I LOVE Christmas. That’s probably the understatement of the century. When I say I love Christmas, I mean I’m head-over-heels-in-love, can’t-think-of-anything-else-for-all-of-November-and-December, obsessed with Christmas. This being our first Christmas in our own home, I had to find cheap ways to decorate (because who can afford to buy all the fancy decorations in one month?).
Candy canes make a super cheap, festive decoration. I used an apothecary jar that I had, filled it with the small candy canes, and put it on the ledge that is right as you enter the front door. I found the pilot nutcracker (we ARE a C-17 family, after all) and the Noel at Target for a combined $15. The Santa and reindeer was a gift from a childhood friend when I was little.
I found cheap, pretty ornaments at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and filler ones at Big Lots. I also had a bunch of Texas Capitol ornaments that were gifts from my parents over the years, a little reminder of home. The greenery and poinsettia flowers I found at Michael’s. If you wait until right after Thanksgiving, everything goes on uber sale so I got everything I needed for the banister for a mere $7. Another tip: Michael’s sometimes does a military discount on Thursdays.
I love our two quilts (there’s one on the back of the couch on the left). They were gifts from one of my husband’s friends’ moms and my grandparents, who made the one on the left when I was a little girl. Of course, there’s Twas the Night Before Christmas in front of the TV because my dad reads it to us every year.
A slightly altered, but still cheap decoration, are peppermints unwrapped and put in two vases with a candle in each. I switch these out for different things every season (candy corn for fall, sweethearts candies for Valentine’s Day, etc.).
I hosted Christmas dinner for anyone in the squadron who wanted to spend it with our military family. Of course, with a flying squadron, alcohol is a must. I found the bin on the right at Target, along with a Christmas tree skirt on sale at Fred Meyer to put underneath it (so that our wood floors wouldn’t get hurt by the condensation from the ice). Our “bar” was just a long, skinny card table ($30 at Target) and a pretty tablecloth. The best part is, I can put it away when we’re done and open up our breakfast area again, unlike with a buffet or other piece of furniture.
Christmas decor isn’t just limited to your house, either! It can also be for your body! My wonderful husband bought me this for all of my Christmas dinner cooking.
The key to decorating for holidays on a budget, I’ve found, is to find pieces you can use again and again with slight alterations, like my vases/apothecary jars and the “bar” (just switch out tablecloths and you have a completely different theme!). Also, if you can pick a fairly neutral color (I chose red), it’ll work for several different occasions. My tub, for example, will work for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving.
What tips do you have for decorating on a budget?