With the current economic uncertainty a lot of people will be staying home for the Christmas holiday this year instead of traveling to visit relatives or get together with extended family and rent a vacation home for the holidays.
Many of us will be ‘nesting’ this holiday season and that means a greater focus on seasonal decoration and getting your home ready for holiday entertaining on the cheap, so we’ve put together a few ideas on how to decorate for the holidays without spending a fortune this year on your Christmas décor.
Creating Family Holiday Traditions
If you want to save money this holiday season, start by creating family traditions that shift the Christmas focus away from material goods and gifts. If you really think about it, which Christmas decorations and gifts stand out most in your memory? Is it the most expensive ones or the ones that started long-standing family holiday events and activities?
Adding a special Christmas angel as a tree topper, some special Christmas bells to adorn the fireplace mantel and letting the kids ring the bell each night at dinnertime or making your own special Christmas greeting cards can create new family traditions you’ll cherish for years to come without racking up huge credit card charges.While the kids may not be getting all the fun stuff they put on their Santa wish list this year, you can make the holidays more fun than ever by starting some new traditions or reviving ones from your own childhood.
One of my favorites as a child was always marking the days until Christmas on the Advent calendar and another was our annual outing to cut the tree, which always involved having lunch together at a certain family restaurant and visiting the same tree farm where we knew the owners, who always had some special events such as riding the tractor around the farm and milking the cow. For a suburban kid, these farm activities certainly created vivid lifelong memories.Another family Christmas tradition you might like to start this year is Collecting Christmas Ornaments & Vintage Decorations.
Old-Fashioned Rustic Christmas Theme
One way to keep the cost down this Christmas is to return to the simpler times of old, when families traditionally trimmed the Christmas tree with homemade ornaments. When people had little they relied on their own handcrafted stitchery, baking and woodworking skills to adorn their homes for the winter holidays.
String popcorn and cranberries to make homemade garland, bake cookies and hang them on the tree as edible ornaments and use candlestick tree lights to give your Christmas tree a truly old-fashioned, rustic look. We always made our own ornaments from clay and painted them ourselves when I was a kid; while they may not have been as pretty as Radkos, we were always proud to point out the ones we had created to friends and guests.
Look in dollar stores for inexpensive rustic tree ornaments or rummage through your old boxes of Christmas decorations for ornaments your parents or grandparents may have handed down. Your home will feel comfortable and a little “retro” for the holidays with the old-fashioned decorating approach. This may be just what the doctor ordered during this period when comfort is what we most seek to give some holiday respite from the day-to-day news of financial crisis and hard times.
Many people have stopped using these family-heritage Christmas decorations because they don’t always blend well with the “designer” trees of more recent times, but the old-fashioned Christmas décor should be eclectic, adorning your home with homemade ornaments and sentimental family hand-me-downs in favor of expensive, ornate store-bought decorations.
If you want to give your home a country Christmas feel you’ll want to read Have Yourself a Charming Country Christmas for great ideas and examples of home crafts and decorations for the country style décor.
Modern Holiday Home Theme
If you’re like me, you may prefer the understated holiday decorating approach where less is more. You can give your home a festive look while keeping with the contemporary style so many of us favor when it comes to home décor these days.
The key to modern home holiday decorating is keep things simple and subtle. A good starting place is to forego the traditional natural Christmas tree and buy an artificial tree instead. For more ideas see our story Finding the Perfect Christmas Tree.
Your holiday decorating colors should complement the color scheme of your home interior; if you have a neutral wall color you’ll have a lot of freedom in choosing colors for your holiday decorations but if you have painted the walls with some brighter color scheme, you’ll want to use holiday decorations that accent that scheme and do not clash or compete with the room décor.
Holiday lighting can really warm the modern home interior. White lights are always a great choice for the more contemporary look, but you can also go with all red, blue or green lights on the Christmas tree to add some color.
Putting out Christmas photos from Christmases past can give the modern Christmas theme a cozier look; you can buy inexpensive photo frame ornaments and hang pictures of family members on the tree or create a family Christmas album to put out on the coffee table. This is also a great way to spark conversation and story telling when you entertain during the holidays.
You can always use a few boughs clipped from the Christmas tree to create a holiday tablescape or decorate the fireplace mantel. The scent of fresh pine needles is sure to set the holiday mood. Add some pinecones, winterberries, ribbon and a candle votive to create a simple holiday arrangement. And of course, a fresh wreath on the front door will welcome your guests into your home for holiday events.
However you decide to decorate your home this holiday season, make it your own and have fun with the project, getting everyone involved. Trimming the tree and putting out the Christmas decorations should be fun for the whole family. Have a very happy Christmas!