In September, we started seeing JMC in social media singing his famous, “Whenever I see girls and boys selling lanterns on the streets…??.” Now that Halloween and Undas are done and dusted, we can focus on Christmas which is waiting in the wings. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us filled our carts with 11.11 Christmas shopping deals. But for those of us who have great control or who don’t have the budget, we can still make a home that breathes Christmas with these 6 affordable Christmas ideas for a home makeover.
You know that artificial Christmas tree that you’ve had for decades, and that has been gathering dust in some corner somewhere in your house? Well, take it out and see if it can still stand to face another Christmas. Straight or wonky, it doesn’t matter as long as its spirit can still hold itself up and it doesn’t look tired and worn. If it’s no longer safe, despite your efforts to stabilize it by making it lean on the wall or doing some makeshift solutions (like tying the top of the tree with rope to the ceiling ?), it’s time to think of other ways to (re)use it. Nothing in your home should harm anyone, like children or pets, especially when they show it some cariñong brutal.
The main idea here is to recycle or upcycle your old Christmas decor.
1. Hang a Christmas light garland
Hang some Christmas lights on your wall instead of wrapping it around the (recently retired) Christmas tree. Personally, I prefer warm yellow lights that do NOT blink, and that do NOT play Christmas music non-stop. It feels so warm, inviting, and cozy. But that’s just me. If you want the whole shebang because colorful and noisy makes you happy, don’t let anyone stop you. Remember: Your Home, Your Rules.
2. Make Christmas fairy light accessories
I love these tiny fairy lights that are powered by batteries. Get a nice looking jar, preferably in a clear color, line the bottom with small pebbles, tiny white shells, salt, rice, or sugar (maybe not the last two because of insects, unless you’ve used anti-insect Bug-Off paint on the surfaces where you put the jar). Put in some shiny colored balls and ornaments, artificial berries, a bit of green leaves, then stuff the lights in. Close the jar. Place in a dark corner, on a table, or on a shelf. When you get home at night, turn the fairy lights on. Voila! Instant cozy atmosphere. Put on some soft Christmas music, then settle down for an evening of blessed peace.
3. Decorate with Christmas throw pillows
Red and green is a great color combination for the season. It’s a classic Christmas color scheme, and you’ll never go wrong having these two when you decorate your home for the holidays. Throw pillows are also an effective and affordable way to get the ambience you want. If you have plain-colored throw pillow covers in a light neutral, you can get crafty and make your own design. Keep it simple like the throw pillows shown above. Use fabric paint and snazz up your design with some sparklers like sequins, beads, metallic buttons, pompoms, etc.
4. Create a Christmas centerpiece
I’d use a tray if I made something like the centerpiece above. Reuse the branches of your tree and make a bed of leaves. Add the Christmas decor you have on hand. Mix big and small elements. For the center, choose a piece that stands out, hopefully it also symbolizes what you wish for you and your family—a happy home, a star for hope, a lantern for light and clarity, 4 candles for a unique Christmas wreath to symbolize hope, love, joy and peace…
5. Fill your home with Christmas smells
Our reaction to smells is visceral by nature. We’re wired to feel the emotions they evoke first before the memories come flooding in. Home fragrance is something I have been using decades before it was fashionable. Now they are easily available in shops or online. Word of warning: please make sure that your home fragrance is made of safe ingredients. There are candles, oils, perfumes, or fresheners that are harmful to our health. Another word of warning: make sure your candles are in safe containers and that you blow them out when you leave the room.
The best smells, of course, are those yummy stuff that are being cooked or baked. But you can also use some of the ingredients to make your home smell heavenly. Throw a few things in a pot, add water, then simmer.
Are some ingredients in the recipe not available, like pine branches and cranberries? No worries. Just substitute with Christmas spices like anise, cloves, ginger, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, allspice, or vanilla. You can also add a few herbs like tarragon, mint, lavender, oregano, basil, sage, or thyme. Don’t use these ingredients all at once. Experiment with combinations so you can have different smells the whole season through.
6. Make your own Christmas tree wall decor
Making your own Christmas tree wall decor is a more involved project than the first 5, which are fairly easy to do and can be done in just a few hours. For the tree wall decor however, you have to find those twigs. Cut them into different sizes so you can make a tree like the one above. Anchor these twigs on a piece of painted plywood for stability. Make a star out of twigs or popsicle sticks, or reuse your Christmas tree topper. Add decor and baubles. String some lights to make it an even prettier sight in the evenings. For more Christmas decor and paint color combination ideas, click on this link.
Bonus Idea: Homey Hugs for the Holidays
This video is an oldie but a goodie. With quarantine protocols the way they are, many of us won’t be able to spend Christmas face to face with our extended family, also not with dear friends. But it doesn’t mean we cannot celebrate with them. You can always host a Christmas dinner through Zoom or serenade them with the help of the Love Project. Most of all, whether they’re near or far, you can always have your loved ones present in your home by hanging photos of them on your Christmas wall.
Preparing your home for Christmas does not have to be an expensive project. Just let your creative juices flow and recycle or upcycle old Christmas decor.
For more Christmas videos, visit this playlist in our YouTube Channel.