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There are few better ways to get your house looking festive than to hang a wreath on the front door and run a few tasteful Christmas lights around the sides. Once the New Year rolls around, however, you might want to give those decorations a little bit of a refresh. Here, we’ll take a look at exactly how you might do just that!

New Year Door Traditions

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to consider some of the New Year traditions that revolve around doors. The most obvious of these is first-footing, which is still observed in some parts of the country (most notably in Scotland). This tradition involves the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight has struck on New Year’s Eve.

The first person through the door after midnight (called the ‘first-foot’, or quaaltagh if you want to be Gaelic about it) brings luck depending on who they are, with dark-haired men being deemed the luckiest.

This person can bring one of a handful of traditional gifts, each of which comes with a corresponding sort of good luck for the new year: a silver coin is supposed to confer prosperity; bread provides plentiful food; whisky lends good cheer. Note that you’re not allowed to go over the threshold and then come back again: to be first-foot, you have to be outside the house at midnight.

Given the importance of attracting this person (that is, if you’re superstitious), it’s crucial that your front door looks the part – so let’s think about how we might make it do just that!

New Year’s Door Decorating Ideas

new year decorations

It might not come as much of a surprise that most of the best ‘Happy New Year’ door decorations are derived from Christmas ones. And there’s nothing wrong with this – it makes things a little more convenient when you just have to make a few tweaks to the existing Christmas decorations to have them looking ready for the New Year. Let’s examine some candidates.


Framing your door with sparkly Christmas lights is a great way to indicate that it’s a special time of year. While during Christmas, you might have gotten away with multicoloured blue, green, red and yellow lights, we find that at New Year it’s better to keep things simple. Go with warm-white lights and affix them to the door frame using miniature hooks. If you’re concerned about all the tiny holes you’ll be left with after you’re done, you can instead use adhesive hooks – the good ones will keep your lights attached even to brickwork.


If you’d prefer to keep things lo-fi, you can dispense with the electronic lights and go with traditional candles instead. Given that they only need to be lit for one evening, this is a fantastic way to make things special. Of course you should consider fire safety, such as keeping them sensibly placed and making sure lit candles are not left unattended. Just make sure that there’s room for your guests to make their way through without singeing their coat-tails.


Here’s another category of decoration that you can recycle from your Christmas tree. Baubles come in all shapes and sizes, but we think the gold star ones tend to make the best match for your front door. Place them strategically around the sides, or across the middle if you’re feeling bold. Like your lights, you can keep them in place using adhesive hooks – or double-sided tape. Just make sure that you’ll be able to get them off when everyone’s gone home, as you don’t want to be left with unsightly marks on the front of your door.


What better way to wish everyone a happy new year than to write the words ‘Happy New Year’ on a plaque hanging from your front door? Make sure that the plaque in question is appropriately sparkly.  You can decorate the edges with a little bit of leftover tinsel and some glue. A happy new year door sign will match the Christmas lights nicely!


A New Year door wreath is another tradition that’s heavily borrowed from Christmas. There’s no real reason to take your wreath down before the New Year rolls around. You needn’t even make any alterations, strictly speaking. But we think it’s worth giving your wreath a little bit of a refresh, if doing so is at all possible. You might remove any red decorations, for example, and replace them with something gold or silver.

If you’ve bought a ready-made Christmas wreath from a shop, then you might find that there’s limited scope for customisation. Even if you do manage to extract and replace a few key features, you’ll find it difficult to put them back again for next year. As such, we’d suggest going for a non-degradable wreath that’ll last for years on end. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can make one yourself and give it a coat of weatherproof spray-on sealant, and then some sparkly glitter.


There’s another way to get the message across in a literal sense, and that’s by using a happy new year doormat. You can find literally hundreds of these in high street shops and online specialist stores, but you can achieve a more personal effect by buying a blank doormat and printing it with a custom message. If you’ve got a reversible doormat with one side blank, then so much the better – you can simply flip it over as the appropriate time of year approaches.

You might even go a little further by printing a personal message on both sides: one for Christmas and one for the New Year!

new year celebrations

In Conclusion

We’ve just scratched the surface of the New Year’s door-decoration ideas people have had over the years – and if you’re imaginative enough, you might come up with something novel that hasn’t yet occurred to anyone else! Given that New Year’s celebrations last for just a day or so before everyone’s back to work, there’s no reason not to be bold and inventive. Have a Happy New Year!

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