How to decorate for Christmas on a budget
Decorating for Christmas is a very popular thing to do. People go crazy decorating each year putting up outdoor lights, big blow up creations, Christmas trees in every room, etc. Many people I know spend a lot of money each year on decorations that will be used for only a few weeks. Decorating for Christmas is pretty easy to do on a budget though, especially if you have decorated in the past.
The first thing that you should do is use what you have. Please do not through away your decorations from year to year and purchase new ones come December. Enjoy the items you have for the short decorating period each year. Using these items each year (at least many of them) will create traditions for your family that will be remembered for a long time.
If you don't currently have decorations, let's think about ways to use items you already have on hand. A large red, green, or gold piece of cloth will make a great table covering. Top with some colored candles and you have decorations. Do you have large red ribbon? Create big bows for the front porch or stairways. Do you have kids? Let them create some decorations out of construction paper, you will be surprised at what they come up with and they will be so proud of what they have made and contributed to the house.
If you have evergreen trees, consider cutting some branches off to arrange on your mantle or around your front door. Sprigs of red berries would look great in this free, natural and great smelling arrangement. If you don't have any trees on your property, check you local hardware store or even grocery store. Places that sell Christmas trees typically trim the lower branches off before selling, or at the time of selling. Many places will let people have these for free, as they are just going to be thrown away.
I prefer the simple decorations that don't light up, especially for the outside of the house. I don't typically drive by my house at night; however I do during the day. If you are decorating on a budget you should definitely take into consideration the increase in electric bills for the months of December and frequently November and January, as a large bill could certainly blow your budget in other areas besides decorating. Decorations that will look nice all day and that I can enjoy work well. Natural garland with bows takes care of this.
If you want to add some new items to your decorations this year, try to wait until after Christmas. I know it is hard, but the prices are drastically cut the day after a holiday, and this is the best time to buy for the next year. Last year I hit Target a few days after Christmas and was able to purchase large bells and ornaments, along with wide ribbon. I will hang these from my front porch and enjoy them all month - for 75% off the retail prices last year. I have something new to look forward to in the decorating this year. It is the same feeling that I would have had I gone and purchased new decorations last week, however at a fraction of the cost.
Something as simple as switching out your white candles for red ones and tying a green ribbon around the candle will brighten up your place and provide a festive atmosphere. Consider wrapping up some large empty boxes and placing on the front porch for decoration. You could wrap up some small boxes to place on the piano or end table. Of course bright bows will make it look more festive. Try stacking different sizes of boxes, all wrapped in various holiday paper and tied together with one large ribbon. This would look very nice on a table.
Using what you have, purchasing new items on after Christmas clearance sales, and using natural items from the outdoors are all easy and fun ways to decorate on a budget. So save money and make this holiday season great!