The HO-HO-Holidays are Here

The leaves have fallen, the temperature has dropped, fireplace is roaring and Thanksgiving has come and gone. The holiday season is finally here! This is my favorite time of the year! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE holiday decorations, music, ugly sweater parties, food and libations.  This time of year though can get pretty expensive, but here are a few tips to help you enjoy this holiday season and not break the proverbial piggy bank.

Believe it or not, we already have a lot of stuff we can use to decorate for the holidays.  One of my favorite decorating tips is to use any clear glass container to fill with pine cones, ornaments, lights, floating candles, branches, etc. A dollar store, Hobby Lobby and Big Lots can be great places to find cheap decorations like ornaments, candy, glassware, ribbon, lights, and so on.  Don’t be afraid to try different decorations, we are more creative than we give ourselves credit.

Another expense can be our Christmas tree, but here are a few tips that can help fill our tree up.  First I like to use big ribbon.  This year I used burlap.  It’s wide and can go with many decorative themes.  Instead of just wrapping the tree with the burlap ribbon, I cascaded it down the length of the tree. I started at the top and tucked it into the branches as I went down the tree.  I didn’t cut the ribbon until I got to the bottom to make sure I didn’t cut it too short.  This adds volume and texture to the tree.  Another great idea is to use Christmas signage, old holiday cards and stuffed animals.  These are large and can fill up gaps in the tree.  Last, but not least, I add in my little ornaments and branches I found outside. I spray painted the branches different colors, again to add texture and fill up that tree with inexpensive decorations. Themed trees are also festive and can be so much fun to create with the family, especially the kids. Below is a Disney themed tree that can be easy to recreate and inexpensive. Of course, the best decorations, in my opinion, are the ones our children create.  Pinterest is a great resource to find fun and expensive holiday decorations you can do with your children.

I don’t know about you, but I get so many holiday cards each year and I don’t know what to do with them.  So I started making them part of my holiday decorations.  You can add them to your tree or another fun way to display them is on a wire wreath. See below an example by You can use any theme you like. You can also put clothes pins on a ribbon you can display on your door or wall.  The options are limitless and very inexpensive!

Ok I saved the best for last, festive holiday drinks and appetizers.  The holidays are about spending time with family and friends and when I entertain, I like to create delicious and unforgettable cocktails and finger foods on a budget.  Finger foods are my favorite because they are small, easy to make and you can make a lot at one time. I like to prepare a warm and cold cocktail.  People like options.  My favorite warm cocktail is called Grinch Hot Chocolate. Just the name is adorable and it’s green! Can’t get any more festive than that!  My favorite cold cocktail is Christmas Sangria. I like this recipe because it’s easy.  You can make a large batch early in the day and let it chill until your guests arrive. As far as a good festive finger food that’s fast and easy to make is pomegranate and cranberry bruschetta.  Not only are they beautiful when made, they taste delicious!!!  Yummy! Click the links below for the recipes.

Hope these few holiday tips bring you joy and happiness this holiday season.  Enjoy your family and friends.  It’s the time of year to be thankful and we truly do have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Holidays