Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Show Off Lavish Christmas Decorations at Their NYC Home

"That's what I like about Christmas, the time spent putting it all together," Harris says

Christmastime is here at the Harris-Burtka household — and the family go all out decorating their stunning five-story brownstone in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.

Neil Patrick Harris, 46, and his husband, chef David Burtka, 44, who have been married since 2014, recently opened up their family home to to show off their magical holiday decor, which they take great care in setting up themselves ahead of their annual Christmas party.

According to Burtka, Harris is best at building the trees and trimming them with lights — they switched to artificial trees a few years ago, claiming it’s hard to find fresh ones in the city big enough for their high ceilings — while the cookbook author is in charge of “the garlands, the tablescapes and the flowers.”

Neil Patrick Harris Christmas
Getty Images
Neil Patrick Harris Christmas
Gieves Anderson

The couple, who share nine-year-old twins Harper and Gideon, love incorporating memories of their family in their home’s year-round decor, and the holidays are no different. Photos of the twins are scattered throughout the rooms — each one decorated with it’s own unique theme — and many ornaments on the trees were handcrafted by the kids.

Every year, they set up antique snowflakes and nutcrackers — just a few of the decorations that have been with the pair for as long as they can remember.

“We’ve been together for over 15 years, which is a lot of holidays,” Harris says. “And every holiday you wind up buying a throw pillow, a new Nutcracker, or something. And we’ve kept it all.”

Neil Patrick Harris Christmas
Gieves Anderson

Burtka’s hosting skills certainly come into play for the couple’s annual Christmas bash. The party is held in their music room, one of the more formal rooms in the house, which they decorate with a 12-foot-tall tree from Balsam Hill. The event, Harris says, typically ends with a lavish round of White Elephant gifting.

“I love hosting games,” Harris tells AD. “It’s a very friendly one and everyone brings an expensive-ish gift so that everyone is relatively happy. The holiday party, for us, is a good opportunity to get to reconnect with people that we haven’t seen in a long time.”

Neil Patrick Harris Christmas
Gieves Anderson

Come Christmas morning, the family hangs out in the less formal living room (though it does hold an art collection that includes works by Kehinde Wiley and Banksy), where the kids open presents. A 10-foot tree decorates this space, along with customized stockings and plenty of garland and ribbons. While presents are opened, Burtka typically puts together a brunch of cinnamon rolls or eggs topped with caviar leftover from the previous night’s menu.

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While the time and effort they put into decorating for the holidays may seem extravagant to some, Harris and Burtka tell AD that the setting up for Christmas is just as important to them as the day itself — because it means they get to work together to build something special.

“That’s what I like about Christmas, the time spent putting it all together,” Harris says. Burtka agrees with his husband: “I’ve learned that I love doing this with you, and I love doing it together.”

Read more about Harris and Burtka’s holidays at

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