Dad: "Allison, why do you only have that beady garland stuff on the top two thirds of the tree?"
Me: "Um, because I forgot to take my coupon and go get another strand to finish it this year"
I'm not kidding, let's hope they have the one I need next Christmas! Also, shopping after Christmas for the next year is always a good idea, for example, I would consider Crate&Barrel one of the higher end stores that I really really like, but can't justify spending much money at unless it's a necessity purchase. This year, I noticed their Christmas ornaments are super cheap after Christmas and by that I mean, I bought 8 really nice unbreakable ornaments for under $4 total for our tree next year. Anyone with small kids knows how awesome it is to find nice ornaments that their kids can't destroy, so a victory for all of us, and someday my kids will get to take some of these ornaments with them, so a small investment for the memories.
I also shop the after Christmas sales at Superstore for some of their supplies and ornaments. 14 ornaments for under $3? Um, yeah I did. Tablecloth for next year for $3? Yes. All the Christmas napkins and plates I'll need for Advent next year? $5.
I buy nothing at full price when it comes to decorating unless it's from the dollar store. Simple, and everyone that came over this year really liked it, so it must not look that cheap. I also think that if you don't have a ton of space, don't try to decorate for everything and then stress about where to put it all after. Steve and I decided the first year that we were married that until we had the space, Christmas would be the only holiday that we buy decorations for. For the most part we've stuck with that, we have one giant bin of Christmas stuff and a small rubbermaid container with some Halloween stuff from Brynlee's 1st birthday. Other than that we don't do a lot through the rest of the year, unless me and the kids do a craft and tape it to the window, or use our window crayons to draw hearts or leprechauns, etc...
I also accept hand-me-downs when people offer, even if I may not use them. Case in point, my giant wreath on the inside of our door. Steve's mom changes her decor ever few years, so when she offered the wreath form one time, I hesitated and then after thinking about it I accepted it. I really thought it was too huge for any door I might have, but I could probably do something with it eventually. I started working on that in the weeks before Brynlee was born. Then she came and the work was delayed. Then last year I realized that I had a bunch of gorgeous glass ornaments from our first year of marriage, that I couldn't put on the tree because Kalea would rip them off, so I used them in the wreath.This year I added the wired ribbon that I bought for $.50 last year, and voila! A few years later it's done and I love it and I loved that Steve went along with putting the snowflake lights where we did this year, to highlight it. I made another wreath for the other side of the door with leftover burlap and random scraps of ribbon from my sister in law's wedding in April and my own stash. It turned out okay, I dunno if I totally love it, but it served it's purpose for this year. I did add a wooden, sparkly "FALALA" to it and it looked a bit more Christmas-y but I think I'll have to play around with it some more.
Websites like Pinterest, although addictive, also have some great ideas on the cheap. That has been an invaluable resource to me in all areas, since I caved in and started using it. But really, life is only as expensive as we make it, so if we can do something super cute for super cheap I am a fan, and if I can make it myself with stuff I already have, huge bonus.
Anyways, I hope my thoughts in this area are helpful to at least one person who reads this blog. I am such a slacker I'm sure nobody does anymore! Haha, more Christmas posts to come this week!