It’s the most wonderful time of the year; the holidays (particularly Christmas). To me, the holidays officially begin the first day of September. My birthday is September 30, so the entire month is a holiday to me. Add to that the fact that college football begins at the beginning of the month (Go Gators!) and fall starts this month, and it’s like Heaven on earth to me. Four months of glorious holiday feelings and happiness and atmosphere and I’m one happy woman. But, nothing comes close to comparing to how we feel during the actual holiday season when Christmas approaches.
Decorating the tree, checking out the Christmas lights with the kids, wrapping gifts and staying up entirely too late putting together Santa’s gifts so we can see our kids’ squeal with delight Christmas morning; it’s the best. It’s a season filled with love and family and friends and this wonderful mood that seems to strike and never go away. There are Christmas parties and gatherings, and fun to be had everywhere you go. We love the holidays, and for such a good reason.
Unfortunately, Christmas is expensive and can seriously cut into your budgeting. On top of buying a huge tree, presents, food and all the other things that are required this time of year, we’re left with a constant need to purchase new decorations, too. But that is expensive. Last year we were in our new house for only a month before it was time to get a Christmas tree. We went from having 9-foot ceilings to placing our tree in a room with 24-foot ceilings and I went tree crazy. I wanted the biggest tree we could find – and we came home with a 15-foot Christmas tree that made me cry tears of joy. It was beautiful. And since we are Floridians who don’t have snow or cold or anything even remotely Christmasy around here, this was my one thing.
That’s when it occurred to me we don’t have enough decorations for this tree. I was forced to go out and spend entirely too much money on décor, and it was seriously annoying. I wish I would have known the Christmas before so I could have picked that stuff up on sale after the holidays were over. Oh well; that just made me wonder if there was a more budget-friendly way to decorate for the holidays, and that’s what prompted me to look into decorating on the cheap so that I could share that with you. Good luck, and Merry Almost Christmas in three months.
Start with a budget
Do not do anything until you start with a budget. You cannot just decide that you want to save money on Christmas decorations and then go crazy shopping because you find all kinds of cheap and inexpensive stuff with which to decorate. In fact, you should set a budget. What are you comfortable spending? What is your budget for décor? Say you have $500 to spend on Christmas décor. Get it in cash and spend nothing outside of that. You can either go crazy buying small décor or splurge on something you really want that’s a bit pricier. It’s your choice, but you should use it wisely.
Buy your Christmas decorations after the holidays
The cheapest and easiest way to buy Christmas decorations on the cheap is to wait until the day after Christmas when everything is on sale. Perhaps you don’t want to wait, but you can keep this in mind for certain things if you really don’t want to pay the price. I love to use this method on big items, such as yard décor and really beautiful expensive wreaths so that I can save a bundle and kind of have my own Christmas when I open my décor boxes the following holiday season.
Make your own décor
With the popularity of Pinterest, I don’t even want to hear one person say that they cannot make their own Christmas décor. Do not say you don’t have any Christmas ornament or décor making experience or know-how. You do; you just need a little inspiration. That’s where the internet comes in handy. Log on to Pinterest and start looking. You might be surprised what you can find there that will help you decorate your home for the holidays as well as make this time of year more exciting.
Get the kids involved
There is nothing I love more than homemade decorations courtesy of my kids. With so many amazing ideas online, it’s difficult not to find a way to decorate without an issue, and it’s impossible to stop at just one amazing little project. Let the kids get as creative as possible using this manner, and you will find that your holiday decorations are the best that you’ve ever seen. There is no getting around the fact that kids come up with the cutest ideas.
Go to Yard Sales
My friend’s mother swears by this. She loves to go to yard sales around the time Christmas approaches because she feels that many people are looking to save their pennies, make some money and get rid of their clutter before a bunch of new stuff is brought in. She finds that she can score a ton of great yard décor and things of that nature by doing this, and she’s sure she can always find what it is she is looking for. Bring some cash, talk people down and leave with what you really want. Do yourself a favor first, though, and make sure that everything you are buying works. Ask to use an outlet just so that you can make sure.
And on that note, try some thrift stores and consignment shops, too. You never know when someone decides to clean out the attic or the storage closet what they might decide to get rid of, and it never hurts to look. You can score some major Christmas décor in a place like this and spend next to nothing doing it. And that’s what makes it all worth it in the end.
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