Over the years, decorating our house for Christmas was one of my family's favorite things. I have countless memories of spending time with my Mom and brother creating new items for our collection of homemade decorations, hanging all the lights, decorating the tree and going all out to celebrate the holidays. These are memories that I will always treasure.
Because these memories were so strong, after my Mom passed away, it was very painful to decorate the house without her. Even though we tried the first year, I have to admit that after that, we took a break and stopped carrying on the tradition for a few years.
However, thanks to the healing power of the Holy Spirit, last year things changed. As our enormity of our grief began to fade and the memories once again became warm and wonderful instead of painful, the Holy Spirit began challenging me to that it was time to start decorating our house for Christmas again. Not only that, but He also started moving on my heart to invite people over the our house for a Christmas party. (Trust me, this was a HUGE step forward.)
As exciting as this challenge was, we had a problem: We only had a scant amount of Christmas decorations left in the house and we only had a very small budget for decorating. It was time to get creative!!!
In this article I'd like to share a few of the very inexpensive creative ways that we turned our house into a very festie Christmas Wonderland without breaking the bank. We'll call it "Decorating on a Budget". If you're looking for a few new ways to inexpensively and creatively expand your decorating this year, we've got some tips for you.
#1 Wrap It Up
This is a tip that I learned from my friend who used it at her house a year earlier. It's very simple: Purchase inexpensive Christmas wrapping paper and cover all of the existing pictures in your house to make them look like presents. Add a big bow and maybe a creative nametag and you've just turned your regular wall art into Christmas Wall Art.
My brother and I wrapped all of the pictures in our livingroom, diningroom, kitchen and laundry room in less than an hour. By purchasing our wrapping at the Dollar Store, we spent less than $4 on the project.
Of course, then we went a little crazy and wrapped all of the lamps, too, just for fun. Still, it was festive!!
I love poinsettias---and when it comes to this flower, a little color goes a long way. The great thing about poinsettias is that if you check the store flyers you can find them REALLY CHEAP. Last year I went to Walmart and paid less than $3 each for large pointsettias which I then placed all around my house to add color the the festivities. If you pay attention to sales circulars, you might even be able to get them for less.
#3 Find a new use for old ornaments
Like I said, we didn't have alot of old ornaments left, but we did have a few big, beautiful, Christmas balls. Even though they weren't enough to fill a tree, we attached some Christmas ribbon and hung them at varying lengths across our front window. Spending absolutely nothing, we created a decoration that could be enjoyed from both inside and OUTSIDE of the house.
Another way we reused old ornaments was by taking figurines that we would normally have put on a tree (again there weren't many) and set them on a table to create a little display. We added a little Christmas tree (which we purchased at the grocery store for less than $5) and had a beautiful edition to our Christmas decorations. For us, it was a great way to combine the memories of the past with the new decorations in the future.
#4 Keep everything RED!!!
If you have a flower or decoration that is RED but not necessary Christmas, keep it out and add it to the mix. After all, the more the merrier!!
#5 Take advantage of candles
Most of us have candles hidden somewhere around our house (just in case the power goes off). Christmas time is the perfect time to get those candles out of hidding and use them as decorations. Sure it's old-fashioned, but aren't most Christmas things? Again, you're spending no money but you're creating ambiance.
Another great "candle" idea is to make these cute decorations that my friend gave me a few Christmas' ago. All she did was take a small mason jar, put a red candle inside, and glue a few springs of artificial greenery to the outside of the jar. Not too difficult, but it made a beautiful table decoration last year!
#6 Use it ALL
Go through your old ornaments and see what you've got--then use it! When I did this and found some bows that I'd purchased for a class I taught years before, they became door decorations. Have an old wreath---Hang it!!! Remeber: A candy dish filled with Christmas colored candy is a decoration so USE IT ALL!! Look around your house and see what's there, then use it to make the most of what you've got!
#7 Christmas Cards
Although we don't have any pictures, whenever we would receive a Christmas card last year we'd hang it up to add to the decorations. By the end of the season, our door was filled with reminders of all the people God had placed in our lives. What a great way to count your blessings!!
#8 Treat Yourself to Something New & Make Your Decorations Your Own
I have to admit that even among my many money saving ideas, there was a day when I packed up all my coupons and went to the store to purchase a few NEW items to add to our display. Even though we didn't get alot, we did get a few decorations that said "Adessa & Jamie"---symbolizing our new start of celebrating Christmas.
This is something that we learned from our Mom---it's important to keep Christmas fresh. If every year is just a repeat of the same old nostalgic ornaments, you spent Christmas wishing for days gone by. However, if you splurge (just a little) and add something new every year, your Christmas decorations will eventually tell a story of the many stages of growth in your life and your family. So last year, we bought a few funky Christmas trees and some shiny, modern decorations (on sale of course). Who knows what we'll do this year? I haven't thought of it yet!
However you decide to decorate this year, I hope that you give it all you've got and have a blast doing it! Create lots of memories with the ones you love and make it your own!!!! That's exactly what I intend to do this Thankgiving when my brother and I decorate our house for the season. We'll call it: Decorating Take 2!
Have a Happy Holiday!!!!!