Christmas Decorating When You’re Young and Cheap

Living on your own gives you a whole new perspective on holiday decorating. Growing up my mom had boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations–everything form tree ornaments to nativity scenes, those light up houses and candles for each window. She’d spend hours fixing up the house just right and making sure every strand of pearls was placed perfectly on the tree and the end result was always beautiful. First of all, ain’t nobody got time for that, and second and most importantly, ain’t nobody got money for that! Granted, she had several decades worth of collecting to build up her arsenal of holiday knick knacks, while I’m just starting out.

This being our third year in our townhouse, you’d think we’d have plenty of decorations all ready to go–negative. We tend to be non-committal to year after year styles (and also I have a tendency to throw things away when I have no place to put them…) so this year we found ourselves digging out what few items we still had, and hitting the stores for some more. The first thing I noticed when shopping is how God awfully expensive Christmas decorations are! Really, you want $49.99 for that gold bedazzled tree skirt? No thank you, I’ll settle for the red felt one at Dollar Tree. Heidi will likely pee on it anyway.

Heidi is not amused with Christmas. Scrooge.
Heidi is not amused with Christmas. Scrooge.

So we settled for some garland, red velour bows, on sale red green and gold ornaments, and several stockings that made it through from last year. I do have some personal tree ornaments I collected growing up, mostly ballet and Nutcracker ones. Oh, and a lovely panda bear holding a pencil that says “extra sharp daughter.” Whose favorite animal wasn’t a panda bear in second grade?

World's Sharpest Daughter!
World’s Sharpest Daughter!
Dollar Tree stockings and Christmas Tree complete with $1 felt skirt!
Dollar Tree stockings and Christmas Tree complete with $1 felt skirt!

But of course, my wreaths were my major DIY moments of the Christmas décor. I made a Santa Claus (courtesy of which I have to say turned out pretty adorable. Even my retiree male neighbor asked me if I made it and complimented it as “really cute!” I used a foam form and tied strips of white tulle in a square knot for the beard and on a piece of wire tied across for the mustache. Dollar Tree Santa Hat and buckle bow made the finishing touches on this cutie!

Mine vs. Pinterest
Mine vs. Pinterest

I also made a mini ribbon wreath for the inside of the door. I used a 10″ foam form instead of my usual 14″ and wrapped some red and white chevron ribbon all the way around. Two green glitter wrapper bows accented the top corner, both on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Chevron Christmas wreath

Our house may not be the most extravagant on the block (well actually, considering our neighborhood, it very well might be) or the Christmas home of my childhood, but it is festive and homey and was put together with love, which is more than enough for us this year!

What type of Christmas decorations have you thrown together on a budget?


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