And it's something they'll actually use. 

By Lisa Tucker
Updated May 21, 2018
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No matter what time of year the wedding you're attending is taking place, helping the newlyweds stock up on holiday decorations will be an appreciated present. Whether it’s a good friend or a second cousin once removed who’s getting married, I love to give the happy couple a “starter kit” of beautiful holiday decorations to help make their house feel like a home when their first Christmas or Hanukkah arrives. Stock up on presents during post-holiday sales or during the "off" season when the prices are lowest, and keep the great buys tucked away for the next big event. Here’s how I put together a holiday starter wedding gift.


Start with the basics.

You can never go wrong with classic metallic ball ornaments (such as the red set above, $14, and a basic tree skirt (like this traditional red-and-white option, $13,—every Christmas tree has to start somewhere! Then add some bling with a beautiful star tree topper.

Light up their living room.

For Jewish friends, choose an elegant menorah—your friends will think of you every time they light the Hanukkah lights. When left out on display, this Tree of Life Menorah ($160, shines, whether the candles are lit or not. 

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Stick with a theme.

Check out the couples’ wedding colors and online registries to figure out their decorating style. Are they going to Disney World for their honeymoon? Throw in some Minnie and Mickey ornaments (check out this on-theme ornament, $21, Do they have a sense of whimsy and embrace the shabby chic look? Look for loose tinsel and a colorful vintage-style tree ($22,

Add one-of-a-kind extras.

To give your gift an even more personal touch, include your grandmother’s eggnog or latke recipe. Then after the couple ties the knot, use a favorite photo you took of them on their big day to create a personalized ornament.

Think inside the box.

Your friends will need a place to stash all those pretty ornaments and tree toppers during the rest of the year. Consider adding an ornament storage box or wreath protector to the wedding goodie bag.