Five years ago, my friend Cheryl guest posted on my first blog, and she has since guest posted here on Like Mother Like Daughter as well. With only a small amount of begging, she updated her awesome post on ways that she likes to Deck The Halls of her beautiful home for Like Mother Like Daughter readers.
We hope you enjoy!
The Original Post:
Before I start, I’ll confess this: I’m cheap and proud of it! I absolutely love the finer things of life, but I’m so cheap that I wait for all the beautiful things to go on a big end-of -season sale. I am a teacher and my husband works for a non-profit organization. We do not have the kind of money to keep up with the show homes I see on holiday home tours, so we do our best and are content with it!
Christmas décor expenses should be kept at a minimum. Considering how expensive travel, gifts, and food are during the holidays, the budget shouldn’t be blown before the big day.
Here are a few tips for decking the halls of your home:
Step One: Michael Bublé’s new Christmas album is perfect for inspiring a classy Christmas look. Check out his rendition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. Fabulous!
Step Two: Don’t buy too many new things right now. Wait until it’s on clearance; I have nice things because I bought them at 60-80% off. Most of the ornaments on my tree cost less than $1.00 because I have no problem packing them away for a year right after purchasing them.
Step Three: Look for things around your house that can be converted into decorations. I use our martini glasses as décor rather than purchasing new vases to fill with Christmas bulbs. Instead of buying expensive ‘fillers’, I use ribbon that is left over from gifts from previous years.
Step Four: Don’t underestimate the big box stores like Superstore, Walmart, and Canadian Tire. You can find some beautiful things there for dirt cheap! To ‘class them up’ a bit, buy a few small items like these diamonds from a more upscale decor shop.
Step Five: If you have a husband like mine (which is doubtful), he will care about the decorations in your house too. I had no idea a husband and wife could fight over a color scheme of a Christmas tree. Last year, we purchased a $30.00 tree so that he could have a Toronto Maple Leaf Christmas Tree in the basement.
Step Six: Treat your presents like art. Consider them to be decorations as this will help jazz up your house very cheaply. I didn’t have to spend much time at all making a few re-usable boxes and the best part is I bought all the materials besides the paper at various dollar stores.
Step Seven: Use candy to decorate. Christmas candy is beautifully wrapped, so use it to your advantage. Fill glass vases with it and put it on your kitchen counter or end table. I’m sure you’ve seen Candy Bars at weddings – it’s the same idea.
Step Eight: Use the colors in your house to bring out your Christmas color choices. I do the basement in whites, silvers, and blacks and the upstairs in golds and reds because it matches the walls and furniture. It really makes things pop and appear as if you have decorated more than you really have.
Step Nine: I’m sure you have a few Christmas parties to attend this year, meaning you’ve bought new outfits and accessories. Use scarves, fascinators, or jewelry as decorations rather than having them sit in a jewelry box in your closet. I bought a beautiful fascinator from “Cranberry Rose”. I love it, but it cost more than my dress did (it was only $30, but my dress was $20… Boxing Day… refer to Step Two). So, I pinned it to my lamp to make it a bit more festive.
Step Ten: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty you have created knowing there is nothing to feel guilty about because you didn’t break the bank this year!
Update: Two things that haven’t changed at all since this post five years ago are my love for Michael Buble and my absolute cheapskate mentality. However, trends have evolved since then and my little girl is now the highlight of our holiday.
With kids, Christmas inevitably changes for the better (even if your decorations happen to suffer a bit).
Because of my inability to share or bend in regards to my colour scheme for Christmas, we now have 3 trees. Our little girl has her own to decorate (my husband has had his own for a long time). It is so special to her to have some independence and something to call her own.
We wrap ALL our presents. It’s more work, but kids love ripping apart the wrapping paper. It always prettier, makes for better videos of kids opening gifts, and it creates more suspense for those little kiddos who desperately want to know what’s hidden under that pretty paper.
We still have glass decor and bulbs within the easy reach of toddlers because I just wasn’t willing to give up all of those gorgeous decorations. We will see how many I have left by New Year’s.
I now see the utter excitement and joy of kids when they see exterior Christmas lighting. All of the colourful, spinning, twinkling, and singing lights put my child into an awestruck state. I’m too stubborn to go that far yet, so we are sticking with the classic white light look until a certain little girl starts begging otherwise.
Don’t forget that making memories with loves ones is one of the most important parts of the holiday. Take time together to make those cookies and crafts. You may regret the clean-up afterwards, but that’s momentary work compared to the lasting memories your children will have of Christmas.
Cheryl is an English teacher at a private Christian high school. She is married to a very busy husband, has a rambunctious ‘threenager’, and a disobedient (yet loyal) golden retriever. All this combined creates a perfect, chaotic life.