It’s Christmas time and the bells are ringing! We’re tucked up in our cosiest jumpers and warmest boots, ready to embrace the festive season in all it’s glory. But as everyone knows, Christmas isn’t always the most budget-friendly time of the year. With gifts to buy, decor to pick, trees to decorate and festive drinks to splurge on, it can be a big drain of financial resource for those of us with little to spare.
In spite of that, however, I’m a firm believer in the Christmas spirit – that everyone, no matter how rich or poor, should enjoy the festive season. So today, I’ve put together a series of tips and tricks for keeping your house merry and bright, without breaking the bank!
*Disclaimer: this blog post was written with my first coffee of the day in one hand, and a Michael Buble playlist blasting through my headphones, so be warned. Holidays are coming…
Nature is Your New Best Friend
When it comes to seasonal decor, you can’t get much cheaper than the great outdoors. With just a few small natural touches, your home can be transformed into a festive, rustic winter spot for the Christmas season!
One of the prettiest and quaintest parts of my festive decor this year has to be The Branch. Aptly named, The Branch is just a fallen branch picked up from the pavement outside my flat, but it’s absolutely perfect for highlighting my favourite baubles and decor, those too heavy to hang from the tree.
Propped up along a mantlepiece, it arches beautifully, creating a lovely natural shape for simple and rustic touches to be hung from – such as dried oranges, pinecones, robin figurines and sprigs of holly. It looks gorgeous, and it serves as the perfect alternative Christmas tree for thrifty decorators too.
More than most, I understand the temptation to go big every single Christmas. With Pinterest and Instagram promoting the high end, luxury decorations that only the richest can afford, it’s always tricky avoiding the big players of festive decor at Christmas time. But if your heart is telling you yes and your purse is telling you no, try to avoid shops like Debenhams, John Lewis and M&S when picking up your bauble boxes this year. Instead, try to hit up smaller stores like Soestrene Grene, Tiger, charity shops, B&M and even the discounted section of TK Maxx can hold some decorative goodies for your home.
One of the easiest ways to bring a high end feel to your Christmas decorating, without breaking the bank, is to select a theme and stick to it. Whether that’s a colour scheme, a retro vibe, metallic pinks or rustic greens, choosing decorations that all fit to this theme can add a lovely sense of cohesion to even the low end decor pieces. Festive markets, Christmas stalls and handmade items can also be a great opportunity to pick up some special one-off items for your seasonal decor this year. Recently, I found the best bag of spiced potpourri at my home town Christmas Fayre, for just £2.50 – barely even meeting the price of a festive latte from Starbucks.
And of course, if all else fails…hit up the online shops. Maybe take a step away from Etsy, as their prices do tend to skyrocket this time of year, but Amazon, Ebay or other discounted marketplaces can be lifesavers this Christmas.
One of the best ways to save money this Christmas: DIY. This suggestion ties neatly into the natural suggestions, by bringing in sprigs of holly from the garden, pinecones, branches, etc and using DIY methods to create something beautiful.
I’ve linked a couple of my favourite DIY tutorials below, to give you a touch of inspiration:
But if you’re looking for something simple, quick and incredibly festive (a DIY I’ve carried out for the past 3 years), then why not try drying your own orange slices? Dried oranges are perfect for Christmas, beautifully scented and sweetly rustic for the season…plus they look great hanging on a Christmas tree. Simply slice a few large oranges, pat them down with a dry paper towel, rest them on the grill grate inside your oven and bake for around 3 hours. Check regularly to make sure it isn’t the scent of sticky burnt oranges you’re pumping through your house, before taking out to cool. Easy!
Look, being poor at Christmas isn’t fun. It can be a depressing, humiliating and incredibly un-festive time of the year when your bank looks a little on the empty side. But take a few shortcuts and make a few small changes, and you can still have a Christmas to remember!
Merry Christmas girls. X