Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… and our bank balances are looking a bit dire! Christmas may well be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most expensive, and with the cost of everything from present buying to turkeys, and everything in between, the festive season is enough to bring even the most relaxed of people out in a cold sweat! It really can be a financial drain.
Luckily, there are actually many different ways to have Christmas frugal family fun; arranging for a family games night at home rather than booking an expensive party venue, for example, or whipping up some homemade fudge in the kitchen in lieu of costly gifts. But one question still remains: how can we ensure our homes have plenty of festive cheer without racking up the credit card bill? Well, it’s very simple…
Believe it or not, you CAN enjoy a beautifully decorated home, without the price tag. Here’s how:
Make Use of Empty Boxes
Beautifully-wrapped gifts help to build up the excitement of Christmas, especially for young children who can’t wait for Santa to stop by. If you don’t have piles of presents lying around, fake it! Empty boxes, wrapped in festive paper, look just as good as the real thing. Simply balance a few on top of each other to create gift towers, wrap a ribbon around them, et voila! You’ve got yourself some instant decorations.
Use Low-Cost Items
There are certain colours that make us think of Christmas; reds and greens, and golds and silvers, for example. Anything in these colours triggers the brain into thinking of the festive season, so why not make use of low-cost colourful items to decorate your home? Red striped candy canes can quickly be strung to create a festive decoration, while gold bows can be placed in a decorative dish as a centrepiece. Keep your gift budget in-line and create new, lasting ideas.
Get Back to Nature
While you may not wish to spend much time outdoors in the cold, windy, and wet weather, it’s well worth putting your coat and boots on to collect some twigs and leaves, as these can make for fantastic (and practically free!) Christmas decorations. All you need is a bit of glue and a sprinkling of colourful glitter to transform small branches, leaves, and acorns into sparkling, dazzling Christmas decorations.
Reuse & Recycle
Just a few weeks before Christmas comes Halloween, and while both are very different celebrations, that doesn’t mean we can’t reuse old decorations for the festive season. All it takes to transform 3 traditional plastic Halloween pumpkins into a jolly snowman is a pot of white paint and a splash of creativity! With one pumpkin piled one on top of the other, and with buttons drawn on, no one will know the difference!
Value Everyday Objects
Don’t want to pay out for single-use decor that gathers dust for 11 months of the year? No problem! There are many everyday objects that can have dual-use, such as wine glasses. If you don’t want to pay out for Christmas candle holders, for example, simply turn a wine glass upside down and balance a tealight on the base. You could even add some holly to the underside of the glass for extra festive cheer.
Don’t Throw it Out
Kids grow so quickly, and those stunning Christmas jumpers that you bought just last year may be looking a little snug this year. Don’t panic! There’s no need to throw old clothes out. In fact, if you have even a basic knowledge of sewing you could transform old Christmas jumpers into festive cushion covers quickly and easily, which means there’s no need to pay out for costly store-bought options to decorate your sofa.
Think Back to your Childhood
Do you remember your early days at school, when you’d come home with pasta necklaces for Mum? Well, making decorations out of food isn’t just for kids! Whether it’s filling baubles with colourful sweets or painting in-shell peanuts to look like snowmen, dehydrating orange slices or stringing up some glittery macaroni shapes; there are many different ways to use food in your festive decorating. Get creative!
Get the Kids Involved
Christmas is all about family and loved ones, so why not ask the precious little ones who are close to your heart to step in and help out with your festive decorating? While kid-created decorations may not be winning any awards anytime soon, you can rest assured that they’re totally unique, and 100% special. You’d be surprised at what the kids can make with their hands, their feet, and just a little bit of paint!
Lights are a massive part of the festive season, so never underestimate the power of some strategically-placed illuminations. If you’re having trouble getting your house to look as atmospheric as you’d like it to, all you need are some low-cost fairy lights. By stringing lights in your windows, down your stairs, or even along the ceilings, you can bring a festive feel to your home, without the price tag.
Junk Mail? Great Mail!
In the weeks (and sometimes months!) leading up to Christmas, many of us receive ‘junk mail’, aimed at getting us to buy festive decor and other Christmassy goods. While these mailings can be annoying, they can also be pretty useful! Full sized prints and ads are ideal for cutting out and framing as extra wall decor, while Christmas cards from friends and family can also be used to bulk out your decorations.
The festive season is probably always going to challenge us financially, but there’s no reason we need to be spending out on holiday decor when there are so many great, low-cost alternatives. From glittery pasta shapes to pumpkin snowmen, these clever tips show you how it IS possible to take your Christmas home decorating to the next level, even if you’re on a budget!
Thanks to Andrea Boffo for this wonderful post filled with ideas. Andrea is CEO of PlusVoucherCode, a website that provides discount codes to save money on online purchases.
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