The holidays are upon us, but before unpacking every Christmas and Hanukkah decoration or shopping for new ones, designers are giving the gift of insight into what is trending this season.

“There is a big shift away from the silvers and the greens, stainless steel and the brushed nickel,” says Keith Mazzei of Keith Mazzei Interiors in Syosset. “Now it’s all about gold.”

Owls and starbursts are big for decorative accents this year, designers say. And freshly cut Christmas trees will always be a holiday staple, but more people are enjoying the artificial pre-lit tree varieties that mimic the natural evergreen needles for their low-maintenance appeal.

“Pre-lit are fabulous and they are very popular now,” says Rosemarie diSalvo of Garden City-based diSalvo Interiors. “People don’t want to wrestle with those lights that are on the real tree.”

She recalls her own tree-decorating drama pushing her over the edge.

“It took me days to string lights on the tree,” she says. “Once the holidays were over, I just threw out the tree with the lights still on them but kept the ornaments.”

Pre-lit trees come in a number of different sizes and styles, with energy-efficient LED bulbs.

When it comes to ornaments, anything goes, from handblown and hand-painted, to photographed to engraved, classic Norman Rockwell, Lenox, and Hallmark, variety to all those oldies but goodies.

“Nothing goes out of style with Christmas tree ornaments,” diSalvo says. “People collect ornaments. People gift ornaments. I still have my parents’ ornaments made from papier-mâché and those boxing-glove ornaments. I love them. I think people save their ornaments because it brings back so many memories.”

Decorating the chandeliers, fireplace mantel, windows, and staircase with artificial garlands and artificial poinsettias are a better choice than the real thing.

“When fresh garland dries it looks horrible and when pine dries out it doesn’t have a nice odor,” diSalvo says. “Poinsettias are very festive but require a lot of care. Unless you have a green thumb, they may not last through the season.”

As to Hanukkah decor, DiSavlo has seen Christmas trees becoming more prevalent with some of her clients who celebrate Hanukkah.

“Within the last five years, having a tree in the house has gotten more mainstream,” she says. “Families are more blended so there is an openness to enjoy all these holidays. They may decorate them differently but like the seasonable ambiance of having a tree in their home.”

The menorah that represents the celebration of the Festival of Lights is placed not only in the window but as a beautiful centerpiece, for all to enjoy.  

In fact, decorating is no longer limited to the living room or dining room. People are placing decorations all over the house, such as elves in bathrooms or assorted colored dreidels hanging from the light fixtures.

“People tend to take out everything from their childhood because Christmas and Hanukkah are about memories and the holiday,” says diSalvo. “Personally, I don’t like clutter, but if things are overcluttered this time of year it is perfectly acceptable.”

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