Holiday Decorating Made Easy | Don’t be a Turkey, Get More Style for Less Cash

Holiday decor can drain your bank account with just a few good swipes of that debit card if you’re not careful. It can be so tempting to buy that Thanksgiving themed embroidered tablecloth. You rationalize that this is your year to host the family gathering, and maybe if the turkey or ham is dry, it won’t be as noticeable sitting amongst the stylish table settings?

Consider some of the following alternatives before impulsively purchasing expensive holiday decorations. The reality is that most these adornments will only be used for one day of the year and then be sent off to the plastic storage bin in the basement or worse the trash. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make these easy decorations look good, but you may get her sign of approval with them.

Cranberry Candle Centerpiece

You will need: a bag of cranberries from your local grocery store, a candle and a hurricane vase.

Chances are good that you may already have the candle and hurricane vase, if so, you are in luck. Place the candle in the vase and fill the cranberries to a level where about half the candle is showing. You’re done. Place in the center of the dining room table. Another simple creative twist to this would be to first fill the vase with cranberries, add water and place a floating candle on top.

Leaf Garland

You will need: fabric leaves from an arts and crafts store, heavy duty thread, a needle (a large plastic needle if making this project with kids) and scissors.

This is a great project to do with kids. The adult only needs to make two tiny slits near the center of the leaf; the two slits are so the leaves will have some hold on the string. You don’t want the leaves all sliding together in one bunch. Then, let the kids string them up. Obviously do not leave small children unattended with the needle or even a plastic needle. Hang the garland on the walls, over the fireplace mantle or along a stairwell banister. A fun alternative to this making a leaf garland would be to string cranberries instead.

Pretty Produce

Use edible decorations and you will have a dual purpose holiday display. Simply place a couple of pumpkins and/or gourds next to each other, and you are done. Well, strategic placing of the pumpkins would be better advice. For example, set a couple of pumpkins with some friendly gourds, for accompaniment, on the front step to your home. Other decorative produce options would be to arrange red and green grapes on the buffet table, or center a large bowl of apples or pears on the dining room table. After the holiday gathering has ceased, the décor can be consumed.

Flowering Cabbage

You will need: a couple of plant containers, some potting soil and flowering cabbage.

Flowering what? In the past few years I have noticed that some of the higher end businesses use cabbage as a late fall option in place of outdoor flowers. In fact, the first time I saw this I had to look twice to make sure that the seemingly pretty bunch of flowers I just walked by was actually cabbage. Go to your local nursery and garden to purchase some vibrantly colored cabbage. Plant a couple heads in some pots and place these near your front door. The great feature this plant possesses is that the colors actually become more vivid as the temperature drops below 50 degrees Celsius, and they can survive in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius. While these plants may not be entirely representative of the holiday season, consider placing a pumpkin or two next to them. Voilà! You now have a classy, autumn harvest themed presentation to welcome your guests.

The main focus on all of these holiday decoration displays is the use of color. A little intense color goes a long way. These budget friendly ideas will save you money for all of the other holiday expenses which are sure to crop up this season.

About the Author

Lisa is a writer living and working in Portland, Maine. She recommends Excellent Hotels for eco-friendly accommodations as well as luxury hotels in New York.