How to give your PC setup a glow up this Christmas

How to give your PC setup a glow up this Christmas
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi)

So, this is Christmas. Or, at least, almost. But, while you’ve already started decking those halls with the cheeriest and sparkliest holiday decorations, your computer desk remains bare. That’s understandable; decking your desk with frilly garlands doesn’t seem very conducive to productivity, especially if you like to keep things neat, and putting up a small Chrstmas tree feels like overkill (and hazardous if you’re in the presence of cats).

Not to worry; we sleigh at sprucing up work and gaming desks, and we’re here to help you with modern holiday glow up ideas that are less traditional and more technophile yet still say, “I freaking love Christmas.” 

Light it all up

Nanoleaf Shapes behind a PC setup

(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

We’re in the age of smart home devices, folks, so it’s time to move away from those ageing string lights you’ve had for 10 years. Instead, invest in smart lights. The best ones aren’t just controllable via an app or your voice, but are also capable of displaying millions of colors, which means you can keep and use them as regular lights when the holidays are over. 

No more replacing tiny individual bulbs. And, you can forget about the impossible task of taking down and putting those traditional string lights away post-holidays.

If you’re a gamer, the Nanoleaf Shapes and Nanoleaf Canvas light panels now have Corsair and Razer Chroma integration, which means they’ll sync up beautifully with your compatible peripherals and components like the Corsair K70 RGB Pro or the Razer Leviathan V2

Govee Neon LED as Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Govee)

Or, if you’re feeling even more creative, the Govee Neon LED string lights will let you form your favorite shapes – a guitar, a cat, a candy cane – for a funkier flair.

On a budget? We also love those cheap neon lights many desk setup influencers on social media are promoting, like the Xmas Tree Sign from Oye Hoye. It’s not a smart light, but you plug it into a USB port so it fits right in.

Mod your keeb

Christmas-themed keycaps

(Image credit: Drop)

Did you know that there’s a whole community dedicated to mechanical keyboard modding? These days, your mechanical keyboard is no longer just that functional, reliable input device that sees you through your typing needs. It’s also a terrific medium for sprucing up your PC setup, which means there are plenty of ways you can deck it up for the holiday season.

First things first: not all mechanical keyboards are mod-ready, as some are soldered. So, before you go pulling out switches, make sure that yours is hot-swappable, which just means you can pull out a keyboard’s current switches with a switch puller and swap them out for new ones.

KiiBOOM Phantom 81 on a desk

(Image credit: KiiBOOM)

If yours isn’t, oh boy, you’re in for a treat as there are plenty of amazing hot-swappable mechanical keyboards that look just as good without the sprucing up. Right now, we’re massive fans of the KiiBOOM Phantom 81 and the Drop ALT, both of which we are currently testing. 

As for the switches, Akko’s collection of CS Switches come in different colorways and types (tactile and linear), which will look fab, especially if you’ve got clear keycaps. They even come in red and green, if you want to stick to traditional Christmas colors. Speaking of keycaps, Drop also has some fun Christmas-themed keycaps available for purchase.

Not liking any of those options above? There’s honestly a treasure trove of fun mechanical keyboards, keycaps, switches, and keyboard cables out there from top manufacturers as well as lesser-known brands. Just go on Instagram. A keyboard modding newbie? We’ve got a quick how-to guide to modding a mechanical keyboard you should check out.


Divoom Pixoo-64 displaying a Christmas image

(Image credit: Divoom)

Fun desk mats, plush toys, decorative yet functional wrist rests, pixel art displays, and bottle brush tabletop trees are just among the few accessories you can use to spiff up your work or gaming space this holiday season. 

Right now, we’re loving Squishable’s mini Christmas trees, which also add a bit of coziness to your setup. As for the pixel art displays, Divoom is a favorite among desk setup fanatics.

Play the festive music

Edifier G2000 in red next to a display

(Image credit: Edifier)

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the festive music. To really get into the spirit, you must crank up the holiday tunes, so round out your rig with a pair of PC speakers and put “All I Want for Christmas” on repeat.

Currently, we adore the space-saving Edifier G2000, which, by the way, comes in red and boasts customizable RGB lighting. If you want to keep it a little classier, the Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4 come with a sub so you can also enjoy your favorite Christmas movies with a nice rumble.

And, yes, Die Hard is on that list.

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.