10+ Free WordPress Plugins to Add Christmas Cheer to Your Site

The countdown to Christmas has begun! As stores crank up the Christmas carols and homes are decorated with beautiful Christmas trees covered in lights, baubles and tinsel, there’s no reason why you can’t deck out your website with boughs of holly.

To help you get into the Christmas spirit, I’ve put together a fun list of free Christmas plugins – all tried and tested with the upcoming version of WordPress 4.1 and the new default Twenty Fifteen theme. All of these plugins are available in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite WordPress tips and tricks are to jazz up your site for the festive season.

Happy holidays!

Tribulant Snow Storm

snow-storm

Display snow flakes falling down your WordPress site with this simple plugin. Snow Storm allows you to configure a few simple settings, such as the color and amount of snow, mobile support, and whether it sticks to the bottom of the screen.

Simply Snow

xmas-snow

This aptly named plugin adds a simple snowfall effect to your site. Just install and activate the plugin and watch the gentle snow fall down your site. Unlike some other snow plugins, this one doesn’t come with any kind of configuration options and is lightweight enough that it won’t affect your site’s speed.

Improved Let It Snow!

improved-let-it-snow

Here’s a snow plugin you can configure. Specify the color and shape of the snow you want to display as well as how fast it falls and how much of it fills the page. You can also configure whether the snow sticks and accumulates at the bottom of the screen.

Advent Calendar

advent-calendar

For the 24 days before Christmas from December 1, display a simple advent calendar on your site. Advent Calendar lets you release a new custom holiday-theme images each day. This is a useful plugin for publishing exclusive content in the lead up to Christmas Day.

Christmas Countdown Widget

santas-countdown-widget

Let Santa brighten your visitors’ day with this simple widget. Just add the countdown widget to your site and Santa’s beard will countdown the days until Christmas. If you would rather not use the provided widget, you can use shortcode to display the countdown graphic anywhere on your site.

Christmas Ball on Branch

Christmas Ball on Branch

Note: This plugin has caused issues on at least one reader’s website so please use with caution. For more details, read the comments below.

If you want to add a little Christmas cheer to your website without going over the top, this plugin display a small Christmas branch with a bauble in the top right-hand corner of your site. It even lights up! While the plugin hasn’t been updated in more than two years, it still works just fine with the beta version of WordPress 4.1 and the Twenty Fifteen theme.

Xmas Lights

christmas-lights

Add a simple string of colorful Christmas lights to your site to welcome your visitors this holiday season. While some Christmas lights plugins look a bit tacky, this one has nice adds a quirky festive touch.

Snow, balloons and more

snow-balloons-and-more

Someone’s put a lot of work into this delightful plugin! Snow, balloons and more lets you set up snowflakes, leaves, lights, Santa and even Christmas trees to drift down your site. Choose from 30 GIF and 40 PNG images. You can even set the speed of snow and – get this – the maximum wind strength!

Holiday Message

holiday-message

Wish your visitors a happy holiday with this cute pop up message. This plugin allows you to display a message in the centre, fullwidth along the bottom or to the left or right of the bottom of the page. You can customize your Christmas message and choose from one of seven images.

WP Scheduled Styles

schedule-styles

Schedule a different CSS file to be used on Christmas Day so users visiting your site will see your holiday inspired design for a set period of time you specify.

WP Scheduled Themes

schedule-themes

This plugin allows you to schedule a different theme to display on your site for a special occasion, such as Christmas Day. The theme will override your existing theme on your site for the set time you specify.

WP Christmas Class

christmas-class

This handy plugin allows you to dynamically add a custom CSS class to your body tag during a set date range. You change the look and feel of your site during the Christmas holidays with custom CSS. There is also an option to make your date range automatically update for the following year.

Hello Christmas

hello-christmas

Hello Christmas is a festive alternative to Hello Dolly. When activated, this plugin disables Hello Dolly and displays random lyrics from popular Christmas carols in the top right-hand corner of the admin screen.

