(Photo: Pinterest)

Santa hats and holiday sweaters are well and good, but there is definitely a time and a place for them. If you want to start showing how much you’re into the ho-ho-holiday spirit without looking over the top, some subtle holiday nail art is the way to go. You don’t need to worry about recreating a scene from How the Grinch Stole Christmas on your digits. There are plenty of festive manicures that are easy, but they still give you plenty of holiday cheer.

(Related: 8 Makeup Vaults For People Who Have Been Really, Really Good This Year)

Check out the holiday nail art ideas that will put you in the festive spirit:

1. Red Nails with Silver Presents

Red Present Nails

A red manicure with silver accent nails is already pretty festive. When you add in a red ribbon to turn those silver nails into presents, things get even better.

2. Red and Green Nails Plus Polka Dot Accent Nails

Holiday Dots

Dots are one of the easiest nail art designs to do, especially if you have a dotter tool. If you don’t have one, a Q-tip will work just as well.

3. Red Nails with Gold Glitter

Red Nails With Gold Glitter

You don’t have to worry about creating any characters here. The colors are festive enough on their own. Concentrate the gold glitter on the tips of your nails for a cool twist on a French manicure.

4. White Base with Dot Details

White Nails

This looks like a lot of work, but all it involves is creating little dots. It won’t take as long as you think. Promise.

5. Beige Base with Multicolored Sparkles


If you have a shaky hand, look for a nail polish that makes the design work easier for you. This sparkly top coat already has all of the festive colors. You just need to dab it onto the moon area of your nails.

6. Red Nails With Gold Christmas Tree


This looks very impressive, but it’s still simple. It’s nothing more than a few coats of red nail polish, some well-placed gold sparkle and a zigzag for the tree.

7. Gray Nails and Ornament

Gray Nails

Ornaments make for great embellishment because they are round. Skip the decoration and simply dab a blob of glitter on your nail. Then use a toothpick to draw the bow and string.

8. Green Base and White Christmas Tree

Green Minimalist Christmas Tree

This is a Christmas tree design that nail art newbies can still do. Don’t worry if your lines aren’t 100% straight because no one is going to notice. They’re going to be too busy admiring the “star” on your tree.

9. Brown Base and Gingerbread Man

Brown Base and Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread men aren’t just for your cookie tray. Add one as an accent nail on a polka dot manicure. Create your gingerbread man by using a dotter tool for the head, hands and feet then join everything together.

10. Green and Red Nails

Green and Red

This manicure plays with different finishes in addition to different colors. The easiest way to achieve the the look is to choose a matte base then go over the tips of your nails with your regular shiny top coat.

11. Light Brown Base with Santa Hats

Brown Base Santa hats

Your Santa hats don’t need to be a uniform shape so just let the polish go where it wants. Then use a dotter tool to get the nice lines on the trim.

12. Muted Pink Base with Snowflake and Accent Nail

Muted Pink Snowflake

This muted pink nail polish isn’t the first shade you’d think of when you think of holiday nail polishes, but add in the glitter accent nail and tree and you have yourself a festive mani.

13. Red Base and Dot Tree

red polkadot

Remember: A Christmas tree doesn’t have to be painted in a realistic style. Here, it’s like your getting a Christmas tree and ornaments in one.

14. Clear Base with Black Tree

Clear Base Black Tree

We’re so used to bold red and green bases, but this natural base with details on top is very striking.