Your WordPress.com site is your home on the web. It only makes sense, then, to spruce it up for the holidays as you would your brick-and-mortar address. With the ideas we include here, you’ll be able to give your blog a festive look with just a few easy clicks.
Make it snow!
It’s an annual WordPress.com holiday tradition: as of December 1st, you can have snow falling on your site! While the real stuff might be hard to deliver via The Interwebz, our special snow will fall gracefully down your screen wherever you are. To activate Holiday Snow, just follow these steps:
- Go to your dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings → General.
- Check the box next to “Show falling snow on this blog.”
If you activated this feature last year, it’ll be on automatically this year, too. Whenever you’d like to deactivate the snow, you can make it stop on your personal settings page.
Add a seasonal custom background
Few features change the look of your blog more quickly and more radically than a custom background. Get some serious holiday cheer going with a reindeer pattern (ironic — or not!), a bright arrangement of Christmas decorations, or simply change your background color to a seasonal green, red, or gold.
To change your background, go to your dashboard, then head to Appearance → Background and choose or upload your desired image. If you don’t have a suitable image yet, you can find a great selection of background patterns on sites like Subtle Patterns, My Site My Way, or Squidfingers.
Play festive music on your blog
Why not liven up your visitors’ experience with your favorite holiday tunes? You can easily embed a SoundCloud playlist in your blog. Just browse the endless offerings on Soundcloud.com (for example, look up holiday music for some pre-made mixes), and find the playlist you want. Press the “Share” button and copy the WordPress.com shortcode you’ll see there.
Then, simply paste the shortcode into any page or post on your blog, and you’re set. You could even set the post with the embedded playlist as sticky — that way it’ll stay at the top of your blog’s homepage for as long as you want.
Use a Text Widget for a holiday message
While posts get pushed down the page whenever you publish a new one, a Text Widget will keep its place in your sidebar no matter how frequently you write. What better way to share your thoughts, holiday wishes, or new year’s resolutions than a prominent text box at the top of your sidebar?
You could also use this space for more specific holiday-related purposes: for example, if you’re participating in a food drive or organizing an end-of-year blogging event, a Text Widget could be an easy way to keep your visitors engaged and up-to-date.
Inject color into your sidebar with Image Widgets
Using Image Widgets is a great, easy way to add a dash of color to your blog. If you’re already using Image Widgets, why not replace your regular images with new, holiday-specific ones? You can enhance the look of any photo in your library with a few tweaks on a free, online image editor like PicMonkey.
Even if you haven’t used them before, the holiday season could be a great time to add Image Widgets to your blog. You could activate one to display your family’s holiday portrait (with or without embarrasing sweaters), the decorations your kids made, or that cute pic of your cat/dog/pet otter with a Santa beard.
First, upload your image file to the Media Library: in your dashboard, go to Media → Add New and select the desired image from your computer. Once the file has uploaded, go to Appearance → Widgets. Drag the Image Widget to its desired spot in the sidebar, and add the image URL of the file you just uploaded to your library. Enter any other information you want, and click save: the image will now display on your site.
If you’re looking for more ways to get your site ready for the holidays, stay tuned: later this week we’ll unveil our surprise holiday theme.
Wishing everyone happy blogging this holiday season!
Thank you for your precious hints :-)
This is very helpful! Thank you
Just tried it out and it works!!!! I really love it!!!!! Thanks a lot!!
thank you for sharing this! i am still relatively new to the blog world.. and it helped me get my blog a little bit more christmassy (is that a word? haha) looking :)
Hey Ben – it’s already snowing ‘at the minute’, thanks for the tips, love it
That’s a great idea as I’m new to blogging I need a lot of help lol
This is very good! Going to use it for my blog :)
naaaais ! Only , it never snows in Namibia., so it would look kinda weird on my sunspot theme ;)
Thank you for the recommendation.
How do you get the snow effect on your blog?
Love the snow idea
Thanks for telling me it is a lot of help I now know how to get raining snow on my blog!!
I LOVE the snow! It’s SUPER cool!! Ha, ha, ha! Thank you!!
Great- I want the snow and just when I thought I couldn’t feel anymore festive!
Thank you so much! I love the snow falling on my site <3
Thank you, P.J. Cimorelli
Hi there. I activated the beautiful snowfall feature last year. It’s is checked in my settings now, however I don’t see it. I have switched to a custom theme since then, is that an issue?
Many thanks. I adore this feature.
Thank you for this festive and informative blog! Seasons Greetings!
Perfect for my holiday blog :)
Thanks for the Holiday Cheer for our blogs. We’re feeling the WP love. And thanks for suggesting PicMonkey. I’ve been using it for about a month on my blog and FB. Add a frame, bokeh, text, and lots of great effects as well as the edit features. The posterize feature is amazing. Simple and powerful, just like WordPress. Merry Christmas.
I am just going to try out the snow idea. Thank you! :)
it’s snowing on my site, thanks :-)
I love the falling snow! thanks for this :)
I have made a couple of decorations to my blog, and I just love the snow! Thanks!!! :lol:
Great ways to transform your blog with holiday spirit!
