about Lake Murray, I live in Illinois, but my brother lives on Lake Murray and we are coming for Thanksgiving. Small world. He lives near Timberlake Country Club.

  3. I enjoyed this post – I’m definitely feeling the Christmas spirit! We had an unexpected hard frost the other night that sent my summer garden into winter mode and I’m feeling wintry also. I don’t have many Christmas books left after downsizing a few years ago, but I think I still have a Sunset book and a Martha Stewart book. I will definitely look into the Susan Branch book, I really enjoy her blog.

  4. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    COUNTRY LIVING!!!!! What happened to this magazine???
    I can ‘t find any where to subscribe to a hands on issue.
    I notice the one for sale at Amazon is 2018.
    Thanks for then post!

  5. Diane,
    I could be your triplet😊. I have had so many of these books. I use to purchase the SL Christmas books every year and stopped. Definitely have to check the one you posted. Do you recall HGTV and Food Network running holiday decorating and cooking shows years ago ? Southern Living and Cooking Light were the best. I copied a few on VHS (yes many years ago) and yes I still have a player just to watch them. They may be dated from the 90’s but we’re well done and chock full of ideas. Love all your posts!

  6. Thank you for all the lovely suggestions!! I ordered two and am looking forward to reading them.

  7. What fun books….indont have any, but I do have some magazines that I’ve kept for years. Fun to refer to and thank you for getting all your ideas together for us to enjoy and get inspired 🌲.
    I’ve been pinning Christmas ideas and looking through all my holiday pins since August!! Couldn’t help myself lol

  8. Terri Cnudde says:

    I also love Susan Branch and have several of her books. Her life and work are so comforting and cozy! I really enjoy her blog. : ) You can find it here.
    Happy Holidays!

  9. Charlotte says:

    I just love that the world does celebrate Jesus birth. You think sometimes that many people don’t believe in Jesus but indeed they do. So glad that you believe. God bless you.

  10. I love Christmas and it looks like you do too. I save Christmas magazines and books from year to year so I have many. My favorite Christmas magazines Farmhouse Christmas and Country Home. I have 7 different Christmas themes that I rotate from year to year. I collect antique ornaments. I also have 85 Santas that I painted. They are made of pecan shell resin. My tree is 10 foot. Many of my decorations are handmade. Sure enjoyed your interview with Carrie. (See text message)