Christmas is like no other holiday. It practically screams magic and kindness. However it can be an expensive time of year, especially for low income families. One thing people need help with is saving money on Christmas decorations for their home, tree(s), and even outside. There are many ways to save money on décor or to even find low cost goods.
Christmas is one of the things that people look forward to the most every year, whether it is time with family (or the peace of being alone), gifts, or the food. And a big part of what makes the holiday feel so special and inviting is decorations. But be sure to follow a budget during this expensive holiday.
This might seem silly at first, but think about it; when you’re surrounded by garlands, twinkling lights and candy canes, the feeling is vastly different than if everything looked plain. The great news is that you don’t need to spend hundreds of holiday decor to turn your home into a Christmas showcase. In fact, you can buy or make Christmas decorations it for cheap!
The Christmas Tree
Depending on your religion, Christmas would never be the same without a tree, right? Forget all those Pinterest photos of the most perfect tree you can imagine, all of which cost a ton of money to replicate. Do it on a budget or do it for cheap! Or even get a free or assistance paying for a Christmas tree.
• Head to your local thrift store for awesome deals on fake Christmas trees as well as all the decorations that go on them. Plenty of people get rid of their perfectly good ones all the time.
• Decide on a color scheme for your tree. Gold and red? White and silver? All out rainbow? Choosing a consistent seem will cost less money.
• Don’t overthink it. Simple is always good; ornament balls and garlands are something that are a tried and true classic. Going crazy with thirty different types of tree decorations isn’t necessary and that can be expensive as well. While they’ll still look good, it isn’t vital to making your house spectacular.
• Go to nature to save money on holiday decorations. Decorate pine cones and acorns with glitter, get your hands on sprigs of dried berries, and set them into your tree as accent pieces.
• Make your own tree skirt. All you need is something pretty at the bottom of your tree, which doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Go to a thrift store and find a gold curtain, score a coupon and get five yards of plaid fabric at the store, or re-purpose an old red silky blanket. Bunch the fabric around the base of your tree as a shabby-chic tree skirt that looks imperfectly perfect.
Lighting is an essential part of so many events, Christmas being one of them. But they can be expensive, but there are some ways to save money on them. It’s amazing what some lights can do! Colored lights communicate more of a fun and festive feel, while white lights are classy and beautiful. Besides stuffing your tree with them, Christmas lights can be used in other ways.
• Wrap them around your staircase banister, along with a pine garland or garland made from twisted wrapping paper. Garland can be made from scratch to save money, but also shop online or at thrift stores for inexpensive goods.
• Take lower cost, shorter strings of battery-powered lights and stuff them into dollar-store glass vases. At night, they’ll glow like fairies!
• Drape icicle lights across an archway, with an ornament hanging from a string in between each hanging light.
• Wind lights between decorations or a garland that sits across your fireplace mantle.
So what about all the fun decorations that turn a house into a Christmas home? Even a struggling, low income family can get some of these. As long as you place them correctly, they don’t have to be everywhere and you don’t need to spend a ton of money on this décor. All you need is to surround yourself with it in the right places to create that all-encompassing ambiance.
• Take dollar-store vases and fill them with extra ornaments, glittered pine cones, acorns, and pine sprigs. Group these vases around the middle of your dining table at different heights. Angle some cheap ribbons in between each vase.
• Gather sprigs of pine, berries, or winter arrangements at either the dollar store, Wal Mart discount bin or from nature. Arrange them in vases or around the base of vases and garlands.
• Get a bag of fake snow and fill glass jars halfway with it, then top with berries, old ornaments, or pine.
• Take old candlesticks (so recycle them for free!) and refurbish them with glitter, then tape or hot glue a large ornament ball onto the top of each one.
• Whitewash planks of old wood and secure together into a rectangle to make a fun Christmas sign. Use an old Christmas slogan, words from a carol, or even a piece of scripture to turn the old wood into a shabby focal piece.
• Get some over-sized ornaments and hot glue a length of ribbon to each one’s end, then hang them at alternating heights from the ceiling along the entryway to your living room or kitchen.
• Use any one of countless websites that have free stuff. They range from Craigslist to Swagbucks, Free Samples, and many others. Even if you can’t find free holiday accessories, you are bound to find a great deal and other savings.
• Get your hands on a can of cheap spray snow and spray the ends of pine branches to use in decorations from vases to fireplace mantles. Spray the ends of the branches of your Christmas tree to make it look like it came straight from a winter wonderland.
Save Money on the Holiday Extras
Besides the amazing decorating ideas that will transform your space visually, there are other senses you can play on when it comes to Christmas. This can be an inexpensive way to make the holiday more special. Don’t ever forget about the “free” power of smell and sound!
• Find free recipes online for Christmas potpourri, and that is of course free to do. Usually these involve cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange, and a few other easy ingredients that you boil in a pot. The smell that goes with this does amazing things to trick your brain into believing Christmas magic is everywhere.
• Shop for discounted food at your local grocery store, and even use coupons. it is possible to save money on and find low cost Christmas food, meats, vegetables, and other ingredients.
• Find a Christmas candle at your local discount store, or a similar scent in spray or wax form. You don’t need expensive candles, as grocery stores now carry affordable options in all kinds of scents. Something like fresh balsam is a perfect pick for the holidays, along with apple cider or a spicy cinnamon.
• Find a Pandora or Spotify station (and sign up for the free subscription) that plays Christmas songs and play it quietly in the background. Even when it’s not blasting, it will keep a level of Christmas magic in the home that’ll leave you feeling festive and cozy.
• If you don’t have a fireplace, there are inexpensive DVDs you can buy that play a continuous loop of a crackling fire on your TV. Or find an online site that plays this and crank your computer to mimic it. It’s not the same as an actual fire, but the sound of a fireplace in the background makes you feel cozy, and even the image of a fireplace playing on the TV brings a special ambiance to enhance the Christmas spirit of your home.
Christmas is such a special time of year that you want to make the most of it. And as you can see, creating magic doesn’t have to break the bank! Get creative, search for sales and discounts on decoration, put in a little bit of work, look for gently used items, and watch your home transform into a Christmas wonderland that brings cheer and warmth, all for less than you spend on groceries.