Though I have to admit I’m beginning to run out of holiday spirit (I’m a bit of a Grinch this time of year), I’ve always been curious about the art of decorating for the holidays. Since I got married my wife has had us decorate a tree every year and put lights outside, plus display an assortment of baubles and shiny things inside the house. It’s not my thing, but in the interest of “happy wife, happy life” I do my best to accommodate the festivities despite my Scrooge-like tendencies.

This year it’s had me pondering those little things that sometimes fall by the wayside in our RPGs. Why don’t we see more holidays come into play?

Last month I offered some ways to create your own holidays in your game worlds (How to Make a Holiday in Four Steps). This month I present a list of 20 odd decorations that may lead to story ideas in your settings regardless of whether you’re on alien planets, worlds of magical wonder, or anywhere in-between.

Take 20: What Decorations do You See? (d20)

  1. johnny_automatic_ornamentsA single candle adorns the window of a small home.
  2. Hanging above the doorway is a sprig of blue flowers.
  3. Bells are hung on every door handle.
  4. Children are casting special stones with runes on each side, giggling at the results.
  5. Small bowls of milk have been left outside each door.
  6. Sparkling ornaments offer spectacular window displays.
  7. An olive branch has been nailed to many doors in the area.
  8. A sprinkling of salt has been laid across each windowsill.
  9. Bright red flowers can be found on fireplace mantles.
  10. Messages composed of ancient runes have been scrawled inside frozen windows.
  11. Small choirs have sprung up on street corners singing ancient songs.
  12. Plates piled high with rich foods have been specially prepared and left out.
  13. Garishly decorated dolls have been seen in various positions inside homes.
  14. Gourds have been carved into intricate patterns and left with lit candles on doorsteps.
  15. Small tapestries have been hung telling ancient tales for the season.
  16. Grapevines have been tied and knotted into intricate designs and hung on walls and doorways.
  17. Hand-carved statues of local mythological figures are tucked into corners, on shelves, and on fireplace mantles.
  18. Small iron cauldrons filled with sweet-smelling herbs sit near fireplaces.
  19. Crystals and gems adorn windowsills to catch the light.
  20. Brightly-colored feathers have been gathered and hung on walls.

What other decorating ideas can you add to the list? Feel free to contribute in the comments!

Though I may be a bit of a holiday humbug, I wish you all the best – may 2014 end with family, friends, games and laughter and 2015 be filled with the same!

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