Whimsical decor. Cherry red fashion. Playthings in miniature. This holiday season, the trends are nostalgic, bold and a little bizarre. But mostly, they’re just plain old fun. So put on your frilly apron and kick back on your leather pouf, because ‘tis the season to embrace gingerbread girl and grandpa chic while sampling a slice of cotton candy cake (yes, really). Sure, it all sounds slightly bananas, but couldn’t all use a little more comfort and joy right now?
From Grandpa Chic to Candycore, Here Are 10 Holiday Trends That Will Be Everywhere This Season
Tree collars and leather poufs and micro toys, oh my
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1. Gingerbread Girl
Remember tomato girl summer? Think of gingerbread girl as the winter rebrand of last season’s “it girl” aesthetic. It’s a little bit charming, a little bit whimsical, and a whole lot cozy (think: if cottagecore got hit by a blustery snowstorm). Etsy reports that shoppers are leaning into this rustic aesthetic for the holidays with increased interest in things like wreath sashes (hung on your front door with care), which have more than doubled in searches this year and ruffled bedding, which is up 35 percent. Shoppers are also loving gingham bedding and this holiday trend isn’t named after the famous winter treat for nothing—items like personalized recipe boxes and holiday cookie cutters are up 28 and 24 percent, respectively. Whip on this personalized beige apron ($150), dust off the spice rack and embrace those homey vibes this season.
2. Tree Collars
This year, skip the tree skirt and give your Balsam Fir a tree collar instead. It’s a more sophisticated way to hide a bulky tree stand and can easily tie in with the rest of your decor theme. “There are many fun options for collars, including metallics, wicker, and painted plaid collars that give a more tailored look than a wrinkled skirt,” interior designer Liz Williams told Better Homes & Gardens. You could even make your own tree collar by repurposing a galvanized bucket or woven basket. Not the crafty type? Check out our picks for tree collars below.
3. Grandpa Chic
Step aside coastal grandmother because grandpa chic is coming to town, Etsy reports. Yep, another social media aesthetic has been given the cold weather treatment. This home decor style is defined by rich hues (burgundy, olive green and tobacco brown) and traditional materials like dark wood, plaid textiles and soft leather. Imagine cozying up in your grandpa’s well-worn leather armchair with a knitted throw to keep you warm while surrounded by vintage photos and antique books—that’s the vibe. With the holidays coming up, Etsy has seen an increase in demand for leather items, with searches for leather poufs up three-fold, as well as an increased interest in wood decor, specifically searches for wood and marble coasters.
First it was LOL Surprise dolls. Then it was the Surprise Minis. And now, you can’t walk into a toy store without seeing a beloved plaything in miniature (Rubik’s Cube, ViewMaster, you name it). The Toy Association named micro toys as one of the top toy trends of this year—which is bad news for parents’ feet (ouch) but good news for their wallets, as these mini toys are typically budget-friendly and make excellent stocking stuffers. Per the organization, this trend “is driven primarily by social media, where unique and quirky toys have the potential to go viral and bolster consumer demand.” A little weird? Sure. But you can’t deny that these Squinkies Squishy Collectibles are also kind of adorable.
Formal holiday decor is out and playfulness is in. Dubbed candycore by Etsy, this aesthetic is “inspired by a sugary fantasy world filled with lollipops, candy canes and gumdrops” and “taps into the childlike enchantment of sweet treats and features holiday staples in iridescent materials, playful patterns and delicious colors.” Think: pink holiday napkins, pastel-colored ornaments and even cotton candy cakes. Other items that have peaked shoppers’ interest include iridescent sequined items, stained glass ornaments and scalloped placemats, napkins or runners. To which we say—why not embrace some fairytale-like charm for the most wonderful time of the year?
6. Spicy Cocktail Hour
Love spicy food? Then this holiday season and beyond is your time to shine. WholeFoods recently released its 2024 report and “complex heat” is slated to be one of next year’s hottest trends, per the retailer. Expect to see specialty varieties of peppers (like Scorpion, Guajillo and Hungarian Goathorn) on shelves, plus a new wave of botana sauces, chili oils and pepper-infused drinks. “Pepper-infused drinks are going beyond kombuchas, cold-pressed juices and smoothies, with ready-to-drink beverages like canned tepache filling up the fridge with a refreshing kick. Even Tajín is expanding from candies and cocktails to spicing up grocery store sushi, desserts and more.” Incorporate a little spice into your holiday celebration with a Spicy Pomegranate Moscow Mule served alongside these Spicy Ricotta-Stuffed Phyllo Rolls.
7. Viral Gifting
Writing a wish list is so old school. Make like Gen Z-ers do and get your holiday shopping done on Instagram (or TikTok or Facebook) instead. E-commerce platform Shopify found that nearly half (48 percent) of Gen Z consumers plan to buy at least some gifts through social media, and we’re kind of into it. How else would we have known about this portable steam cleaner or the viral platform mini UGGs? Besides, DM-ing a video to your partner of that vegetable chopper you saw on TikTok is so much easier than dropping hints all month long.
8. Tinned Fish
In truth, the tinned fish trend started last year but it’s been going strong on TikTok ever since (“tinned fish date night” has over 128 million views) and is now making its way to the masses. And we’re not talking about the water-packed tuna that’s been lying in your pantry for two years. To give your holiday celebration some oomph, head to a high-end grocery store near you and they’re sure to have a plethora of options (mussels, salmon and sardines, oh my). You can dish these up on a board with a couple of forks and call it a day, or get a little fancy and try some of these tinned fish combos for a unique yet chic appetizer (the octopus + lemon + crispy potatoes suggestion is *chefs kiss*). Maybe just keep some mouthwash in the guest bathroom.
9. Advent Calendar Everything (Again)
Just when you thought you’d seen it all last year, this holiday season brings even more advent calendars for every thinkable receiver and interest. Seriously—there are advent calendars for wine, jam, peppermint bark and more foods; Barbies, crafts and Legos for the kids; top-rated skincare essentials (including Augustinus Bader), personalized jewelry and holiday-themed puzzles for the adults, even treats for your dogs. Whatever you’re into, there’s probably a countdown calendar for it.
10. Cherry Red Fashion
Pantone called out multiple shades of red—Red Dahlia, Viva Magenta, Fired Brick, Persimmon—in its trend reports and PureWow’s fashion editor Abby Hepworth is honing in on Cherry Red specifically this winter as the hottest color of the season. Not sure you can pull off this vibrant hue? “Go small with a bold red lip, turn it up a little more with a red baguette bag slung over your shoulder or go all in with a red silk maxi dress,” advises Hepworth. “There’s truly no wrong way to sport the color of the season, so do whatever makes you feel best and prepare yourself to revel in all the complements you’re about to receive.”