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Christmas Decorating on a Budget

If you are looking for ways to cut costs this Christmas, chances are that one of the first things you will re-evaluate will be your Christmas decorations. While many decorations do not cost that much, at least the single items don’t, still they all add up especially when you are hoping to decorate most of the rooms in your home, or at least a good portion of them. Here are a few tips on how to make save on this part of your Christmas preparations.

Buy from thrift shops, or garage sales:  You can often find great deals at garage sales, or thrift stores when it comes to Christmas decorations.  Many people choose to buy brand new Christmas decorations each year. Rather than getting rid of their “old” decorations they will offer them to thrift stores.   You can also find great Christmas decorations at garage sales, so keep an eye out for those!

Don’t throw out your Christmas lights, fix them instead:  Yes, it’s a pain in the you-know-what to fix Christmas lights. In fact, it’s a pain to plug them in and see which ones are still working. But if you have the patience and a few extra bulbs on hand you can save a lot by checking your existing lights, replacing bulbs, and restoring your old lights.  After all, they look as good as new once they’re up and blinking!

Recycle your Baubles:  Ever wondered what to do with those baubles that have lost their loop?  You can’t hang them on the tree any more but you can do other things with them.  Collect all of your loop-less baubles and put them together in a glass bowl!  They look great, and add a splash of color to table-tops and mantelpieces.

Candles:  Candles are Christmas.  They are cheap and they look fantastic. If you have a candelabra, great.  Fill it with red, white and green tall candles. If you don’t, why then just place other candles at strategic locations around your home. They look great as a centrepiece on your table, and also look fantastic scattered around the room. If you are able, stick to Christmas colors which include the traditional red, white and green, and also include the gold and grey shades.

Bake Christmas Cookies:  There’s nothing quite like the smell of cookies baking, the sound of Christmas music, and a whole bunch of females in the kitchen to give that Christmas aura.  My mother had her traditional set of Christmas cookies that she would bake. Establish your own Christmas set, then religiously bake them every year.  Get your daughters to help (sons too, if they’re interested) and you’ll start up a Christmas tradition that will live on.

Play Christmas Music:  I love hearing Christmas music at Christmas time. I abhor hearing it blasting too early, and I hate hearing it playing after Christmas Day. But during December, I think it bot appropriate and cheering.  Find your favourite Christmas music (a good selection please) and play it all throughout December–well, at least while you’re doing your Christmas baking, and while you are decorating, and at dinner time, and…

Gather Pine Cones:  And spray paint them gold and silver if you must. Or, leave them and just scatter them around.

Bring out the Festive Tableware, Christmas Tablecloth and Napkins: If you can, set aside a special set of tableware for Christmas. It should probably be a little gaudy, colourful and patterned.  Red, white or green are great themes for tablecloths, placemats and napkins. I personally abhor Santa tablecloths…but to each his own. Just make it Christmas themed.

Table Center Piece: Think candles, logs and ribbons.  A centrepiece can be stored away and used year after year. You bring it out and everyone automatically thinks of Christmas. Find one of those!

Dress up Toys:  Teddies and dollies look lovely all dressed for Christmas in their best Christmas finery. If you need to you can always add Christmas ribbons to the dolls and teddies, and put them on display under the Christmas tree, or on windowsills.  Remember to have them clutch a small box that has been carefully wrapped till it resembles a Christmas present.

There are a multitude of other ideas that can turn your frugal Christmas into a truly warm and inviting one. Don’t limit yourself and don’t feel that you’re being chintzy if you don’t have yourwhole house decked out. Do what you can. After all, the spirit of Christmas comes from the heart after all, and it’s really all about giving from the heart too.  That’s the true meaning and spirit of Christmas. If you can’t decorate much, don’t worry. Just give of yourself to others and you will embrace the true spirit of Christmas.

Happy Holidays!