I really enjoy decorating for Christmas. I would spend a lot of money on it if my husband would allow it.
But he won’t (or I should say, the budget won’t).
So, I’m always looking for creative, clever ideas to spread a little (or a lot of) holiday cheer.
So, in case you are like me and like to decorate for Christmas but don’t have the money to go all out like the magazines, here are my tips. These aren’t life-shattering, but I find that I can do a lot of decorating in our house and not break the bank. In this economy, this is important. Many of these may be no-brainers, but here we go…
1. Get married at Christmastime….
Just kidding. Sort of.
In all honestly, about 80% of our Christmas decorations were from our wedding. Do any of these look familiar?
2. PLAN PLAN AND PLAN. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to think about Christmas decorations. If you do, you won’t be ready and you’ll spend money trying to bring everything together. My mother-in-law kindly gives me all of her old magazines (and this woman gets every magazine imaginable – thanks, Joyce).
I look through them all and tear out the pages that I like. I put them in a binder so I have them for reference. Then, I buy things I need the day after Christmas (and after). Since this year is the first in our new house, it took a little longer than I would like to decorate. After this year, I’m going to store everything together for next year. This makes things a lot easier. So, if you love your tree, put everything for this tree together in a box. This seems simple but most people don’t do it. They store things by theme – all ornaments, all garland, etc. If you love it, why reinvent the wheel next year? Just tweak…
3. Use inexpensive materials and expand around them. I use mostly solid colored glass ornaments in red and silver (my key colors) and pinecones. Both are from our wedding, but are inexpensive for anyone. I have a feedsack of pinecones in our basement from the wedding. Most of them are sprayed silver and have kept for 2 years now. These are the easiest, most inexpensive ways to decorate. Hang ornaments everywhere, put them in bowls and put a few on shelves and tables. Then, fill in with other items you love (like trees, florals or whatever you love).
4. The biggest rule I go by is to NEVER NEVER NEVER buy anything full-price. This year is a little different than usual because of the economy. Usually, the Christmas things do not go on sale so early. This year, there were lots of decor items 50% after Thanksgiving. This is good for consumers (and for the stores). But, unless I have nothing that I can make work, I wait to buy anything until after Christmas. Then, when I open my Christmas boxes the next year, it’s like opening presents!
This year, I have only bought a handful of things to bring together the decor in our house:
-Garland for the fence (at 50% off)
-Stockings (at 25% off)
-Poinsettia stems for the Living Room Tree (at 75% off the day after Thanksgiving)
I am having a little buyer’s remorse for the stockings, because I think I could have waited to have them and got them for cheaper. But, that’s okay. I’ll have them for a long time.
Now, if you want to decorate on the cheap, you’ll have to sacrifice. For one, you need to shop right after Christmas. If you really love something that you saw at a store, you better get your butt to the store at 6:00 a.m. If it’s basics, just get there before New Years. Usually, Target puts all Christmas stuff 75% off around New Years Eve.
The things I think that everyone should have lots of on-hand and buy after Christmas on sale:
-Solid colored ornaments in the colors you want to use. You can never have too many.
-Different strands of lights for trees, garland, wreaths and more
-Lots and lots of garland
Also, keep your eyes open throughout the year. There is a local boutique that has the cutest displays for Christmas. But, they are incredibly pricey. However, they have a sale room. I happened upon this pillow in the sale room in August.
So, these are my ideas. Now – SOUND OFF! How do you make decorating for the holidays affordable???
I cannot wait to hear all your fabulous ideas.
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