Although I no longer believe in Santa Clause, elves or flying reindeer, the magic of Christmas is still very much alive in our home! Maybe it’s the glow of the lights, the smell of fresh cookies, or just nostalgia for Christmases gone by, but this time of year makes me feel like a kid again and brings back warm memories of nights spent together around the Christmas tree. It seems, for my family at least, that the best parts of Christmas happened around the tree: decorating it together as a family on Thanksgiving night, singing Christmas carols while dad played the piano, or opening gifts on Christmas morning. No doubt, the tree has always been an integral part of our holiday traditions!
The hubby and I had been married only two months when it was time to deck the halls of our first apartment. I was sooooo excited to finally have a tree of our own, and begin making Christmas memories together! Money was tight, and we were trying to save to put money down on our home, but I still wanted a tree that had all the magic of Christmas! Here’s how we decorated our first tree together for $50 and made it FABULOUS!
First, let me start by saying that my tree was my Christmas gift from the hubby that first Christmas. I chose a 6′ pre-lit one from Hobby Lobby that is flocked, and has pinecones and berries on it. It was probably a bit pricier than most, but it is beautiful without any ornaments at all which makes decorating easier (and cheaper)!
The first thing I did was add two strands of C9 lights. At $9.99 each that makes this the most expensive thing on the tree totaling $19.98, but as you can tell from the picture below, it was well worth the money. Here the bottom half has been wrapped with the additional lights, and the top is shown without them for comparison. What a different $19.98 makes!
Next, I used burlap garland to fill in between the branches. I bought mine from Hobby Lobby, they were 50% off $5.99 and I bought six of them making the total $17.97. I’m sure this could be DIY’ed for less, I was just feeling lazy and didn’t want to mess with it. I love it because not only does it take up space on my tree so I need fewer ornaments, but it adds texture and a cozy rustic feeling!
Now on to my ornaments:
I found my glass ornaments 90% off at Hobby Lobby, but I didn’t purchase them until after our first Christmas. Sometimes it’s better to wait until after the Holiday has passed to buy something if you can live without it for a year! I purchased 6 boxes, originally priced at $6.99 each, for $4.19 total! I chose to get half shiny and half frosted to add some variety!
I made all the bows myself. I bought two rolls of plaid ribbon at 50% off $7.99 each for a total of (wait for it…) $7.99! After making the bows, I hot glued them so they would hold their shape.
Then, I found some pinecones and used twine to hang them. Nature has so many things you can bring indoors to decorate your home for FREE!
Also pictured are several ornaments I already had (snowflakes) and some that were given to me (nest, reindeer, etc.). These add a personal touch to my tree, but it was already beautiful without them!
Andddd here’s the finished product! Coming in at grand total of $50.13! I couldn’t be more happy with the savings, or with how it turned out! What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions surrounding the tree? Leave a comment to share!