Five Easy Ways to Transform Your Blog for the Holidays

Based on image by Stephen Nakatani (CC BY 2.0)

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:

  1. Go to your dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Settings → General.
  3. 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.

Based on Holiday Lights, by Sam Howzit (CC BY 2.0)

Based on image by Sam Howzit (CC BY 2.0)

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 PatternsMy 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!


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Ben Huberman

89 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. XPWINNER6656

    Thank you for this great content!

    Like

  2. Steve

    I thought by changing my main profile photo and gravatar photo to be more Christmasy was enough but after reading these suggestions I am going to be Xmas pimping my blog!

    Like

  3. erikatrickett

    Love it!

    Like

  4. calmgirl06

    Lots of good ideas thanks.

    Like

  5. Suze

    Loving the snow effect! Thanks!!!

    Like

  6. timethief

    Hi there,
    We are on the same wavelength as I just blogged on the same topic yesterday but given that Christmas is only 23 days off that makes sense. Thanks for the additional ideas for injecting seasonal cheer into our blogs.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Thanks for alerting us to your post — there are some lovely ideas there for the holiday-minded!

      Like

  7. Niko

    Thank you for your precious hints :-)

    Like

  8. breakawaybabes

    This is very helpful! Thank you

    Like

  9. zockerinfo

    Just tried it out and it works!!!! I really love it!!!!! Thanks a lot!!

    Like

  10. iammom

    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 :)

    Like

  11. sallycorfu

    Hey Ben – it’s already snowing ‘at the minute’, thanks for the tips, love it

    Like

  12. theosethy

    That’s a great idea as I’m new to blogging I need a lot of help lol

    Like

  13. Chip8967

    This is very good! Going to use it for my blog :)

    Like

  14. bushkaptein

    naaaais ! Only , it never snows in Namibia., so it would look kinda weird on my sunspot theme ;)

    Like

  15. englishgameruninhibited

    Thank you for the recommendation.

    Like

  16. XPWINNER6656

    How do you get the snow effect on your blog?

    Like

  17. haileybug2001

    Love the snow idea

    Like

  18. samfay

    Thanks for telling me it is a lot of help I now know how to get raining snow on my blog!!

    Like

  19. Gatofante

    I LOVE the snow! It’s SUPER cool!! Ha, ha, ha! Thank you!!

    Like

  20. thelaststraggler

    Great- I want the snow and just when I thought I couldn’t feel anymore festive!

    Like

  21. pjcim1960

    Thank you so much! I love the snow falling on my site <3​

    Thank you, P.J. Cimorelli

    Like

  22. CrabbyChique

    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.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi CrabbyChicque,

      I do see the snow when I visit your site; however, the snow often appears differently depending on a site’s color scheme and background. So while holiday snow is enabled even if you have a custom theme, it might look different on your site compared to others.

      Like

  23. kimberley

    Thank you for this festive and informative blog! Seasons Greetings!

    Like

  24. ohmyholly

    Perfect for my holiday blog :)

    Like

  25. Kelly Grace

    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.

    Like

  26. gogi6666

    I am just going to try out the snow idea. Thank you! :)

    Like

  27. frieda11

    it’s snowing on my site, thanks :-)

    Like

  28. ssteez

    I love the falling snow! thanks for this :)

    Like

  29. Ninna

    I have made a couple of decorations to my blog, and I just love the snow! Thanks!!! :lol:

    Like

  30. allthatjazzxo

    Great ways to transform your blog with holiday spirit!

    Like

  31. Wine Life Radio

    Our Header is Updated and Festive!!! Happy Holidays ….

    Like

  32. Greg Urbano

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Like

  33. Kathryn Chastain Treat

    Please no snow! It sets off my visual overstimulation issue.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      As the post mentions, it’s easy to turn off snow on your blog: you can always go to Setting >> General in your Dashboard, and uncheck the Snow box.

      Like

  34. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Thank you so much for introducing me to the Subtle Patterns website! What a great resource.

    Like

  35. forkaysen

    Thanks! Really helped me get my blog into the Christmas spirit!

