Musings about my life, my experiences, thoughts and above all else, complete honesty.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Christmas Christmas Christmas
I loooove Christmas. Even in my most rebellious days, I made a point of going to Mass on that night with my grandmother, or with my cousins, or with whoever would come with me. I would never take communion out of respect (check out why here --> http://www.catholic.com/library/Who_Can_Receive_Communion.asp), but hearing the story of Christ's birth made me feel better in a way I would never have admitted back then. I remember I always sat in front of this statue of the Blessed Mother of Christ, and I just watched her throughout the sermon. She was beautiful, gracious, peaceful, and looked like I could whisper my darkest secrets to her and she would just... hug me. All of this from a self-proclaimed pagan! But I will discuss this in another post on this later on. What I wanted to focus this post on, was what I had noticed years ago, back when I was still living with my mother. The price of Christmas decorations are absolutely outrageous. Seriously, decorating your home for the holidays should not make you broke. Now, if you can stop yourself from buying all those out-of-budgets sparkly pretty house ornaments (and you should) here are a few tricks to save that hard earned money, beautify your home, and still feel like your home is Christmas-y.
MAKE YOUR OWN DECORATIONS. There is no way I could stress this enough. Making your own whatever, from stockings, to tree ornaments, to a wreath, will be a tiny percentage of the cost of buying those made-in-china decorations. No matter your craft skills, whether you be a shy debutante, or a master of the scissors and ribbons, there are so many crafts to make. I still haven't seen a single thing they sell in stores that I couldn't make myself. And even better, you get it customized to your liking! Initials, colors, whatever it is, you get to make it yours. Have children? Make this a family activity where everyone can pitch in, or everyone can make their own. Working with 5 year old children all day, I consider myself a pretty good authority on the way their little faces light up when they see their own artwork decorating the classroom. They take pride in their art/craft work, and I bet that they love putting up those tree ornaments that they made last year,and the year before that, etc. This could become an awesome family tradition that would not only bring you closer together, but perhaps help instill this sense of the beauty of handmade items in children at a young age. You can also use natural things like pine cones and pine to make things or just arrange in a pleasant way! Here s an awesome website with tons of crafts - http://www.craftbits.com/christmas-crafts I love craftbit for any and every craft, FYI!
If you NEED to buy some decorations for whatever reason, go on the cheaper end. For example, I bought some window decals for my apartment because I cannot put outdoor lights around the window. They cost me 89 cents for a sheet (I bought two), they are super cute, re-usable, and they had a variety from religious to silly. There are many other low cost decorations like these that are found if one can look past those flashy big price items!
You know those annoying after Christmas sales? They're actually great to buy decorations for whatever reason. They are 50 - 95% off, and you can get some pretty good deals, and not only on decorations, but cards, wrapping paper, etc. I usually buy my Christmas cards for next year on boxing day! Here are a few examples of Christmas decorations that I bought on boxing day through the years. Notice the difference in price!
49.99$ down to 4$
21.99 down to 2.50$
34.99 down to 1.99$
The internet and the library are such wonderful places where you can get MILLIONS of ideas on how to stay budget friendly and Christmas lovely!