11 Ways to Have a Beautiful Christmas on a Budget
Rethink your tree, decorations, wrapping and even Christmas dinner itself to save money without compromising on the festive feel
From foraging for natural decorations to redesigning the Christmas meal, there are lots of ways to bring the festivities in under budget. These 11 ideas are just the start…
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Your home doesn’t need to look like Santa’s grotto to be festive, so forget drowning each room in bargain decorations and take a more strategic approach.
Invest in a small selection of really beautiful, quality decorations that you can display creatively. Spending just a little more this year could save you a lot in years to come, as well-made decorations will repay you by looking great long enough to become family heirlooms.
Agree some limits with your family members around gift giving, whether it’s to do with the number of presents you exchange, the price of each one or the total spend.
You might also want to impose some more creative restrictions, too, to make shopping more fun and thought-provoking. Agree to only buy locally, or only give vintage or homemade gifts, perhaps?
Use twigs foraged from the woods or picked up from beneath the trees in your local park to make your own decorations.
Fashion a simple star from them and bind the points with string. You could even tape a string of lights to your finished creation for extra sparkle.
Take Christmas to your walls by creating a festive tree on a blank space using colourful washi tape. This design is delightfully simple, colourful and witty.
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Bring your Christmas in on budget by simply scaling down the tree. A large, real tree can cost a huge amount and, come January, will end up in a council wood-chipper.
A simple sprig, on the other hand, is far more affordable. Just pop it in a vase of water and tie a little colourful twine to its tips to create a small but perfectly formed decoration.
You might also enjoy 18 Natural Christmas Decorating Ideas to Bring the Outside In.
If your baubles are looking a bit tired and scuffed, and won’t stand up to being hung and admired individually, find exciting new ways to display them, rather than rushing out to buy replacements.
Heap them together in a glass vase or big bowl for maximum impact, or tumble a few into pretty cups to make place settings or mantel decorations. You could even change their colour completely by spray-painting them with sparkly silver or a surprising neon shade.
If you have pine trees in your local area, gather up some cones and use them as festive place settings. You can also buy cones, which may still prove cheaper than actual table decorations. Then simply write the name of each guest on a rectangle of brown card and tuck it in between the cone’s scales.
Christmas wrapping paper is either cheap and annoyingly flimsy or thick and annoyingly expensive. Find a happy medium by using simple brown packaging paper and decorating it yourself. Brown paper is satisfyingly heavy and strong and, when secured with ribbon and dotted with DIY snowflakes, looks wonderfully festive, too.
See a step-by-step guide to making this paper.
Many people find a traditional Christmas dinner too much, or dislike elements of it. (Sprouts anyone?) Buying a turkey and all the trimmings is expensive, too. So why not throw tradition to the wind and cook the dishes you’d really like to eat.
How about an array of salads, which will cater for a crowd and give you something to feast on for days to come? A veggie casserole, hearty risotto or spicy curry would also keep the hoards happy without alarming your bank manager come January.
This clever design uses brown packaging paper, washi tape, twine and a humble stick to create a purse-friendly advent calendar.
This festive hanging decoration is made from cardboard toilet roll inners, painted and slashed, then hung up. It’s a fun, simple idea that children might enjoy helping with. Overall cost? Very little!
If you have any creative tips for bringing Christmas home on budget, please share them in the Comments.