    Like

  36. pbvillaflores

    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:

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      It sounds like you did everything right. However, some SoundCloud account holders don’t allow for their music to be shared outside SoundCloud.com. In those cases, WordPress.com doesn’t have a way to circumvent those users’ wish, so you’d have to find alternative tracks to embed (or an alternative source for the music you want to feature).

      Like

  37. Beatrice Groth

    Great ideas, thanks

    Like

  38. Lynne's Art and Soul

    It’s snowing!!!!! Thanks for explaining how to transform my blog for Christmas.

    Like

  39. Isi Baker

    awesome ideas! thank you!

    Like

  40. Rosa Ossorio

    I like very much the snow coming into the windows of the castle theme, hohoho! :-) it looks amazing! :>) thanks!!

    Like

  41. mistywink

    love this! since i’m fairly new to wordpress, this is really helpful. haha.. happy holidays everyone!

    Like

  42. dilmilgaya.com

    Thanks heaps, much appreciated! Used the snowflakes & festive image widget…….feels like Santa has come already. :-)

    Like

  43. Image and Beauty Expert

    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/

    Like

  44. #hartchronicles

    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!

    Like

  45. Vaneasa Conner - Photographer

    Awesome! I have snow :-)

    Like

  46. sue marquis bishop

    Fabulous and fun ideas to explore. Thanks. Sue
    Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

    Like

  47. katharinetrauger

    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?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      We’ll pass on this request to Santa. He tends to be generous when it comes to virtual weather…

      Like

  48. foodie@garnishfood

    Thanks, I feel freshly inspired and ready for some Christmas themed blogging :)

    Like

  49. behindletters

    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

    Like

  50. tyannak

    Great Ideas!

    Like

  51. thebritishberliner

    I love all the tips that you have been sending to us especially as a new blogger. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  52. Paro

    I love the snow setting! Thank you!

    Like

  53. gogi6666

    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. :)

    Like

  54. pamungkas023

    i like snow , because in my country (Indonesia) we do not have a winter season…

    Like

  55. viv2988

    Love the falling snow on my blog! Thanks!

    Like

  56. -Pille-

    I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations on my blog yet, but when I do, I will definitely let it snow :)

    Like

  57. mizzlynx

    Now this sure helps a lot. Simply loving the snow idea!

    Like

  58. knotrune

    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.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi knotrune, embedding a song or a tracklist in your site does not mean it’ll autoplay — on the contrary, the default setting with SoundCloud, YouTube, etc. is for the audio not to autoplay (precisely becuase many people share your views). This way, those in the mood for some music can get it while reading, and those who aren’t, won’t.

      Like

  59. myammynew

    Very Festive – very cool! I am using Free Range Stock for fab photos.

    Like

  60. Nicole Marie

    Thank you so much! Love the festivity! (:

    Like

  61. declued

    This was great! As a new blogger I had no idea that you could/ should make your blog different for the holidays! Thanks!

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      It’s entirely voluntary, of course — it’s up to you whether or not to give your blog a different seasonal look.

      Like

  62. barbaradesmond

    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.

    Like

  63. starshining4ever

    Love the snow! Thanks for the other tips!

    Like

  64. planaliving

    Great ideas!

    Like

  65. tinabb8

    thanks for the tips love the snow and i change my background too :D

    Like

  66. Rebecca Bishop

    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).

    Like

  67. celiaterecomienda

    very useful information, thank you!

    Like

  68. Rachel Stofflet

    Thanks for this!

    Like

  69. tamyraptor

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I was having snow envy!

    Like

  70. Balance the Circle

    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!

    Like

  71. sophiebowns

    I’ve just ‘pimped my blog’
    I now have SNOW! :)

    Like

  72. hollie0230

    I wish I could have snow falling on my blog all year round! ❤

    Like

  73. annacarew

    i’m obsessed with the falling snow!!! thanks so much!!!!

    Like

  74. My Blog About Cher Lloyd

    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

    Like

  75. Alicia

    The falling snow is such a great feature and so festive. Thanks!

    Like

  76. paul

    Thanks for the snow, I have it on all my blogs now! Love it every year.

    Like

  77. kathyy89

    thank you so much…hope to see more posts from you.Kathyy89 :)

    Like

  78. julieannesmith

    Thank you for these great holiday tips! I am definitely excited about the falling snow idea for a cool graphic holiday addition!

    Like

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