Christmas Decorations

Updated on November 14, 2009
J.H. asks from Littleton, CO
12 answers

Hi Moms -
This may be a little early to ask, but I am a planner and with a much tighter budget this year I am looking to get started on some good ideas for home decor at Christmas time.
I am a Christmas nut. It's my favorite holiday and I love almost everything about it. I have 2 boxes of decor/ornaments in the basement, but I always like to add something new and special. This year I really don't have anything extra to spend of this which is actually okay since I enjoy the homemade look of decorations and always decorate my tree with gingerbread men, cranberry & popcorn strings.
I am looking for ideas on things you do for as inexpensively as possible. I have a good bit of crafting items so I can make most things. My son is old enough to sort of get Christmas this year and I'd like to make it special. Please share any decorating ideas and special stories or traditions that you do to make Christmas special.
Thank you all so much!

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answers from Denver on

A fun one my kids LOVE, is we string Cheerios (as garland). Gives the tree a real "country Christmas" feel. We watch Christmas movies and sit and string them. Much easier than popcorn that breaks easy. For little fingers, get thicker string and tape the end like a shoe string. Then when done, set outside for the birds. My kids are already wanting to start, just talking about it makes me want to too!!!

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answers from Dallas on

Garlands placed around doorways, strung around windows with lights make beautiful and magical decorations I love lights and snow decorations use mirrors on tabletops and make a snow scene add a candle warmer that is safer than using candles a warmer that has little slits where the light pokes thru its all quick and easy and inexpensive way to light up the holidays!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I always find good stuff at the goodwill. I am the same as you. I do theme colors. Green and Red, silver and red, silver and gold, etc. One different one for each wreath, tree, etc. I switch it up every year to make it interesting. Maybe making your own ornaments as well. DIY sites have tons of ideas.



answers from Colorado Springs on

We've had those years. I ended up doing a lot of my shopping at thrift stores-if you look hard, you can find some great stuff at an even better price. My boys got FUBU, Tommy Hilfiger, Old Navy, A&F, Avirex... and I spent $1/shirt dressing them that way.
I love dollar stores at Christmas time. I got 24 "antique" beaded Christmas ornaments for $4, a few 12-packs of icicle ornaments, they've always got plastic or glass balls you can decorate to your liking, tiny trees & lights to go with (I used ribbon from Walmart to tie little bows on tiny trees for my boys' bedroom windows. It matched the theme of their room & for about $5 each, including lights, tree & ribbon it looked very cute). They've also got garlands-some look worth $1 but some you can dress up or mix together to create a very nice looking garland. Check Joann's After-Thanksgiving sales for the tiny decorator stuff near the fake flowers-they had some decorations (little sprigs, wooden decorations, etc) as cheap as $.25. I spent $10 & put bits & pieces of them all over the house-gorgeous on the cheap.
My friends & I had a cookie party-we each made a few kinds of cookies or candies & brought them all over to my house. We set all of the trays out, I had hot chocolate & a dessert wine, we hung out while the kids played upstairs, gave each other our gifts & everyone went home w/new recipes to try & cookies they didn't have to bake.
I crochet, so I usually make my gifts for everyone. I started w/after Thanksgiving sales buying my yarn. I've got 26 people to gift besides my own family & only 4 are getting store-bought gifts (our parents are getting digital picture frames w/memory cards). I'm making blankets, hats, mittens, doilies, shawls, etc for the rest of them. I have over 15 gifts already done. I've used fabric paints in the past, done iron-on transfers, sewed... My son's first Christmas was very lean-we bought him 2 or 3 things & made the rest. Hubby & I made a mobile out of disco ball Christmas ornaments, curling ribbon, some string & the discarded record holders from an old stereo cabinet. Hung from the ceiling so he couldn't break apart the tiny mirrors, it looked really cool in his room. When Daddy would put them to bed, they'd spin the mobile w/the lights on & watch them dance all over the room.
My sisters this year are getting partial store-bought gifts. I made them each a shawl that was big enough to wrap their upper half in, one that matched their living room decor, & I'm buying each a book, a dollar store coffee mug & making hot chocolate packets to go with the mugs.
I've got several crochet (some knit) patterns, an entire book of craft & Christmas ornament ideas... email me if you'd like me to scan & email any of them.



answers from Denver on

One of my favorite memories as a kid was making "play dough" ornaments (salt four and water) using cookie cutters (and our hands) mom would bake them then we would paint them or glue glitter etc on them. So fun!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Make paper chains. Right after thanksgiving, make an "advent" chain. You can start it the day after thanksgiving or wait till dec 1, and then each night take off one loop of the chain. If you're religous, you can write a scripture on each chain about Christmas (if you're up to some research, you can find some in Isaiah and other Old Testament sources prophesying His birth).

