Blessed By A Frugal Christmas

CIMG9329This year is going to be a frugal Christmas for us.  Having wedding items to pay for and creating a new budget for the two of us so close to Christmas has forced us to really cut back and consider every purchase we make this holiday season.  The discipline and excuse to really cut back is a good thing but missing out on the joy of shopping during this season is a little saddening.  As I have put together our decorations and planned our holiday gifts, I came up with some frugal tips for those of you out there looking to cut back a little as well. 

Be sure to scroll all the way down as I have a gift for one of my lucky readers. :)CIMG9437Furnish Your Tree with Creativity: Looking for new holiday ornaments?  How about something you already have around the house.  Think framed pictures of loved ones or create a theme.  Use kitchen utensils for a tree in the kitchen and toys or school supplies for the tree in the kids’ rooms.  Or do all of one color.  Creating a theme will make the tree stand out and draw your eye.

Borrow CD’s from the Library: You only listen to that Christmas music for a month (Well, at least those of us normal ones out there.  I know some of you are crazies.) so instead of stocking up on music via CD or iTunes, borrow instead.  Your local library should have CD’s available to check out.  Go early as they may get checked out (by certain people like me who check them ALL out…library hogger!).  CIMG9372 Make Paper Decorations: Use what you have around the house to make new items on the cheap.  Frame some holiday paper and add an ornament, have the kids (or you!) cut out paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling or in the window, and a simple paper banner can showcase a holiday saying in just minutes.

DVR Holiday Specials: I always seem to want to buy Home Alone during Christmas, yet couldn’t give a hoot any other time of the year.  I do not own Home Alone but I am sure it will be on TV at least five times this month.  Record holiday shows on TV instead of renting or buying DVD’s to save some money.  You can go online to check your local TV listings and plan ahead.  We already have 5 holiday specials ready to record this week!  Then you have them available for when the family wants to sit down and watch something together. CIMG9427Shop Thrift, Dollar Stores, and After Holiday Sales: Many of my decorations have came from these places…you just have to be on the look out for stuff with potential and weed out some of the junk.  I stocked up on tinsel trees from the Dollar Tree last year and they add so much to my decor.  They add shimmer to the room without a lot of fuss.

Use Ribbon to Tie Things Together: I don’t mean just gifts here.  Use ribbon to create a common color theme that ties all your decorations together.  Add ribbons to your wreaths, trees, serving plates, children…whatever you have out.  You will be amazed how a little ribbon can transform a space and update old items. CIMG9335 When Buying Holiday Items, Consider All Year Around: I especially apply this to candles and air fresheners.  I am often tempted by those holiday scents but then find myself only having peppermint and pine to use when July comes rolling around.  I try to stick to vanilla and sugar cookie scent because they smell the same (you also don’t want conflicting scents if you have all the candles going in the house).  These scents often go on sale during and after the holidays so I stock up for all year.  They are festive enough for Christmas but safe enough to use all year around.  I also stick to only purchasing white or cream colored candles.  They match everything and I can change their look with some ribbon or a different candle holder.  Think long term investment on reusable holiday items instead of temporary shopping excitement.  I know, it’s hard.

Holiday Dishes: The above mentioned also applies to dishware.  I used to be a dish fanatic wanting every color and shape to match every holiday or mood I was in.  And that’s how I ended up with a whole bunch of mismatched dinnerware.  So when we got married I forced myself to stick to white.  It is timeless and matches everything.  When holiday’s come around I get excited and want to buy Santa platters and Easter Bunny appetizer dishes.  Having a couple items are fun but to save money and have less clutter it is best to have one set of year around plates and platters that go with any theme. CIMG9357 Use a Table Cloth for a Tree Skirt: No need for a tree skirt, just drape a table cloth or some fabric around your tree to cover up its little legs.  Much cheaper and way easier to match your decor.

Use What You Have and Be Content: Try to not get so hung up on everything being perfect or wanting more.  It is a great challenge but blessing to be content with what you have.  Plus, just the warmth of making the effort to make your home festive is the thing that really matters.  Whenever I enter a home decorated for Christmas, no matter the style or decorating ability, it makes me feel warm and welcome.  A home decorated with love is a beautiful home and that is all we need!

And so to add a little holiday warmth to your home, and a chance for me to spread some holiday cheer, I am giving away a copy of this Gooseberry Patch Christmas book!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your suggestion of a frugal Christmas tip and you will be entered into the giveaway.  Good luck and happy frugal fluffing!  I will name the winner in a few days…