Decorating For Christmas on a Budget, How People In the Real World Decorate for the Holidays

Have you been seeing all the pictures online of the beautiful Christmas decorations on Pinterest with the giant live trees and yards of real garland?  Me too, but who I need my cash for buying gifts.  Not everyone has hundreds to spend on an eight foot Christmas tree, wreaths and fresh garland.

The Argument For Fake Trees

I love the look of a real tree as much as the next person, but they aren’t cheap.  Have you seen what they go for?  Hundreds of dollars..  I want my house to look good for Christmas as much as the next person, but I’m too cheap to spend that much on a tree every year.

Here’s why I use a fake tree and there are tons of great looking options on the market:

1.) They come pre-lit, which is the BEST part.  The lights are always in a tangled mess and in my family we always manage to argue while trying to untangle them.

2.) You can get them delivered for free.

3.) They might cost as much as a real tree but you can reuse them for five to six years if you store them properly.  This means you fold up the branches nicely in a storage bag or box.

Last year I ordered a tree after Christmas (when they are on sale) from Balsam Hill.   You should check out their amazing selection.  Every tree comes with a storage bag, too.  They have different styles based on how realistic you want your tree to look and what species of tree you want.  You can also specify the type and color of lights you want.  For example, I bought the Fraser Fir.  If you look you won’t believe how real they look.

PS this is not a sponsored post, I just really love this company.  Here is my tree as seen on their site.  

The Argument Against Spending A Lot On Decorations

I lucked into free ornaments for my tree.  My mom loves to experiment with making the tree look different every year.  Needless to say, she has accumulated tons of decorations over the years.

I on the other hand, feel I’ve accomplished a lot just getting a tree decorated.  She gifted me a set of ornaments that she used on our tree when we were kids.  Here are my favorite ones. 

There are so many that I don’t hang all of them and they hold memories from my childhood Christmases.

Before I got the treasure trove of free gifs I definitely used the bargain approach to ornaments. See a list of the ones I’ve tried below, unfortunately I don’t have photos of all of them.

Five Bargain Friendly Ornament Options

My family does Christmas pretty big, and I need all my extra cash to buy gifts!  I don’t want to look like the cheap-skate that I am in reality.

  1. Ribbons – There are so many cute ribbon options and you can do a tree with an assortment of bows.  It takes a bit of time, but people will be able to see how unique it is.
  2. Sugar Cookies – You can make your own gingerbread ornaments with pre-made dough, since you probably don’t want to eat them.  These ornaments can look adorable even without frosting.
  3. Candy Canes – If you get the little candy canes they are perfect for hanging over the branches.  You just have to rip off the clear plastic.
  4. Ikea – Ikea has pretty cute and cheap ornaments.
  5. Paper snowflakes – These are especially good if you have little kids because they are pretty easy to make.

Bonus – Instead of buying a tree skirt, I use a blanket that happens to be red and white.  You can also use burlap as a skirt, which is very inexpensive.

What inexpensive ideas do you have for Christmas decorations?

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