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!
Dec 2nd at 6:24 pm
Thank you for your precious hints
Dec 2nd at 6:28 pm
This is very helpful! Thank you
Dec 2nd at 6:35 pm
Just tried it out and it works!!!! I really love it!!!!! Thanks a lot!!
Dec 2nd at 6:48 pm
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
Dec 2nd at 6:52 pm
Hey Ben – it’s already snowing ‘at the minute’, thanks for the tips, love it
Dec 2nd at 6:58 pm
That’s a great idea as I’m new to blogging I need a lot of help lol
Dec 2nd at 7:43 pm
This is very good! Going to use it for my blog
Dec 2nd at 7:53 pm
naaaais ! Only , it never snows in Namibia., so it would look kinda weird on my sunspot theme
Dec 2nd at 8:03 pm
Thank you for the recommendation.
Dec 2nd at 8:16 pm
How do you get the snow effect on your blog?
Dec 2nd at 8:21 pm
Love the snow idea
Dec 2nd at 8:24 pm
Thanks for telling me it is a lot of help I now know how to get raining snow on my blog!!
Dec 2nd at 8:29 pm
I LOVE the snow! It’s SUPER cool!! Ha, ha, ha! Thank you!!
Dec 2nd at 8:40 pm
Great- I want the snow and just when I thought I couldn’t feel anymore festive!
Dec 2nd at 8:47 pm
Thank you so much! I love the snow falling on my site <3
Thank you, P.J. Cimorelli
Dec 2nd at 8:51 pm
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.
Dec 2nd at 8:54 pm
Thank you for this festive and informative blog! Seasons Greetings!
Dec 2nd at 9:01 pm
Perfect for my holiday blog
Dec 2nd at 9:01 pm
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.
Dec 2nd at 9:04 pm
I am just going to try out the snow idea. Thank you!
Dec 2nd at 9:05 pm
it’s snowing on my site, thanks
Dec 2nd at 9:13 pm
I love the falling snow! thanks for this
Dec 2nd at 9:19 pm
I have made a couple of decorations to my blog, and I just love the snow! Thanks!!!
Dec 2nd at 9:26 pm
Great ways to transform your blog with holiday spirit!
Dec 2nd at 9:27 pm
Our Header is Updated and Festive!!! Happy Holidays ….
Dec 2nd at 9:37 pm
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Dec 2nd at 10:31 pm
Please no snow! It sets off my visual overstimulation issue.
Dec 2nd at 10:42 pm
Thank you so much for introducing me to the Subtle Patterns website! What a great resource.
Dec 2nd at 10:54 pm
Thanks! Really helped me get my blog into the Christmas spirit!
Dec 2nd at 11:04 pm
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" /]
Dec 2nd at 11:06 pm
Great ideas, thanks
Dec 2nd at 11:15 pm
It’s snowing!!!!! Thanks for explaining how to transform my blog for Christmas.
Dec 2nd at 11:48 pm
awesome ideas! thank you!
Dec 2nd at 11:54 pm
I like very much the snow coming into the windows of the castle theme, hohoho! it looks amazing! :>) thanks!!
Dec 3rd at 12:08 am
love this! since i’m fairly new to wordpress, this is really helpful. haha.. happy holidays everyone!
Dec 3rd at 12:11 am
Thanks heaps, much appreciated! Used the snowflakes & festive image widget…….feels like Santa has come already.
Dec 3rd at 12:38 am
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/
Dec 3rd at 12:54 am
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!
Dec 3rd at 2:00 am
Awesome! I have snow
Dec 3rd at 2:35 am
Fabulous and fun ideas to explore. Thanks. Sue
Dec 3rd at 2:35 am
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?
Dec 3rd at 2:48 am
Thanks, I feel freshly inspired and ready for some Christmas themed blogging
Dec 3rd at 4:20 am
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..
Dec 3rd at 4:53 am
Dec 3rd at 5:35 am
I love all the tips that you have been sending to us especially as a new blogger. Keep up the good work!
Dec 3rd at 5:42 am
I love the snow setting! Thank you!
Dec 3rd at 7:39 am
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.
Dec 3rd at 8:01 am
i like snow , because in my country (Indonesia) we do not have a winter season…
Dec 3rd at 8:36 am
Love the falling snow on my blog! Thanks!
Dec 3rd at 9:04 am
I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations on my blog yet, but when I do, I will definitely let it snow
Dec 3rd at 9:49 am
Now this sure helps a lot. Simply loving the snow idea!
Dec 3rd at 10:09 am
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.
Dec 3rd at 2:21 pm
Very Festive – very cool! I am using Free Range Stock for fab photos.
Dec 3rd at 5:05 pm
Thank you so much! Love the festivity! (:
Dec 3rd at 6:17 pm
This was great! As a new blogger I had no idea that you could/ should make your blog different for the holidays! Thanks!
Dec 3rd at 7:34 pm
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.
Dec 3rd at 8:35 pm
Love the snow! Thanks for the other tips!
Dec 3rd at 9:17 pm
Dec 3rd at 10:58 pm
thanks for the tips love the snow and i change my background too
Dec 4th at 2:00 am
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).
Dec 4th at 11:18 am
very useful information, thank you!
Dec 4th at 5:50 pm
Thanks for this!
Dec 4th at 10:21 pm
Thanks for the great suggestions! I was having snow envy!
Dec 4th at 10:56 pm
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!
Dec 4th at 11:03 pm
I’ve just ‘pimped my blog’
I now have SNOW!
Dec 5th at 8:29 pm
I wish I could have snow falling on my blog all year round! ❤
Dec 6th at 9:59 am
i’m obsessed with the falling snow!!! thanks so much!!!!
Dec 9th at 12:43 am
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
Dec 9th at 4:06 pm
The falling snow is such a great feature and so festive. Thanks!
Dec 10th at 2:47 pm
Thanks for the snow, I have it on all my blogs now! Love it every year.
Dec 11th at 6:37 am
thank you so much…hope to see more posts from you.Kathyy89
Dec 14th at 1:16 am
Thank you for these great holiday tips! I am definitely excited about the falling snow idea for a cool graphic holiday addition!