Holiday decorating is something we do to create a festive environment in our homes. When you know you're going to be extra busy entertaining, it's great to decorate early. The caution though is with more expenses coming soon, don't want to overspend on holiday decorating just because you do it first.
Setting a budget for the holidays and allocating how much you want to spend on gifts, food and entertaining versus holiday decorating will help you keep things in check. For example, your holiday budget might be as simple as:
- Gifts for immediate family.
- Gifts for extended family.
- Donations to community charities, e.g. adopting a foster child or family. When you go shopping, it's easy to find a star or 2 on the giving tree at the mall, and with grown kids, it's a fun way to learn what's popular this year.
- Thanksgiving dinner for extended family.
- Holiday decorating.
So let's explore creative ways you can create the holiday environment you want, without busting the budget. What you'll see is an emphasis on using things you already own, picking alternative materials that you can use year after year and adding a bit of nature to your decorating toolkit.
Holiday Decorating With Materials That Last
Replace the traditional evergreen holiday wreath with materials you can keep using for many years. Materials range from twigs and dried flowers, nature's natural way of decorating, to festive holiday ornaments like the blue and green bulbs in the wreath below. You can also use pinecones, nuts and so many other items and of course, Pinterest is a great place to get holiday decorating ideas like these (source for these photos).
Use Your Favorite Collections for Holiday Decorating
Everyone has a collection of … something. My collections include picture books, teddy bears and quilt fabric. Rather than buying lots of decorations you use only a few months a year, why not move your treasured collections around and enjoy them over the holidays. My teddy bear collection (I'll take photos this year) sits on bookcases all year but for Christmas, they get dressed up with red (quilt fabric) bows.
Living near the NH seashore, we have lots of shells that are part of the decorating decor, along with a collection of blue and white pottery from when we lived in Japan. Rather than putting all these away for the holidays, my friend and decorator shows how to use them for the holidays, and we get to enjoy them more as they bring back many fond memories.
Shop Your Kitchen for Holiday Decorating Ideas & Materials
About every other year, I grow paper whites and all I buy are the bulbs. To avoid storing flower pots which I then can't find, I use a collection of assorted bowls and vases from the kitchen. After we moved to New Hampshire, I collected stones from the beach and lastly, when they start to fall over from the weight of the flowers, I ribbon or fabric from my quilt room.
We all have a collection of bowls, flower vases and other forgotten items in that cabinet over the refrigerator. There's no driving and no expense to shop your own kitchen cabinets. You'll find great items to use for holiday decorating and then it's just another step to searching for colorful foods to decorate with.
What new ideas have you gotten for holiday decorating this year?