Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of the year. I love the music (I'm sorely missing good church music and singing in a choir this winter), the decor, the get-togethers, the excitement of picking out the "perfect" present for your loved ones, and celebrating Jesus' birth.
The problem is, decorating and all that stuff gets expensive, and I'm guilty of wanting things to look adorably perfect.
My number one tips for decorating for Christmas on a budget:
- Buy things on sale after Christmas when it's all discounted.
- This is easiest if you keep a steady theme over the years instead of thinking you need to redo everything year after year.
- Make what you can
- But remember that sometimes buying all the parts to make something can be more expensive than buying it.
- Always use coupons. Michael's? Absolutely subscribe to it!
- Find out if any friends are tired of their previous decor and are willing to give it to you or sell it for cheap.
- Plan your decor before you do any shopping, or make sure that you can return things you buy if they don't work well together.
For the beginning of December, I put out this green tablecloth from Ten Thousand Villages since it's not overtly Christmasy, but it is green.
I set up this little vignette on the piano. The fake poinsettia and the pot are from IKEA, the red candle is from Dollarama, and the little statuette is a gift from Sweden.
Christmas lights always make things feel festive. Except that I have mine up year-round, because at night we like to cuddle on the couch in the romantic lighting. #newlyweds
For many years my youth choir performed at the Sankta Lucia celebration in Ottawa. We would sing Swedish Christmas carols, wear white robes, and hold candles in our hands. It was always a magical night. My Dad has been on a couple business trips to Sweden, so one year he brought back a little Sankta Lucia for me. She's adorable.
Earlier this week I posted about our Christmas tree. Despite fake trees not smelling right, not looking right, etc., you can buy them on sale, and save them for the next year. (Last year when Mom and I bought our large, real tree, it was at least $80. This tree was $25.) When decorating your tree, go for slowly collecting items that you can use for years and won't go out of style. Mom gave me the gold balls, which will probably be in our scheme for a while.
I may wish I had tons of vintage balls and other vintage ornaments, but for now, with our limited budget, that's not feasible. Maybe once we're both out of school? (Hah, that'll never happen lol.)
Cheap tree skirt? Put a pretty scarf down. This one isn't warm enough for the winter, so it was great covering up the plastic base.
Easiest wreath ever: grab a wreath on sale and add a fake bird. (Anyone remember Portland, "Put a bird on it!")
Every year I make my advent calendar using this little tree. I bought a set of 24 pearly bulbs, and have been putting them up one day at a time.