So here are the results of my frugal creativity.
Instead of buying roses and white lilies - which I love - for the front entrance, I filled a vase with pine greenery from the lower branches of the tree and fresh variegated boxwood from my garden. The 'red berries' are artificial. I reuse them every year to add a little pop of color to greens.
A large flower and fruit filled crystal vase is one of my 'wow' Christmas centerpieces each year. To recreate this focal point without spending money, I again used greenery from the tree and hung my Santa ornament collection from the branches along with gold bells that also typically hang on the tree. As a final touch I tied a Rudolph ornament on a slim red ribbon around the neck of the vase. A completely different look from the elegant flower and fruit arrangement, but still very 'Christmasy' and one my young niece and nephew will enjoy when they visit on Christmas day.
My Santa collection hanging from Christmas greenery.
Close up of a Santa ornament.
The Christmas TreeThis is a tiny Godiva chocolate box tied with a red ribbon. I used an ornament hook to hang it from the branch.
I didn't spend any money, but I still have two new ornaments for the tree.
This special ornament is a small jewelry bag that belonged to my mother. I stuffed it with tissue and hung it from a red tie cord near the ornamental birds that my mother always loved.
My tree skirt is two yards of red velvet I used several years ago for a Halloween costume. I think it frames the tree nicely and is an elegant backdrop for presents. (And yes, I forgot to sweep around the tree before taking this photo. That green speck on the floor is a broken tree tip.)
I also wanted to make holiday decorating a little easier, so I didn't hang the dozens of crystal icicles in my ornament collection. Not as much sparkle, but still festive. And less to put away when the holidays are over!
More Holiday Budget Decoratingtopiaries decorated with 'red berries' for the holidays. I'll be using these rosemary clippings for my beef tenderloin on Christmas day. (You can find the recipe on my New Year's Celebration post from last year.)
Santa ornament collection with holiday rosemary topiaries.
Dining room chandelier decked out with artificial greenery and a favorite ornament.
A trio of nutcrackers and a red berry wreath purchased several years ago.
A simple white bowl and pomegranates add holiday color to the coffee table. The pomegranates will be served with dessert at Christmas dinner.
Fast becoming a traditional holiday scene at my house is luggage dumped in the entry way when my son comes home from college. To be fair, this pile also includes luggage my younger son used for a trip to visit a friend out of state. It has now been over a day since both boys came home. I'm waiting to see how long it takes them to pick up their bags.