It’s that wonderful time of year when we can celebrate the holidays with our family and friends. A time when we look forward to family gatherings, and good food and good fellowship. But with all that anticipation of good times, comes the inescapable task of preparing your home for the holidays. Cleaning, preening, and putting up holiday decorations in and around the home so that it looks festive and wonderful. At times this can take away from the joy of the holidays. It shouldn’t be that hard (and expensive) to make your home look like a Martha Stewart showplace. Well, it doesn’t have to be. I’ve put together a few tips on how to make your home look merry and bright on a budget.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Use what nature offers - Pick up some pine cones, get a few branches from an evergreen tree or bush, gather some colorful berries, and even some dry branches and acorns or other nuts on the ground. All these will be useful as you blend them into your decorations.
2. Decorate with candles - Buy some plain pillar candles and put them in a spray painted or foil wrapped coffee can, put a ribbon on the can, and place it on a colorful saucer or plate. Then lay some of the natural items you found outside around the base, such as dry twigs and evergreen branches and berries. Tip – fill the can halfway with sand, set the candle in the sand, then fill the rest of the can with acorns and berries.
3. Decorate your tree with ribbons and homemade ornaments - Make some decorations yourself, or use some of the ones your children made. Hang them on the tree. Wrap wire-edged wide ribbon around the tree, top to bottom.
4. Spray paint bottles - Get some bottles that have an interesting shape and spray paint them using red, gold and silver spray paints. Wrap a bow around them and place some dry flowers, evergreen branches and berry branches in them. Place them throughout your home.
6. Wrap your pillows - Take those pillows that are sitting around your living room couch and chairs and wrap a wide ribbon around them. Then either tie a nice bow in the ribbon or place a stick on bow at the intersection of the ribbon. What a difference these fluffy holiday decorations make!
7. Gather your Christmas cards - This makes a colorful decoration you can use in many ways. Using a piece of string and some glue or Scotch tape, open the cards and glue the string running vertically inside the crease of the card. Stack about four or five cards on each piece of string leaving about an inch space between each card. Leave plenty of string at the top of the string of cards so you can hang it. You can hang these from doorways, on the sides of doors, hung from your fireplace and even put them on your Christmas tree.
8. Buy some garland - you can buy either natural or manufactured evergreen garland and use it throughout your home in a variety of ways. The natural adds a wonderful fragrance that always reminds you of the holidays.
9. Gather some romantic mistletoe - Now that the leaves are gone, it’s easy to see the clumps of mistletoe in the trees. Find a low hanging bunch and take it home. Hang it in several doorways to get your share of kisses, and use it around your candles, vases and as a tree decoration.
10. Put a wreath on your door - Buy a re-usable plain wreath and hang it on your front door. This is a wonderful way to express your joy for the holidays and make your home look festive to those passing by. Decorate the wreath with bows, small shiny ornaments, tinsel, and berries. Wrap some foil around the wire that you are hanging it on and place a few small bows on the wire. Now you have holiday decorations for the world to see!
11. Install lighting outside - If you don’t feel up to hanging the lights outside, or you don’t want to climb a ladder in this cold weather, you can call a professional lighting decorator to do the job for you. They even supply the lights. All you have to do is throw the switch, and you have a beautifully lit home.