Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas on a Budget

This year I decided not spend any money on holiday decorations, except for buying the Christmas tree. My beloved amaryllis, poinsettias and fresh arrangements of roses and lilies would not be part of our Christmas scenery. I did not even buy a wreath for the front door, but instead used white lights and red bows saved from last year. I almost made an exception for my annual tradition of buying a few new Christmas tree ornaments. As a girl, my mom took me every year to pick out two or three new tree decorations. I have continued the annual tradition on my own, always thinking of my mom as I choose my ornaments. But this year, I was not spending money which I knew would make my mom happy.

So here are the results of my frugal creativity.

Christmas Greenery

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 Tree

I didn't spend any money, but I still have two new ornaments for the tree.

This is a tiny Godiva chocolate box tied with a red ribbon. I used an ornament hook to hang it from the branch.

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 Decorating

Rosemary topiaries 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.

Merry, Merry Christmas!



  1. I admire you for sticking to your budget and not spending any money this year. That is always a challenge. You have done a fabulous job and I'm happy you still got your 2 new ornaments this year. Merry Christmas!

  2. Beautiful touches! Merry Christmas from Iowa!

    PS: check my blog out on Monday Dec 28th!

  3. Judy,

    It's so nice to hear from you!

    Can't wait to stop by your blog on Dec 28th!