Decorating For Christmas On A Budget (And Time Crunch!)

My living room, all ready for Christmas.

Hello my beautiful readers and welcome officially to the Christmas season.

This year, it's been Christmas at my house for about 2 weeks already, but I have had many a year when it's the week before and I don't have so much as one decoration up. I also don't like to break the bank decorating for the holidays because you only get a few weeks of it and then have to take it all down. So I like to make my home feel holiday ready, all while on a budget. I figured I'd share a few of my favorite tips to achieve a holiday look on a moderate budget.

And before we get started, the unofficial rule is that it doesn't have to be PERFECT , it just has to make you happy. With all these incredible home decor blogs, sometimes it feels like our little spaces in the world will never stack up. Push that out of your head and just remember how blessed any and all of us are to have a home to decorate.

So here we go!

1. Buy AFTER Christmas!

My first and favorite tip is to buy your Christmas decorations right after the holidays are done. It may seem counterintuitive and way too far ahead for the following year, but I've gotten such great deals on Christmas decorations a week or two after the holiday - even up to 90 percent off! Last year, we had just moved into our home so we didn't have much time to decorate for Christmas beyond a tree. But I stocked up on the more pricey items like fancier ornaments and throw pillows. In fact, my pillows were all less than $10, whereas they would have cost about $25 during the peak season. That's a great segue into my next tip which is ...

2. Utilize Pillows

I don't like to have a million knick knacks and things, so one of the main ways I get any room ready for the season is with a few pillows. They are easy to store (I use a vacuum seal bag and store them in a closet), and are a great way to get everything warm and welcoming for the holiday. Just don't buy your pillows at peak season if you're looking to save money. Homegoods has beautiful selections, but I also like to supplement a few nice ones with some basic affordable ones from Walmart or Burlington (which has GREAT after Christmas sales!).

3. Goodwill and the Dollar Store Are Your Friend!

For years I've found some of my favorite fashion gems at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but Christmas decorations are so so easy to find at these stores. I bought a beautiful wooden nutcracker for $3 (which would have been $20+ at other spots) and a gorgeous silver tray for $5 (Goodwill is pretty much the only place I buy seasonal serving platters and trays). They all look expensive and no one know would know where I got them from once they've been washed and refreshed.

The dollar store (especially Dollar Tree) is another great place to get ornaments, ribbon and little pieces to fill in. I got these gorgeous red flower clip ornaments from there and my deco-mesh ribbon for my tree as well.

I bought one of those boxes of plastic Christmas balls, put them in a gorgeous fishbowl vase (also from the dollar store) and made it my coffee table centerpiece. It's gorgeous and I get a million compliments - all for less than $3. (See photo above)

4. Don't Break The Bank On Ornaments

All of these ornaments are a mix of collectors and $1.99 pieces from WalMart

My mother has the most stunning collection of ornaments that she has been building over the years. It's truly my goal for the future. But while she was putting together that collection little by little, she would always buy little cheap ornaments to fill up the tree. These days, stores like Walmart have tons of cheap ornaments that look glitzy and glam (just keep an eye out for that glitter that falls everywhere). So keep building, and use cheaper pieces in the meantime (then donate them for someone else to enjoy!)

Also, one way to fill in "holes" in the tree is to buy a bouquet of holly, poinsettias or sparkly branches from Hobby Lobby or JoAnn (always buy them on sale!) and break them apart to stuff into your tree. It really gives a beautiful finished look!

5. Be Selective With Your Figurines and Knick Knacks

One of the things that can really mess up your decor vibe is too many figurines and decorations. (But of course, all of this is to your own liking! For someone people, my decor style is maximalist, while for others it's hardly enough). So when I was choosing little decor items, I tried to not buy every single thing I wanted, but instead work with things that would work in my color scheme (This room is always blue and gold, but I added in red accents for Christmas). For my mantle, I didn't want to go overboard, so I picked two simple gold trees that I got from Hobby Lobby (for $7 each, marked down 50 percent from $14) for my mantle, stocking holders and that was all. For my bay window, I added in these two metal reindeer that I got from HomeGoods (at $14.99 each they were the most expensive thing I bought). All of this keeps the room cozy, but also still glam.

What are your favorite tips to decorate for Christmas?




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