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Category:  Christmas

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Frugal Christmas Decorating

By Nikki Willhite

We like our homes to look festive at Christmas, yet it can be costly to decorate them. It can also be hard to compete with the three foot moving carolers or the full-size reindeers and giant Santas.  Sometimes I wonder where people store these things the rest of the year.

We have to be creative to keep costs down and within our budgets. As I look at the ornately decorated homes on television this year, what strikes me is how every square foot of their homes seems to be decorated in some way.
This is not necessary. We do not need to be that ornate. A few well-chosen decorations will set the mood. We do not need this overly ornate and lavish type of display in our homes to set the Christmas mood. Personally, I like to contain the decorations to a few rooms or I tire of them very quickly.
 Here are some ideas for decorating your home. Some will be more economical than others. One or two of them, strategically placed in your home, is all you need.
*Use the resources you have. Colorful, fun displays can be made of groupings of dolls, teddy bears, trains, wagons, and other toys or stuffed animals. If you have larger stuffed animals, decorate them in scarves, hats and other winter clothing. To make them look cute and festive, add human touches.
A teddy bear could be holding a piece of food or a Christmas book. You could even wrap a small box like a present and let him hold that. The more human and festive he looks, the cuter it will be. I like to put at least one good size doll and teddy bear under the tree. If you have them, little red wagons, and train sets look wonderful under the tree.
*If you have a good window for this, hang a dozen or so small toys in the window- each on it's own string (yarn, floss, thread, etc.)
*Spray on window snow doesn't cost much and is a nice touch. Take the time to plan a design. Cut out stencils before you spray. As an alternative, cut snowflakes out of white paper and put them on your windows.
*Stockings always look good, no matter how simple. Try and display them prominently.
*Wreaths exude warmth. I've made them through the years in everything from just yarn to flowers. Look for inexpensive wreaths at Goodwill type stores. You can add your own touches to them to make them look better.
*Use pinecones around your displays. Leave them plain, or spray the ends white or glue cotton on them.
*When you make a display, remember to vary the height to make it interesting. Candles give height and always look good. Use ribbon to add texture and interest. It is better to have one nice display than several which look sparse
One idea to add drama at night to a display is to use lights. Cut out a Christmas shape or use a picture, and then light it from behind. You can do this indoors in a dark corner, or on a larger scale outside. Cut a Christmas shape out of plywood, and then light it from behind.
*Make good use of any resources outside your home. If you live in an area with evergreen trees, bring some of the greenery inside.
*Use your saved Christmas cards! There are so many things you can do with them. Here are some ideas:
Display them standing up Display them hanging from strings Display under glass on tables Cut out pieces and place on bulletin boards Cut out pieces, attach a magnet, and put on your refrigerator Make a collage.
(Also, remember you can make presents tags, postcards, and tree ornaments out of Christmas Cards).
*If you leave your computer on, and it is in one of the main living areas, download one of the many free screen savers with a Christmas theme.
*If you want to use lights, remember you don't have to light up your whole house. Again, one small area that is very nicely done is better than trying to do the whole house and having it look sparse.
One idea is to take a piece of wire (if you don't have any wire you may be able to use a hanger), and bend it to a Christmas shape, like a tree, star, or bell. Then run your lights along the shape of the wire. Hang this on the wall next to the entrance of your home. It's a big effect for a small expense.
*Red and Green accents around your home help set the mood. If you have fabric in these colors, drape it over tables or as part of your displays. You can also use colored paper. If you have a piano, cut a sheet a little larger than your music, and set it behind an open piece of sheet music on your piano. Use it on bulletin boards and for bookmarks in the reading pieces you have lying around.
*Remember to set the mood with music. If you have a wreath on the door, attach a bell. That really adds to the holiday mood. You could also make up some tingling bells and hang them from the doorknob.
*Poinsettias are lovely. I don't buy them, but often find that people give them to me. I do have a silk one that I bought many years ago. I take it out each year, and it looks as good as new.
*And finally, remember the importance of building traditions for your family. You can do this with your decorations also, whether it's for tree ornaments or house decorations. One tradition we have is to buy a new candle each year shaped in a fun Christmas theme- like a snowman or reindeer. It's fun to watch your collection grow, and then keep an eye out to add to it each year.


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Category:  Christmas

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |

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