It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and even the most determined Grinches can’t help but feel infused with some holiday cheer when admiring an impressive display of Christmas trees and festive lights.
Christmas decorations around the world have a lot in common – the twinkling lights, the christmas globes, the conical trees. But the culture in different countries has also shaped distinct styles of Yuletide displays. As you search for a fresh way to decorate your home for Christmas each year, especially for travellers, it’s great to take inspiration from Sweden to New York for your light up.
Here are some 5 great styles of Christmas decorations around the world and how you can achieve the look in your home. (Editor’s Note: This post first appeared in our Singapore blog and includes recommendations of where to shop for Christmas decorations in Singapore.)
New York Style Christmas Decorations: Glamorous
Known for: Glamorous displays with luxury Christmas decorations
Christmas Decorations to get: Luxury baubles, designer candles and crystal trees.
Display in New York: The epicentre of the Big Apple’s Christmas decorations is undoubtedly the much-loved Rockefeller Tree, which is lit up every December to great fanfare. Located right by the ice-skating rink – another popular tradition – this is a great spot to soak in some festive cheer and enjoy the wintry weather. The rest of New York City’s glitzy Fifth Avenue doesn’t disappoint either. Many of the malls put up their own lights and create lavish holiday window displays which you can marvel at.
Get the Look:
To get luxury Christmas decorations in Singapore, check out your favourite brands and boutique stores. Crate & Barrel has a glitzy collection of shimmery baubles and opulent candles and holders to evoke the luxe atmosphere of a New York Christmas.
Nordic (Swedish) Style Christmas Decorations: Clean & Minimalist
Known for: Clean, crisp and minimalist Christmas decor. Often very white.
Christmas decorations to get: Advent candles, St Lucia wreaths, reindeer and modern tabletop trees.
In Copenhagen: Be transported back in time to a magical winter wonderland at the legendary Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, which hosts an annual Christmas market which is regarded as one of the best in Europe. The amusement park grounds are transformed into a holiday village where you can buy gifts and decorations, and warm up with a cup of eggnog or mulled wine. Add a heady mix of holiday lights, fireworks displays and even festive performances and you’ve got yourself a merry little Christmas.
Get the Look
kikki.K holiday decorations are stylish and minimalist – just the way the Scandinavians like it. Visit Ion Orchard for kikki.K Christmas decorations in very modern, Scandinavian styles.
Credit:Photo by Kikki.K
Belgian Style Christmas Decorations: Traditional Woody Charm
Known for: Traditional nativity scenes and wooden figurines
Christmas decorations to get: Wooden figurines of traditional Christmas symbols such as nutcrackers and angels.
Display in Brussels: The Christmas light-up in Brussels is one of the most anticipated of the year, with tourists flocking to the city to take in the magical festive atmosphere of its Winter Wonders event. The Art Nouveau buildings of the Grand-Place will be lit up with an eye-popping light and sound show, and the Christmas tree and nativity scene is always one of the world’s most elaborate. Best of all, you can hop on the Ferris wheel to get a bird’s-eye view of the city’s holiday lights.
Get the Look
There’s a great shop in Singapore to buy traditional European wooden Christmas decorations – Das Erzgebirge-Haus stocks wooden handicrafts made in Germany. Charming wooden figurines from the Nutcracker, to a bespectacled Father Christmas, wooden bunnies and angels lugging a sleigh full of gifts. Totally cute! There’s a branch in ION Orchard and Raffles City Shopping Centre.
Tokyo Style Christmas Decorations: Futuristic
Known for: Futuristic light displays and quirky decor with a Japanese spin
Christmas decorations to get: A Godzilla Christmas tree, Santa Claus origami and Doraemon Santa
Display in Tokyo: Get a glimpse of what Christmas could look like in the future with Tokyo’s ultra-high-tech Christmas decorations. At Roppongi Hills, over 1.2 million LED have been used to turn the trees into a sea of alternating ice-blue and candle-red lights. At Roku-Roku Plaza, the entrance to Roppongi Hills, be captivated by a crystal tree that changes from white to amber to red.
You’ll also be able to check out other light and art installations throughout the complex and stroll through a German-style Christmas market, complete with pretzels and sausages to warm your belly.
Get the Look
Brazilian Rio Style Christmas Decorations: Opulent yet Traditional
Known for: Opulent but traditional Christmas decorations, including beautifully decorated grand trees.
Christmas Decorations to get: Large nativity scenes
In the land of samba, football and impossibly beautiful people, you just know the Christmas decorations will certainly be impressive. Indeed, Rio de Janeiro is home to the world’s tallest floating Christmas tree, which this year will be lit for the 20th time. At 85 metres tall and weighing nearly 550 tons, the tree is decorated with lights according to different themes every year, and will float around the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas throughout the holiday season.
Get the Look
Metro’s Christmas Trim Shoppe is jam-packed with the most ornate festive decorations, with themes such as Grand Baroque, so you can have the most lavish tree in your neighbourhood.
For nativity scenes, visit the shops in Catholic churches around Singapore for a good selection of traditional nativity scenes in different sizes. If you’re lucky you could find large sets imported from Europe that are absolutely beautiful.
Best Shops for Christmas Decorations in Singapore
If you’re running out of time and just doing your regular shopping for Christmas decorations, you can pick up all your festive decoration needs at these convenient one-stop shops:
- Ikea is one of the few places in Singapore where you can get a real Christmas tree – as well as all the trimmings you’ll need to dress it up.
- Tangs Christmas Shop is a great place to stock up on traditional holiday decorations such as figurines of the three wise men or mistletoe wreaths.
- The Naiise Christmas Pop-up is a good place to find unique ornaments and crafted baubles, as well as gifts for friends and family.
- Get crafty at Spotlight, which has a huge array of trees, lights, tinsel, fabrics, garlands, ribbons, gift packaging and anything else you could dream up to dress up your home. They have really good sales as it gets close to Christmas.
- Head to Marks & Spencer to stock up on festive decorations that range from the traditional (trimmings and lights) to the quirky (Star Wars Advent calendar anyone?), and pick up some scrumptious holiday hampers while you’re there.
Photo credits: Getty Images; Creative Commons license CC by 2.0.