Another idea is to get a couple handfuls of straw (or small sticks). In your nativity (if you use one), leave out the manger with the Christ child and put in an empty manger. Tell your son that you want to make it nice and soft for the baby. Every time you or he does something to help someone out in some way add a piece of straw to to manger. On Christmas Eve night, you can put a baby to represent Jesus in the manger and then Christmas morning show your son how soft the bed was for Him. (If you're not religous, you can adapt this, a soft chair for Santa to rest in maybe, or something like that). I really like this because it teaches kids that there's more to Christmas than presents; they learn to think of others and do service for others.



answers from Missoula on

We started a special tradition in our family. Each year we get our son a new ornament that is his. Of course, when he was young they were soft, stuffed ones that he could hold and touch.

When he has a home of his own, he will have those ornaments to take with him as a remembrance and to continue the special family connection.




answers from Salt Lake City on

Make little "mice" ornaments for your tree.

Use a walnut for the body, and an acorn for the head (top of acorn looks like stocking cap, really cute). Red felt Christmas ribon 1/4" wide for a scarf. 1/2 popsicle stick for skis (1/2 for each ski) cut in half using wire cutters. Another 1/4" wide strip of felt for the arms (goes between walnut and acorn). At end of arms attach toothpicks for the ski poles. Hang with a gold thread.

My kids LOVE these ornaments. I made some with the skis off balance so the mouse looks like he's going crazy down a hill. Put together with hot glue is this order starting at the bottom:

-walnut body - pointy side up
-felt arms with toothpicks on ends for ski poles (placed so they hang over the natural seam of the walnut)
-head (acorn)... lots up at Ogden temple grounds for free if you're close to that
-gold hanging thread
-scarf (fabric or felt)

Use black paint or markers for some oval eyes.



answers from Denver on

A fun tradition we started last year is to come up with an ornament that our DD can make to give to friends and family. She was 2.5 last year when we started, and we will add in an ornament from our son when he is older--so they can each make an ornament from them for friends and family and neighbors each year. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

This is actually a family tradition of a friend of mine, which is really sweet. It's definitely in the Christian sprirt of Christmas... so apply as appropriate for your family. She said since she was little the nativity set would be set up - except the baby Jesus would not be in it. Her mom would place him somewhere far from the manager. As December started, each night she'd move the baby Jesus closer until he was placed in the manager on Christmas Eve. I thought it was a tangible and wonderful way to teach and instill the "real" meaning of Christmas in children. Whatever you find to do - Merry Christmas (a little early!)



answers from Salt Lake City on

My family has a Christmas tradition that costs nothing. Well, the cost of a single sheet of paper, a pencil, and a match.

My husband grew up doing this, so it was important to him to carry on the tradition in our family. He thought it was just magical.

Christmas Eve the family would write a letter ot Santa together. Mom plays scribe, and they go around the room, youngest to oldest, and tell Santa what they want.

Once the letter is written, they light it on fire and let it burn in a sauce pan or something. Then they go outside and scatter the ashes on the lawn. Santa is supposed to reconstruct the letter from the ashes with magic to figure out what they want.

I asked my husband what he thought of as a child when the ashes were still sitting out on the snow in the morning. He said that by then they had forgotten all about it with the excitement of present opening.

He just loved it, and now we will do it in our family as my daughter is just barely old enough to understand Christmas.

Great post! I look forward to reading all the other responses.



answers from Cheyenne on

I too LOVE christmas, and have already started thinking about it too. I have been wondering the same thing, but one thing I did last year that looked supper nees was I got 3 differint sizes of styrofome cone and some bags of dif. pepermint cands (red and green, but realy any hard candy will do) and hot glued then on the cones. then I set them on some candels petastools. Supper fun and Supper pretty!
Hope that helps!
Best of luck...And Happy Holidays hehehe!!!!!

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