Comments (17)

    • Guess it’s just too freakin’ hard to make or find New Years, Hanukah or Kwanzaa plugins? Let’s hear it for the Pagans, who started so many Xmas traditions. Holly, mistletoe, Xmas trees, and much much more. If ya don’t believe me, this is a very informative, fun book: Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide Paperback – October 24, 2006
      by Christian Rätsch. Oh, I’m not a Scrooge. But try just once to imagine what others feel this time of yr. Happy Holidays.

    • Sorry if you found this post offensive as it wasn’t intended to be that way. We’ve posted round-ups of Christmas plugins in previous years and they’ve always been our most popular posts for December.

      Unfortunately, there aren’t really any plugins for New Years, Hanukah or Kwanzaa. I’ve seen a couple of New Years plugins, but not enough for a post. If you’ve found any great plugins for these occasions it would be great if you could share them here.

    • Hi Jenny, as a plugin developer I’d love to work with you to produce plugins for other holidays, such as those you’ve mentioned. If you’d be interested?

      :-)

      Chris

      • Hi Chris, thank you for your kind suggestion! Hanukah isn’t full of symbols like Christmas. Start with a menorah (candle holder), with 8 candles and a ‘leader’ candle. The leader is lit first, then one candle for each night. So 6 candles on the 5th night. That’s one thought. Another is a spinning dreidel, a little top w/Hebrew on the sides. Plus greasy potato pancakes. Little golden coins with chocolate inside. I think that’s it. Easy peasy! But I’d love to talk. I’m always up for meeting cool plugin developers!

        Plus New Years banners, sparklers, hats, champagne glasses, etc. New Years is something we all celebrate.

        I’m in the midst of a very successful punk photo sale. I’m sooo behind, so I doubt if I could be involved for this holiday season. But I’m up for it next yr! I’ll check out yr site and let’s talk.

        Thanks Raelene Wilson too! I’ve been involved w/WordPress since about 2006. But you both are the most response folks I’ve come across. Thanks both of you. Happy Holidays!

        • Christmas is definitely full of symbols. There’s so much commercialization. It would be great to see more plugins celebrating other holidays. Let me know if you and Chris end up working on something.

          Good luck with your photo sale!

          • Raelene Wilson: you are awesome! Thanks so much for your interest, both of you. I was sooo excited to join during WPMUDEV’s amazing Black Friday sale. I am sooo excited about so many of the very useful plugins here. I’ve plans and my membership provides vital tools I need. I am eager to complete my early punk photo orders, which will take til end of yr. Then move forward with new projects. Now back to my photos so ppl get them by Xmas and Hanukah! With gratitude. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

        • Some brilliant pointers there Jenny, thank you!
          I will drop you a line via your contact page and I look forward to working together to come up with something awesome! :-)

          Raelene, thanks for a great post and we’ll keep you posted on our progress!

  1. Hi,

    I installed Ball & Branch on a site yesterday and although it was fine when I first installed it, this morning all I’m getting is a blank screen on http://www.furniturefarm.co.uk that I installed it on.

    It is the only change made to the site yesterday, all other sites on the server are OK, (including a sub domain site of the FF domain), and having deleted the plugin, I’m still getting a blank screen, the server serving up nothing.

    Has anybody got any ideas here, looks like it’s the Ball & Branch that’s broke the site, (all it can be), it’s a busy time for Ali the site owner and she needs it back quick so any suggestions welcome.

    Phil

    P.S.

    I’ve tried repairing the database after downloading a backup in case the plugin broke that, but still the same :(

    • Hi Phil, I’m sorry to see you’re having trouble! I tested the plugin on a WordPress 4.1 install using the upcoming Twenty Fifteen theme and didn’t run into any issues. Have you tried getting touch with the plugin developer?

  2. No, I’ve not had time, with it being clearly the Ball & Branch that caused the problems though, it playing havoc with the database within 12 hours of installing it.

    3 of us struggled for over 5 hours to sort it out and we ended up resorting to a recent backup we had as it was a really busy time for the clients site and it needed to be back up soon, so my recommendation is, don’t touch the Ball & Branch plugin unless you want serious problems with your site.

  3. You did a great research here. I’m also looking for a way to bring Xmas to my new WordPress online store with plugins and themes. I will try the plugins you recommended right away. Thanks for the useful article.

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