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Fitting “Fancy” into your Holiday Budget – All the Glitz and Glamour on a Shoestring

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Ideas for capturing holiday glitz on a tight budget

There is no time like the holidays for a bit of glitz and glamour. And even on a tight budget, it’s do-able! You just have to do your research (and resist the tempation to buy the first sparkling thing that catches your eye!) You can have fresh flowers in your home this holiday, along with hosting a holiday party and wearing the prettiest holiday cocktail dress…you just need to know how (and where to shop).


FRESH FLOWERS

Instead of a fancy designer bouquet from the flower shop that costs an arm and a leg, choose an inexpensive collection of blooms from the grocery. Split them up into multiple vases and spread them down the table runner for more impact. To really capture the sights of the season, choose bright red poinsettias. Ditch the crinkly foil pots and place them in inexpensive but sturdy pots tied up with a ribbon for the full holiday effect. From left to right, images from BHG.com and Mark Kintzel.com

        

 


HOLIDAY DECOR

“Fancy” doesn’t mean “Over-the-top”. Restraint is chic and elegant and when used correctly, a little goes a long way. Decorate with natural materials from your yard (like pine cones) or with cast-offs from the Christmas tree (use the branches to create a wreath or table decoration). Add DIY pillowcase covers in a holiday theme to your usual sofa cushions. Wrap gifts in one choice of paper with high impact, like this black and white striped version! From left to right, images from ThriftyStories, Tracy’s Trinkets Treasures and Pinterest.

    


HOLIDAY PARTY

No need to break the bank by stocking your party with expensive beverages when there are many reasonably priced options that will keep the party going! Consider serving one beautiful signature drink in a holiday theme for all guests to minimize purchasing several kinds of liquors. From left to right, images from The Style Celeb, The Top Inspired, A House in the Hills and Will Cook for FriendsPeruse this list from Food and Wine.com with the 150 best wines under $15.

         

If you are trying to stretch your dollar, opt for serving appetizers over a full meal (unless you suggest to guests to make the party pot-luck and each person can contribute a dish). Hummus is quick and easy to make. Toss together a colorful chunky salsa to serve with chip. Or skip food and go straight to dessert! Images from left to right, Cooking Classy, Inspiring Healthy Living and Printabella

                


HOLIDAY PORTRAITS

If you’re on a budget, you probably don’t have the money to hire a photographer to capture just the right image for your Christmas card. Take the photos yourself and create a collage of the best shots. Or ask your friend with the “artistic eye” to take a group shot of your family. If you don’t have a “nice” camera trying renting one from Borrow Lenses (affiliate). I rented a lens for a trip this past summer and loved the entire process; they were great (and my pictures looked so professional!)

Look online for fun photo ideas to pose your family and take a look at this article on how to take better photos of your kids. Shutterfly (affiliate link) has lovely photo gifts including holiday cards, ornaments, mugs and more. I have been making calendars and photo books from Shutterfly and gifting them to my family every year for the past 7 years; they are always a welcome gift, especially personalized with photos of your family!

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A natural photo of the kids is perfect for the annual Christmas card (and cheaper than hiring a photographer!)


HOLIDAY WEAR

Tired of dragging out that same ol’ little black dress year after year? No need to splurge and buy something you can’t afford. Ask a friend if you can borrow a showstopping accessory for the evening. ThredUp (affiliate link) has some incredible holiday items at a fraction of their original costs. Pick up a sequined jacket to fancy-up that ol’ dress, sparkly new shoes or an evening bag…or even a new gown altogether!

Everyone loves to dress up their little ones in special holiday clothes for parties and school or church functions but the cost of all those outfits can add up. For boys consider purchasing one nice pair of solid color slacks and a white shirt that can be dressed up with different ties or a colorful sweater vest. For girls, accessorize a plain dress with a fun scarf or patterned tights. Again, I recommend ThredUp for incredible, like-new clothing at resale shop prices.


 In what ways do you “fancy up” your holidays on a budget? Share your tips in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Fitting “Fancy” into your Holiday Budget – All the Glitz and Glamour on a Shoestring

  1. Another fantastic article – THANKS! To make the holidays fancy, I make a lot of different varieties of cookies. It is cheaper than spending money on fancy desserts, and they look great on size and shape platters. There are special foods that really don’t cost a lot that I only make at Christmas time. That makes it special without incurring any additional cost. I also use a lot of candles. The flicker and glow of candles added to the Christmas lights looks fantastic.

  2. Great ideas Patty, thanks for sharing! I like the idea of baking a variety of cookies. We use a lot of candles in our house, even on a “regular” day. Makes those leftovers feel more special when you have a candle lit on the dinner table 😉

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