Holidays on a budget: A lot with a little


The bells are ringing, signaling the start of another holiday season, and the itch to decorate is setting in. You could buy all new decorations, but what’s the point with all of the stuff in your attic. Wouldn’t you rather cut some corners with the decorations and put whatever you save toward your gift budget? You can do a lot with a little. Here’s how.

Use what you have

Pull out the boxes of decorations from your attic, unpack them, spread everything out on the floor and select a theme from what’s there. See a lot of vintage decorations? How about a retro theme? See a lot red and gold? How about a red and gold theme? See a lot of reindeer? How about a reindeer theme? Once you have a theme in mind, you can set aside the items that will bring it to life.

Remember less is more

When it comes to holiday décor, less can be more. To save on costs, restrict your decorating to the rooms you use the most. Think about all of the areas guests would frequent if you were to have a party and focus your efforts there. Go sparingly in the kitchen and bathrooms to avoid interfering with the business that takes place there. You don’t want to have maneuver around a lot of garland to whip up a batch of cookies or brush your teeth.

Shop at home

Look to carry out the theme in the rooms of your choice with the items you have on hand. Use what you set aside earlier and supplement it with items you find around the house. If you are going for a rustic theme, for example, grab some pinecones from your yard, spray paint them gold and stack a few of them with some ornaments in a bowl on the fireplace mantel. Attach some ribbon to whatever pinecones are left and hang them on your tree. Remove your plaid throw from the back of the sofa, wrap it around the base of your Christmas tree, and voila, your theme is all set.

Get crafty

You may discover you still need something in spite of all of the reusing and repurposing. Before you go out and buy it, try making it first. Need a new wreath? String some ornaments together and add a bow and hanger. Need some new stockings? Make some from scraps of fabric and felt. Need some new garland? Try strands of ribbon or strings of popcorn and cranberries.

Look for bargains

Occasionally you may have to buy something new. Shop around for the best deals. Check out consignment shops and flea markets. Look for sales and coupons. Take advantage of whatever offers are available to keep costs low.

Follow these cost-cutting strategies, and you’re sure to save a bundle on your holiday decorating, perhaps even enough for a gift for you. Wouldn’t that be nice?