Hello, December! Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday shopping turned into a weekend-long event. And even though you told yourself you wouldn’t, you spent your holiday decorating budget on gifts (and hot chocolate…lots of hot chocolate). Bah, humbug!

Well, don’t panic. If you’re in need of holiday decorating ideas on a budget, we’ve come up with 5 focal areas in your home, so you can deck the halls without going into the red.

The front door

The entryway sets the tone for the rest of your home. Decorating your front porch with winter-themed snowmen or sleds is a fun, universal way to celebrate the season. And if your old sleds are collecting dust, a little sprucing up will get them décor-ready without draining your budget.  

If you prefer to go traditional, hang a wreath on your front door to create the perfect focal point. For an inexpensive, homemade Christmas or holiday decoration with a unique twist, make a wreath using Styrofoam snowballs or newspaper ribbons. You can customize your door decoration to fit your holiday, too, like a home made silver and blue Star of David for Hanukkah. Make it a family event and let the kids help!

The tree

When decorating for the holidays on a budget, rather than spending money on a live or cut fir, pine, or spruce, think about investing in an artificial tree. Some advantages are that you’ll be able to use it for years to come, and there are no pine needles so less clean up! Artificial trees come in many sizes, prices, and colors, helping you conform to both your own style and budget.

Don’t be afraid to pick a bold look, like red decorations on a white tree. You can even head to your local dollar store and get supplies to create your own ornaments! Red and white candy canes hang easily from branches.  Colorful gift ribbon is great as garland while a package of bows becomes an assortment of ornaments. As for the tree stand, a galvanized tub can be a unique accent to fit your untraditional theme. 

The fireplace                                                                                 

You’ll want to accompany the crackling and popping of the fire with a display on the mantel. Start with a clean slate. Use a stand-out piece to build from, like a chalkboard or mirror. You can find great low-cost items at garage sales and resale shops. Better yet, get your inspiration from your own attic or basement—or hunt through your parents’ home to resurrect old toys and treasures and infuse them with new life. Accent the piece with garland, ornaments, candles, and ribbon. Don’t forget to hang the stockings!

The table centerpiece

The centerpiece is the focal point at any holiday dinner table, so make it pop! Your favorite decorative plate or bowl can serve as your foundation, then surround it with the 3 C’s; candles, cranberries, and cinnamon.

Prefer a vase instead? Fill it with twigs and light strings, and attach your holiday cards to it. You can also use pinecones, whether in their natural state or embellished with color and bling. Best of all, these holiday decorating ideas can be achieved with things you already have around the house and yard.

Throughout the house

Still looking for more decorating options? There may be other areas in your home ideal for easy Christmas and holiday decorations:  for example, your stairs, kitchen table, or coffee table. These simple hacks make for a stress free, often low-cost finish:

  • Scrabble letters spelling out phrases, like “Happy Holidays” and “Joy”
  • Old wine bottles to make snowmen or hold simple evergreen arrangements
  • Sparkling pinecones in mason jars (you can never go wrong with glitter!)
  • Holiday-themed throw pillows for the couch; if you’re crafty, try making holiday slip covers for your everyday pillows
  • String holiday cards or past holiday pictures from a ribbon over a doorway
  • Hang mistletoe (fake or real it’s still for kisses!)

Decorating on a budget doesn’t have to be a drag, so remember to have fun during the process! After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays.

Ready to get even more serious about budgeting? Check out these awesome apps for budgeting and personal finance.

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