I was talking with my siblings yesterday and we were comparing modern price tags and marketing to the Christmas season of our youth. We were all born in the 1970s and grew up in the 1980s and we are reminded of how times have changed. As we concluded in our memory, this season is much easier to use and much less stressful.
There are people who wait for this time of year to decorate their homes from top to bottom. There are those who cherish the religious meaning of the holiday. There are those who look forward to family gatherings, and others who love the warmth of the season for its twinkling lights and traditions. We all approach the holiday season differently. As I get older I find that I am one of the latter category and prefer to keep things as simple as possible to maximize enjoyment.
Commercials and ads are marketing to us all year long that we have to do it or buy it, but that only leads to stress and a big credit card bill in January. Below are a few suggestions for budget-friendly and minimal ways to de-stress and still have an enjoyable vacation.
Add a string of battery-operated twinkle lights anywhere
How lucky we are that battery powered twinkle light strands exist in this world. I have a few sets of strings up here and there and they add the perfect amount of seasonal ambiance, they add that little touch of magic.
Foraging for green and display on existing ships
No doubt you have a few vases and containers, add evergreen clippings from your yard or free prunings from the tree lot.
Swap a piece of art for a store-bought wreath
Trader Joe’s and grocery stores sell budget-friendly evergreen wreaths. I like to buy two or three and hang them on the walls around my house. Come January, come down the wreath and go back to art.
Collect the shiny ornaments in the bowl
Adding a few bowl ornaments to coffee and end tables is easy and always the easiest way to add festivity, color and bling.
Opt for a mini tree instead
Instead of many or tall expensive trees on the farm, consider a small fresh tree, which can be moved outside to a pot in the new year.
Gift a traditional recipe to friends and family
Small nibbles of homemade goodies are a sweet and easy gift to share, especially if it’s a recipe you’re famous for.
Sea Salt Caramel Fudge
Skip the big party
Get out of the stress of hosting a big party and gather a group of six to ten peeps, you’ll have more time to connect one-on-one. A few festive cocktails with Besties are a more intimate experience and can be had at home or at a local restaurant.
Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail
Reduce and reuse holiday decorations
I reuse the same stockings (this photo is from 2015) and display the same white ceramic holiday decorations around the house every year. Every year I whittle my collection down to a wish list and I’ve discovered that I’m much happier with so little saved up.
Take advantage of free printables
Save money by printing free gift tags and cards available online, there are lots of cute ones available! I’m sharing a new series of vintage inspired gift tags later this week. 🙂
Merry Christmas gift tags
Gift an experience instead of a thing
Aren’t amazing memories better than things? This is what I believe. Instead of buying something at the store, give the gift of a special outing or adventure. Here’s a list of experiences that make great gifts to inspire.
In what ways have you reduced your holiday expenses and obligations to bring yourself more peace and joy this season?