A reader hanging garland around a door to decorate for Christmas wrote in to ask, "Can you tell me what is supposed to be used to hold garlands to the columns on a house? I have beautiful stands of the stuff with outdoor Christmas tree lights intertwined in it...and can't find a way to use it, because I don't know how to attach it...."
The best way to hang garland around a door frame or attach it to a wooden column is to do so in a manner that does as little damage as possible to your structure. Holiday seasons come and go, but you have to live in this home after the decorations come down. So like a doctor, your first objective is, "Do no harm."
How do people typically "do harm" when they hang garland around a door? By driving in fasteners (i.e., nails, large staples, etc.) with a hammer. This practice can easily leave you with split wood.
A better first step to take to hang a garland around a door or column is to pre-drill, making a pilot hole. You can then screw in screw-eyes or large ceiling hooks. In the case of columns, one screw eye at the top and one at the bottom may be sufficient, since you have gravity working with you (wrap the garland tightly as you go, starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom, in a spiral).
For a door frame, you'll probably want to install more screw-eyes or ceiling hooks (it will depend, in part, on how heavy your Christmas garlands are). In the example in the picture on this page, the center of the garland is raised to form a peak, so anchoring had to take place at three points, at least (at the two ends, in this case, the garland could have been tied to each of the downspouts).
If you'll be using screw eyes, then you will need pieces of wire (or twist ties, etc.) to finish securing your garlands. Just thread the wire through each screw eye, then tie the wire around the Christmas garland.
If you go the ceiling-hooks route, you can simply hang garland right over the hook part. There's less work involved this way. The trade-off, however, is that the garlands won't be quite as secure. To hang garlands from a column in this fashion, you will need several ceiling hooks, which means making more holes in your wood (something that's generally to be avoided if you can help it).
Note: Some people use a staple gun to affix garlands to wood using small staples. This practice is especially common along the railings of extensive decks. It is a method that is feasible with certain kinds of garland, but not with others.