08 Nov Creative Low Cost Holiday Decorations
The ghouls are gone. The turkeys are advancing. You know what that means.
CHRISTMAS IS HERE!
As soon as an ounce of cold hits the air, department stores take it upon themselves to let you know just how much RING TING TINGLING TOO can be had with voluptuous boas of gold and silver, enlarged baubles of glittering glass, 100s of feet of flashing snowflakes, fat trees, be-ribboned wreaths, mounds of snowy cotton, inflatable Santas, dancing reindeer, caroling elves, and pretty soon you have two overflowing carts (even though you already have 20 miniature collectable English houses packed away at home) and a price tag that totals hundreds of dollars.
WHOA Dasher! Whoa Comet! Whoa Cupid! Before spending needless cash and piling up more Styrofoam in the landfill, let’s think about how we can create that holly jolly atmosphere with our own two hands.
1. THE SCRAP YARD
It’s time to go decoration diving, preferably in your own home and backyard but used goods stores are also acceptable. Charge up that latent creative within you. Accumulate all greens, reds, golds, silvers, and whites—whether in the form of pine boughs, fabrics, pinecones, papers, or that old basket you thought for sure you threw away 3 years ago—and you suddenly have endless combinations to create your own holiday cards, wall hangings, centerpieces, and trinkets. Scrap fabric can be twisted and bunched onto trees, railings, or walls creating subtle garlands. An abundance of candy canes or other confections placed in a vase or two or three creates tasteful (literally) centerpieces. Think popcorn balls with red string, newspaper wrapping, twine-tied pine wreaths dotted with berries and cones, or paint old photo frames in those core colors. Fill the frames with previous Christmas Day photos or clippings of snow strewn animals and churches to create a dynamic wall or mantle display.
2. THE SPICE RACK
When we think of decoration we immediately think visually, and it’s high time we start thinking olfactory. Nothing says Christmas like the smell of mulled wine, cinnamon, cloves, stewed orange peel, or peppermint and cocoa. Boiling a pot of spices, even if you choose not to consume them, gives the whole house a fragrant and festive makeover unparalleled by strings of multicolored lights and the hammering of nails and the climbing of ladders.
3. COOKIE CULTURE
Cookies are synonymous with Christmas, but this sweet culture shouldn’t be relegated to your mouth only. Some flour, water, and egg mixed and chilled for 2 to 4 hours, rolled, then cut into Santa or reindeer or stars then baked in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes can render some of the cutest and wholesome ornaments you ever did see (be sure to poke a hole before baking to make room for string). A simple egg wash with vegetable food coloring and a paintbrush can create all the ho, ho, ho patterns you can dream of.
While these tips and tricks can save you money, they certainly won’t save you time, and in fact, they shouldn’t. Invite friends and family to help collect materials and throw a decorating party, and while cinnamon mingles with pine, you munch those other cookies with icing and sugar, swap string and stories, and deck the walls and the heart with timeless laughter and tradition, you’ll be happy you cut out that trip to Target to fold cards with kids and grandkids.