Thursday, December 18, 2008 | Party Time, Uncategorized
Between buying gifts and entertaining family and friends, the holidays can take a toll on your checkbook. With so much pressure to create a memorable experience for all, we often stretch our means to their limits. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to trim back this year without foregoing the festivities. Read on for tips and tricks on how to stretch that holiday dollar and still embrace the warmth of the season.
Deck the Halls (for Less)
We all know how the song goes; and as far as the walls go, it doesn’t get much easier (or economic) than bundled boughs. When out shopping for that perfect tree, ask what the tree lot does with its trimmings. Discarded boughs can often be bought at a discount (or given free). Once home, arrange the evergreen limbs throughout your house—along staircase railings, mantelpieces, runners and end tables. Don’t forget to accessorize with around-the-house items like ribbon, pinecones and glitter.
Season of Light
You don’t have to break the bank and turn your rooftop into a glimmering marquis to bring that signature sparkle to your home. Candles bring a soft ambiance to any room and add a seasonal accent to any décor. If you’re bored with your candlesticks, look to your fruit bowl. Cut a hole in the tops of polishes pears and apples for unique, cost-effective candle holders. Looking to light the tree on a budget? Many box stores now feature energy-efficient LED holiday lights that burn brighter, longer and consume a fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs.
While the tree has long been the season’s centerpiece, decorating it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Threading popcorn through thread or fishing line to make garland is a timeless (and thrifty) tradition. Encourage kids to make their own ornaments. Make a moldable dough by mixing one cup salt with one cup flour and a half cup water, and let their imaginations take over. Once dry (a few days by air or a few hours in a low oven), they can be painted and personalized. Bulk candy canes are another great way to dress a tree for less. Just don’t be surprised if your ornaments disappear before the season’s end.