Cheap Christmas Cheer

One thing about our “temporary” living situation is that we agreed to make it temporary. I know that seems obvious, but let me explain. We moved into our current apartment knowing our main goal was to own a home. Unfortunately, with Josh earning a commission only paycheck we have to wait a full two years to partake in home buying. Well, we just recently hit one year so we have only one year to go. When we were moving we made it a promise to ourselves that we would keep most of our belongings in storage and only unpack those items that we would need for the next year or so. It was a hard thing to do because of our love for interior design, but to us it was the right decision. While I wouldn’t recommend this for most, it really has stretched our creative minds. You find ways to make your temporary house a home with the few items you have. This leads me to….


That’s right, all of our Christmas boxes are in storage. Of course we could pull it out of storage, but that would require a lot more work than we were ready for. So we made the decision to forgo the festive decor and yes, even a tree. The space we live in is so tight (we can’t even use our heaters because our couch has to cover our heat source!) that it would be impractical for us. Yes we thought of some great options for small space living, but in the end we chose to save the money we would spend and use it towards Christmas presents. This sounds a bit Scroogey doesn’t it? I assure you that we are very much into the Christmas spirit as always and I still have dreams about what it would be like to have some festive items up in our house. The good news? I still got to decorate a tree. Here is proof…

I had the opportunity to decorate the Governor’s tree located in the reception area of his office. It was fun and challenging especially since I was left to scrounge through multiple boxes of mismatched decor. I like how it turned out. It is not perfect, but I settled with less than perfection and I am happy.

We also had a bit of a surprise decor come into our house. Let me just show you…

Yes, that is a tabletop tree! Josh and I were having fun at one of our favorite thrift stores (St. Vincent de Paul’s) and we found this baby for $5. However, we certainly didn’t pay that much. Turns out they were having a 50% off sale (75% off orange tags!) so we got our tree for $2.50.

 As you can see our tree is not naked either. No, we did not pull out our storage bins after all in order to adorn it with ornaments. Quite the contrary. After spending some time on blog land I had learned a lot about vintage ornaments, specifically ones called “Shiny Brites.” Me and my “thrifting eyes” were on a mission and after moving a few boxes of “regular” ornaments my thrifting eyes grew rather large. I found these beautiful blue Shiny Brites in their original box! They definitely show their age, and the box has seen better days, but I knew I had hit the jackpot. How much did I pay for these vintage ornaments? Not the $2 they were asking…I paid $1! All I did was tie them on with some twine (it was actually loosely tied around the base of the tree) and it was finished.

After that I added a butterfly for a tree topper, a candle from Bath and Body Works (the scent is Spice, its our favorite) and a snowman that Josh’s grandma gave me for my birthday and we had a bit of Christmas in our house after all.

Here is the cost breakdown for our little Christmas vignette:
Tree: $2.50
Ornaments: $1
Twine: Free (came with tree)
Butterfly tree topper: Free (was on gift packaging I received)
Snowman: Free (birthday gift)
Candle: Free (already had from last year)

Grand Total: $3.50

Not bad eh? This of course would have been cheaper if I had used ornaments we already had, but unfortunately that was not an option for us. Now we encourage you to look around your house for items that you can pull together to make a Christmas vignette that is sure to make you smile every time.


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