27 Nov

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on November 27, 2010

Decorating for Christmas is a really fun part of the holiday season. Bringing out those old decorations from years past stirs up the nostalgia that makes Christmas such a special occasion. Gathering together with others to decorate kicks off the seasonal joy of spending time with friends and family. Turning your home into a lit-up, sparkly jewellery box with a great tree as the jewel creates the magic of the holiday season. Plus there’s always the fun of showing off your holiday decorating skills to others.

That’s all the good news. The bad news is that you can spend a lot of money on decorating your home for Christmas if you aren’t careful. The following twenty tips can help reduce what you spend on Christmas decorations this year:

1. Re-use decorations from previous years. Most of us have saved our decorations from years past. In fact, many of us have heirloom decorations that we’ve passed down from year to year. Make these items the center of your decorating this year. You already have them so they don’t cost anything at all.

2. Go retro with handmade decorations. There were a lot of great decorations made for Christmas in the olden days. The classic example is strings of popcorn. Making these brings back the magic of historic Christmas celebrations. It is also a frugal and fun holiday craft.

3. Use simple white candles in the dining area. This is a cheap and beautiful way to decorate the dining area when entertaining for the holidays. Skip all of the extra centerpieces and decorations.

4. Create a holiday card display. If a lot of people send you Christmas cards then take advantage of these little gifts to decorate your home. A holiday card display is colorful, sparkly and doesn’t cost you anything at all.

5. Make a Christmas wish display. Hang some pretty Christmas paper up on the wall in your home. Make cutout stars from construction paper. When people come to your home, ask them to write a Christmas wish on a star and hang it on the paper. This is not only a cheap way to decorate your home but will also surprise you with lots of smiles and great wishes.

6. Keep your lights limited in number. Many people spend a fortune on Christmas lights. Unless you have one of those homes that is designed to impress all of the passersby with its terrific display you should minimize the number of lights you use. This reduces the amount you spend on the lights themselves as well as the amount you spend on energy bills for holiday lighting.

7. Use LED lights. The lights that you do get should be energy efficient LED lights. This will reduce the cost of energy bills plus these are generally durable lights that you’ll be able to use again for many Christmases to come.

8. Let the kids provide much of the decorations. Holiday crafts and colorful children’s artwork make terrific additions to your holiday display. They don’t cost much and kids are usually proud to see their work decorating the home.

9. Buy used decorations. If you need to purchase additional decorations for your home this year then shop used. Second hand stores and the rare winter yard sale are great places to find decorations. Get creative; don’t look only for true decorations but also for items (such as stuffed animals and vases) that can be enhanced with ribbons to make them Christmassy.

10. Shop with promotional codes. If you do want to buy new holiday decorations this year then make sure that you look for promotional codes to lower the price!

11. Turn to nature for free decorations. For example, go out and collect gorgeous pinecones for a great display in the home.

12. Create displays of “gifts” as decorations for the home. All that you need to do is gather together a series of empty boxes (cereal boxes, for example) and wrap them up in leftover wrapping paper. These displays are a great addition for a holiday party.

13. Choose strings of lights with replaceable bulbs. You want to get lights that won’t be useless if one bulb blows out. Make sure that bulbs are replaceable individually to avoid this problem.

14. Put yourself on a budget. If you tend to go overboard when buying holiday decorations then plan ahead by creating a decorating budget. Make sure that you stick to it or it won’t be effective!

15. Do a decoration swap. If you’re tired of the decorations that you have but don’t want to spend money on new decorations then the best way to go is to do a decoration swap. Get together with friends and family and exchange decorations to get something new for no cost.

16. Make your own gorgeous Christmas candle decorations this year. We’ve recommended this one before but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s a great frugal decoration idea:

Drop a tea light candle in a cleaned out glass mayonnaise or jam jar. Tie a red or gold ribbon around the neck and you have a nice Christmas decoration. You can go further by nestling the candle in sand, nuts, or Christmas candy.

As a side note, these not only make great Christmas decorations but are also a terrific frugal gift to give to others this holiday season.

17. Decorate with candy. This is a great inexpensive way to decorate the home for Christmas. Candy canes can be hung almost anywhere. Other Christmas candy can be placed in pretty bowls throughout the home.

18.Limit your lighting waste. First of all, make sure that your Christmas lights are on a timer so that they aren’t on all night long and also aren’t on during the daytime hours. Second, when the Christmas lights are on inside the home, reduce the number of other lights that are on in your home accordingly. This will save you a little bit on your energy bills this holiday season.

19. After Christmas, sell off some of your decorations. As you are putting the holiday decorations away, ask yourself if there are any items that you’re done with even though they are still in good condition. You can sell these to recoup some of the money you spend on decorating this year. Note that you may want to set them aside and re-sell them next fall when people will once again be looking to spend money on new decorations.

20. Buy decorations after Christmas to get ready for next year. Items will go on sale immediately after Christmas. Don’t go overboard but choose wisely so that you’re ready for frugal decorating for next year’s Christmas season.

Have you see our 150 surefire ways to save money this Christmas?

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One Comment

  1. 1

    Kevin Doherty
    January 3rd, 2011

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