Thursday, December 11, 2008

Urban elegant holidays for less

Everyone is talking about being more frugal this holiday given the economic situation (everyone but the government of course, which might give a generous $13 billion gift to companies that can't produce a product people want to buy). But I find most of the suggestions hokey.

Here's ChaChing's list for people who never considered buying inflatable lawn decor in the first place:

1. do your Christmas party potluck style - invite your friends over and have everyone bring a dish, dessert, or drink option. They'll enjoy the time just as much and you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on all the prep. Additional community feeling a bonus.

2. Skip the tree or get a table-top one for your urban place - hang ornaments around the house instead. I've got ones hanging from shelves, my bathroom light fixtures, and from tall glass vases filled with white lights that spill around cream-colored candles (see above picture). I bought a pack of 72 ornaments from Michaels craft store for $9.99. The really cheap-looking ones I pasted to gift bags for extra bling and threw out the glitter ones. For that price it's still a great deal.

3. if you have a big family, do a lottery on names so everyone gives one gift to one other person instead of having to give 8 or 10. Or set a gift limit - $30 gets some books off an Amazon wishlist or a nice bottle of wine.

4. brown paper packages tied up with string - skip the garish rolls of holiday wrapping and get a big roll of brown kraft paper and some jute twine from your local hardware store. Both are totally cheap and you've got a simple, elegant wrapping for all your gifts. Tie those extra ornaments 0n for flair.

5. Check for last minute deals on holiday shows in the area.

6. Keep several pounds of holiday coffee blends and 3-4 poinsettias around - they are easy hostess gifts for house parties you'll be attending.

Feel free to chime in with other ideas. Oh and happy holidays from ChaChing!

UPDATE: The Frugal Duchess also endorses having a drawing for gifts among the family.

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