Our Header is Updated and Festive!!! Happy Holidays ….
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Please no snow! It sets off my visual overstimulation issue.
Thank you so much for introducing me to the Subtle Patterns website! What a great resource.
Thanks! Really helped me get my blog into the Christmas spirit!
I tried to embed a sound cloud track like you suggested. But it did not play as sound cloud said this playlist only plays on soundcloud. I tried: [soundcloud params="auto_play=true&show_comments=false" url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/michelle-gaspard/sets/holiday-music" iframe="true" /]
Great ideas, thanks
It’s snowing!!!!! Thanks for explaining how to transform my blog for Christmas.
awesome ideas! thank you!
I like very much the snow coming into the windows of the castle theme, hohoho! :-) it looks amazing! :>) thanks!!
love this! since i’m fairly new to wordpress, this is really helpful. haha.. happy holidays everyone!
Thanks heaps, much appreciated! Used the snowflakes & festive image widget…….feels like Santa has come already. :-)
I did all in less then 15 min and it looks great festive! Thank you , you can visit my Festive wonderland at blog.renuderma.com/2013/10/24/giving-is-more-pleasant-than-receiving/
OOHHHH MY GOSH! It’s a Christmas Miracle!!! The snow makes my heart happy! :) If I can’t have it in Florida, I can certainly have it in BlogLand! Yippee Skippy!
Awesome! I have snow :-)
Fabulous and fun ideas to explore. Thanks. Sue
I remember how happy I was when I discovered the snow on WordPress, and reading the comments above, I just smiled, thinking back. Even now, when it began snowing on my site, I was so pleasantly surprised although I knew it was coming–and there it was, just like real!
I almost get emotional. You guys are so kind to give us snow for free. Never stop.
Well, okay, I know it must stop in January, but always, always let it begin again next year. Okay?
Thanks, I feel freshly inspired and ready for some Christmas themed blogging :)
Thank you for these great ideas! will do activate the snow later when i got home. I’m new to WordPress.com and it’ll be fun to spruce up my blog for christmas.. :D
I love all the tips that you have been sending to us especially as a new blogger. Keep up the good work!
I love the snow setting! Thank you!
Thank you for the great holiday design. Falling snow gives the visitors the feeling they are a part of a fairy tale, at the same time this feature is very easy to apply. Thank you for the pre-Cristmas idea. :)
i like snow , because in my country (Indonesia) we do not have a winter season…
Love the falling snow on my blog! Thanks!
I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations on my blog yet, but when I do, I will definitely let it snow :)
Now this sure helps a lot. Simply loving the snow idea!
I sincerely hope that nobody whose blog I follow uses the music setting :( I loathe opening a page and being hit by sound. My husband has a bad habit of turning up the volume on our shared pc (I keep it way down at the bottom and even then sometimes ads are set waaaay too loud. Needless to say I totally detest ads with sound too) but even when the volume is low it still makes me jump when opening a bunch of pages in tabs like I do with blogs. Even worse if two have chosen it and they both blare out different tunes. Eeeeek! Nothing will drive me away from a website faster than it making noise at me, any kind of noise, even music I like. I know it can be muted but just occasionally one might wish to view a video or listen to some music of one’s own choosing and if I had background music on I would also not want that being interrupted by some tacky jingle.
I wish you wouldn’t encourage such bad practices. I am not alone in this dislike.
Very Festive – very cool! I am using Free Range Stock for fab photos.
Thank you so much! Love the festivity! (:
This was great! As a new blogger I had no idea that you could/ should make your blog different for the holidays! Thanks!
I’m new over here but I think I have the snowing on my blog already. I’ll tinker around with it today. Thanks for the tips.
Love the snow! Thanks for the other tips!
thanks for the tips love the snow and i change my background too :D
Question….Does it slow the upload of your blog page loading? Seems like whenever I visit a page that has animation it takes a bit longer..? I am pretty impatient and don’t feel like waiting for a song or dance to load, I just want to see content….
Thanks for honest input. (my snow is on but I don’t want it taking longer for my followers).
very useful information, thank you!
Thanks for this!
Thanks for the great suggestions! I was having snow envy!
This is so great! I’m hoping to include at least one or two of these ideas on my page this Christmas, or at least make preparations for next year! Thanks for the tips!
I’ve just ‘pimped my blog’
I now have SNOW! :)
I wish I could have snow falling on my blog all year round! ❤
i’m obsessed with the falling snow!!! thanks so much!!!!
I really like the falling snow and the way it changes direction according to where the mouse pointer is … pointer left snow falls left … pointer right snow falls right … I love it (:xxx
The falling snow is such a great feature and so festive. Thanks!
Thanks for the snow, I have it on all my blogs now! Love it every year.
thank you so much…hope to see more posts from you.Kathyy89 :)
Thank you for these great holiday tips! I am definitely excited about the falling snow idea for a cool graphic holiday addition!