5 Frugal Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays
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There are so many holidays coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Try to contain yourselves; the season is upon us. My husband cheerfully lets me know this with text messages of ridiculous holiday emoticons. Like John, I’m pretty much a scrooge around the holidays, but I’m trying to get better. 🙂
What frustrates me most about getting ready for the holidays is that all the marketers out there want us to spend a ton of money on decorations every year. In fact, according to a survey from KMart & Sears, 34% of people spend on $100 a year or more on holiday decorations, and 82% of Americans plan on buying new decorations this year.
So, if you don’t want to spend on the decorations but you want your home to look nice, here are some frugal ways to get your home ready for the holidays:
Double Up the Holidays
Halloween and Thanksgiving can really be lumped into the same fall season. Instead of decorating with skeletons, witches, and gravestones, use pumpkins, fall leaves, and beautiful fall colors. That way, you won’t have to switch your decor to turkeys for Thanksgiving. The pumpkins have been in place on your doorstep for a few weeks already!
Teach your kids to live frugally by Decorating With them
It might not look like it came out of a magazine, but why not have your kids try their hand at decorating? They can create inexpensive pictures, finger paint, do crafts, and in general create a few cute decorations for your home that only cost a few dollars. You can carry this tradition all the way through Christmas, where they can create their own ornaments instead of buying expensive new ones at the store.
Skip the candy
Last year, my husband and I disagreed over whether or not to give out candy for trick or treaters. I said no way. He said I was no fun. Guess who won? (Hint: It wasn’t me.) We had little tiny babies at the time, so I just stayed with them inside while my husband sat on the front porch with a bowl full of candy, all hopeful and excited for the trick or treaters.
Well, only about five came because we live in the not-so-fancy part of town. This year, I’m not sure what we’ll do. I keep dutifully passing up all the Halloween candy and all the Halloween decorations in the store, but he might win out again! When the kids are older, I’m sure we’ll take them out and decorate our home more, but for now, we’ll just be taking some photos of them and staying in!
Use What You Have
There are likely many things around your house that you can use to decorate. Have a white sheet? Create a ghost for your front yard. Have extra ornaments? Place them in a bowl and set them out on the table. Don’t want to shell out for new lights? Try to repair the ones you have.
With enough creativity and ingenuity, you can really stretch your current decorations. There is no need to be the person in your town with 50,000 Christmas lights who has it all set up to coordinate with music (and the $1,000 a month electric bill that comes with it.)
Remember Less is More
We talk about minimalism pretty often here, and the holidays are a great time to drive home that message. When it comes to minimalism, it’s not just about the costumes or the food or the gifts. It’s really about embracing the idea that less is more.
So, instead of having 100 new Halloween decorations, accept that it’s okay to carve one pumpkin. If you don’t have the money to fly to visit family for Thanksgiving, it’s okay to have a small dinner with just your immediate family. If you don’t want to go into credit card debt for Christmas, try the four gift rule. Minimalism really is freeing once you get the hang of it.
I know it doesn’t seem like it from this post, but I really am trying to be better about the holidays especially now that I’m a parent. However, I don’t think I’ll ever be excited about the way people overspend and the way marketers just won’t let up (and it’s only getting worse.)
Still, I think as a group of frugal minded people, we can combat this by celebrating the holidays frugally and doing our best not to overspend or go overboard when decorating our homes to get them ready for the holidays; making this conscious choice will benefit our families and our homes
How do you plan to get ready for the holidays this year? Do you think you can do it frugally without planning ahead? What is your favorite holiday? How do you get your home ready for it?
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