A Wreath and a Tree

by Nicki on December 4, 2008

in Holidays

Decorating for Christmas can be a frugal challenge.

It would be easy to spend $20 on lights today then run out the next day and spend another $20 on garland, then another $25 for a wreath and who knows how much for that beautiful, real tree (no, I still did not price them). As far as I’m concerned, the more money I spend decorating my home for the holidays, the less I have to spend on the people I care about most. Today I did two things that saved me a bunch and I had a really good time while I was at it.

The first thing I did was …

Make a Wreath.

There was no cost for me because I reused materials from previous years. I already had the ring for the frame of the wreath (I think I only paid $2 for it), the over-door hanger, the craft wire and my mom had the bow. Making a wreath is no big deal at all, the cost lies in the annoyance of assembling it. I went to my parents’ house where they have plenty of low pine trees and my sister and I suited up our daughters in their snow suits … so cute. Then I went to work cutting pine boughs. I used my small shrub trimmers to cut and it worked perfectly. I collected enough boughs for 2 wreaths in under half an hour. Assembling was picky on my hands (even with gloves on) but also went swiftly. I don’t think I spent more than another 30 minutes putting it together. All you do is secure bunches of balsam to the frame by tightly wrapping the craft wire in one long strip aroung each bunch. I’m not a professional as you can see by my photo, but I was still happy with the outcome.

The second thing I did was …

Cut Down a Tree.

That’s right. I didn’t buy a replacement artificial tree and I didn’t go purchase a real one. My friend Leah invited my daughter and I to her home to hike through the woods, pick out a Christmas tree and have cocoa (coffee for me) and cookies. I’d never done this before (the hunting for a tree) and it was fun. I don’t have woods around my home so we don’t get to hike through little trails very often. As we looked through the trees created naturally by nature … not farmed for precise appearance, I admired the simplicity of their form. You would think our tree is more along the lines of a Charlie Brown Tree, but my daughter swelled with admiration after decorating it and said, “Daddy it’s beautiful!” And it was.

Today, I made some fun memories with family and friends without spending any money at all. Don’t you wish Christmas was a little more like that a little more often? I know I do.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 HowToMe January 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Wonderful ideas! Also, if you go by a store that sells Christmas trees (like Lowes or Home Depot), I’ve found that they will often thank you to cart off (for free) the scrap pieces of cedar that result from trimming purchased trees. It save them from having to cart it off. Having a big plastic sack to put them in really helps (keeps the vehicle carrying them cleaner).

Thank you for visiting HowToMe. I wanted to see what other frugal, family tips you’d posted. Your post is a good one :-)

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