This Christmas, simplicity is key. With the economy just beginning to recover, and many families still feeling the pinch, saving money on Christmas decorations is essential. Time is another valuable commodity this Christmas season, and saving even just a little is every mother’s goal when the holiday season rolls around.
So, how can you save time and money while decorating your home for Christmas? Is it even possible? Of course it is! You need to plan ahead, budget your money and time and stick with the first two steps at all times. Simple!
1. Pick a particular Christmas decorating theme to save time while shopping and coordinating items. If you know exactly what type of Christmas decorations you are looking for, you’ll save time wandering aimlessly among the aisles. Decide if you’d like a snowman, Santa, reindeer or other specific Christmas icon as your main theme, and look for items that will work well together. Select two main colors and one accent as a general guideline, as well, though you can be more flexible on color without sacrificing time.
2. When preparing to decorate your home for Christmas, hit the discount stores first. Big Lots, Walmart and your local dollar stores can be wonderful resources around the holidays. Shop stores famous for saving you money, stay in line with your theme and you won’t overspend! Remember, do not enter a store without a list. Your lists and pre-determinations should help you avoid impulse purchases, though the discount store setting will lessen the blow to your budget should you stray. Spending less on Christmas decorations for your home means you’ll have more money to spend on the really fun stuff: the gifts for your loved ones!
3. Really stretch your Christmas dollar this year by making some of your own decorations! You could make your own wreath for the front door, design a festive Christmas table-scape, string popcorn garland for the tree, personalize your Christmas stockings and have your kids make paper cut-out ornaments and wall-hangings. Craft stores even sell kits to help you create your own Christmas wreaths, ornaments and other holiday decor.
4. Use inexpensive Christmas lights to decorate your home for the holidays. You can pick up strings of Christmas lights almost anywhere, from Home Depot to Walmart to the grocery store. Christmas lights are a versatile, multi-purpose decoration you can use all throughout your home. Use some lights to decorate the exterior of your home, and to frame the inside or outside of windows. Use more strings of lights to decorate the inside of your home, around doorways and along the ceiling, and of course, on your Christmas tree.
5. To achieve a truly festive Christmas spirit in your home, make sure to decorate for all the senses! After you decorate for the eyes with glimmering Christmas lights, Christmas stockings and table-top knick knacks, move right on to the nose! Our brains are significantly impacted by our sense of smell, so fill your home with traditional Christmas scents by using candles, flame-less candles, oil burners, plug-in air fresheners and potpourri.
For the sense of touch, have soft, warm fleece throw blankets on the couch to snuggle up with during Christmas Eve cocoa, or for guests to wrap up in when staying the night. Shop Kohl’s or Target to find fleece blankets with printed holiday scenes for between $10-20 each.
For the sense of hearing, keep a Christmas CD in the player during the holidays, so you can be ready to host a last-minute gift exchange or drop-by guests with the touch of a button. Taste is easy to cover; simply bake a batch of Christmas cookies to keep on hand for guests, and store in a decorative Christmas jar ($5-10 at Target) on the counter or on your Christmas card table.
That’s it! Five easy, inexpensive ways to fill your home with Christmas cheer this holiday season. Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to decorate for Christmas. You can dress up your home on a budget, and bolster the economy with your gift purchases, instead!