20 Festive Christmas-Inspired Nail Ideas

From Santa hats to candy canes.

Christmas is a fun holiday for many reasons. Apart from spending quality time with loved ones (and obviously all the presents), there is just something magical in the air once it hits December. While you count down the days to December 25, start your celebrations a little early with some festive (yet chic) Christmas nail ideas.

Anything goes when you want to show your holiday spirit on your nails. You can go classic with red and green combos and different Christmas-inspired designs (think plaid, bows on presents, candy canes, Santa hats, tree decals, etc.) You can also take the road less traveled and opt for non-traditional colors like black and white combos, periwinkle blue, and pastels for a unique spin on some of those iconic seasonal designs. No matter what nail polish shades and art you prefer, chances are high that you’ll find a Christmas nail look you love.

If you need help narrowing down what kind of manicure you want to be wearing for any upcoming holiday soirées or simple chill sessions by the fireplace with loved ones, this is the guide for you. Below are 20 Christmas nail ideas that are festive, chic, and will make you (and everyone around you) feel very, very merry.


Magnolias & Gold Leaf

Christmas doesn’t always mean green and red. A lot of the time, it can mean gold too. These intricate hand-painted magnolia branches against a gold leaf base make for stunning nail art you’ll want to wear beyond holiday season.


Christmasy Jeweled Nails

Christmas time is all about the bejeweled accents. Dress up the classic French manicure with colorful rhinestones for some fun.


Wreath French Tips

If jewels aren’t your thing, opt for this minimal wreath design along the tip of a square nail to make your French manicure holiday-appropriate.


Holiday Plaids

Make a basic green and red combo more dynamic by adding cool plaid accents.


Peppermint Accents

Red and white peppermint tips with snowflake decals make for mesmerizing Christmas nail art that people will be fawning over.


Frosty Pastels

Who doesn’t love pastels all year round? Make a pastel green more festive with these sparkle accents and wear them for your upcoming holiday parties.


Winter White

Nail art isn’t just for your nail beds. Elevate a classic winter white shade with pearl accents running down each finger.


Garland Galore

These white and green leaf-like strokes are so striking against a neutral nail color and make for one of the best Christmas nail designs out there.


Santa’s Hat

It’s not Christmas without Santa. This subtle hat detail along a shimmery red French tip is the perfect homage to one of Christmas’ most recognizeable guys.


Gingerbread House

These look yummy enough to eat (but obviously don’t). Get inspired by one of Christmas’ most beloved desserts and dress up your nails in gingerbread-inspired colors and designs.


Candy Cane Lane

If you’re looking for a simple way to dress up red nails, go the candy cane route and add some diagonal white stripes with a glittery finish on every other nail.


Winter Wonderland

Another non-traditional Christmas shade that still feels festive is a cool icy blue. This periwinkle is super pretty on its own, but glitter and snowflake details make it feel even more special.


Snowed In

A true work of art, this still-life look gives snowed-in vibes. It’ll remind you of winter days spent watching the pine trees, deer, and snow.


Matte Pine Trees

Use winter scenery to inspire your next manicure.


Festive Stars

Draw star decals in glittery red and green shades for a look that’s simple but never boring.


Under The Mistletoe

Take your chances of getting kissed under the mistletoe into your own hands — literally. Minimal mistletoe designs with gold details is a cute Christmas nail art combo.


Christmas Party

Why stick to one Christmas theme when you can do them all? Throw on some snowmen, Christmas lights, abstract red and green shapes, and more for a maximalist Christmas mix that’s just super fun and festive.


Holiday Shimmer

Not that you really need an excuse to pile on the glitter and jewels, but there’s something about Christmas time that makes it feel just right. Use red, green, and gold shimmer shades for your base and draw on Christmas bows. Add jewel accents for a bold final touch.


Black & White

You can totally make black and white Christmas-themed. Simply pack on the shimmer and use white nail polish to draw on snowflakes, bows, and candy cane stripes for a unique spin (color-wise) on Christmas nail art.


Night At The Nutcracker

The iconic Christmas ballet makes for perfect nail art inspiration. Draw the Nutcracker on one nail and mix in other Christmas designs for a dynamic look that’s just stunning to look at.