Make Christmas memorable for your rental home guests this year by adding holiday highlights and decor. It doesn’t take a lot of time or space to go from ordinary to festive when you follow these decorating tips.

1. Add a Tiny Tree

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without the sparkle of tree lights and a special spot to tuck the presents for the big morning. Although a full-size tree is lovely, you can get the same effect with a pre-lit, predecorated tabletop tree. These small trees come complete with lights and non-breakable ornaments like bows, faux birds, and pine cones. They’re also incredibly easy to set up — just pull them out of the box and plug them in. When the season is over, store them back in the box for next year.

2. Deck the Walls

If you want your vacation rental to feel spacious, add festive decorations to the walls. That way, you’ll leave plenty of room on tabletops and dressers for your guests’ belongings. Try a few of these ideas:

  • Create a “Christmas tree” by hanging lights on the wall in a shape of a tree.
  • Take down a piece of art and hang up a wreath in its place. Pre-lit wreaths, powered by batteries, will make any room glow.
  • Look for wall decals with joyful sayings for the holidays to add a touch of whimsy to rooms.
  • String Christmas lights across a mantel or around a door frame.

3. Hang Stockings with Care

Stockings are a must for Christmas morning, and they’re also a charming part of holiday decor. Pick up some stocking hangers or removable adhesive hooks and add a row of colorful stockings across the mantel in just minutes. If you don’t have a fireplace, choose another focal point for your display, such as an entertainment center or bookcase. If you have glass sliding doors, you can use suction cups to hang stockings on the doors.

Want to go the extra mile? Offer the stockings to your renters as a unique souvenir. Leave a note letting them know they can take the stockings home when their vacation is over.

4. Make It Feel Like Home

Little touches can make out-of-town renters feel perfectly at home. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Welcome your guests with a holiday wreath on the front door. A seasonal doormat is another fun touch that immediately sets the tone for your renters.
  • Fill a glass jar with candy canes or holiday candy and leave it with your welcome note or instructions for the home.
  • Provide a copy of the local calendar and highlight holiday activities like a parade, play, concert, or tree-lighting ceremony.
  • Download or put out a few holiday movies.
  • Set out kindling and wood if you have a fireplace. Leave instructions for starting and putting out a fire.
  • Provide tins of Christmas cookies, hot cocoa mix, or fudge as a treat for visitors.

Vacation rental owners can get Christmas-ready in a flash. It takes just a few minutes to add simple decorations that will help your guests enjoy the holiday season.


Lea Schneider is an organizational expert who loves to create a festive atmosphere during the Christmas season. Lea writes for The Home Depot and provides ideas and tips for decorating your rental home for the holidays. Go to to find a huge selection of Christmas decorations.