Everyone loves the magic of the holidays. The lights, decorations, seasonal music and special traditions all come together to create a wonderful time of year. It’s also a very expensive time of year for many people.
As the weather grows colder and the snow starts to fall, many Minnesotans turn their attention to holiday decorations. Some go all out with elaborate designs. Other take a more mellow path. You might want to start planning your decorations early this year so that you can have the best display ever. Read on for a few ideas about how to decorate your home for the holidays.
Make a Plan
Your first step is to make a little plan about this year’s holiday decorations. Sketch out a design, and think about which decorations you will put in various places, the colors and styles of lights you want to use and the overall effect you’re aiming for. Include interested family members in the planning process, for they might have some great ideas that will make your display even better.
Check Your Supplies
Next, check your supplies. Go through all your strands of lights to make sure they’re
working properly, and replace bulbs and fuses as needed. Your other decorations should also be in good working order and not damaged. If some pieces aren’t quite right, then repair them if possible. Otherwise, you might have to replace them. Cold and snow are, after all, hard on outdoor decorations, and they won’t last forever. Be sure you have the necessary items for hanging lights and installing other parts of your display, too.
Use the Library as a Resource.
If you are on a tight budget, you might not be able to buy all new decorations. In that case, there are plenty of ways to get decorations for free. Your local library may hold a holiday book sale where you can find lots of cheap or free books. You can use those books to make decorations or gifts. You can also visit the library and see if they have any decorations you can borrow. Libraries often have lots of decorations, but they often don’t have the money to keep them all. So, you can ask your local librarian if you can borrow decorations for a few weeks.
Check Your Storage Space
If you have items from previous years that you could use for decorations, check your storage space. Taking inventory of your decorations could allow you to use decorations you already have, saving you money and time. If you don’t have what you need in storage, your best bet is to visit a second-hand store or garage sale, where you can often find decorations very cheaply.
Include Something New
Now it’s time to do a little shopping. Perhaps you’ve decided to change your display or replace a couple pieces or some lights. Then consider trying something new. Check out the holiday sections at a few local stores, and look for items that catch your eye. Maybe those pre-lit reindeer or polar bears have always appealed to you, or perhaps you’re drawn to one of those projectors that creates a show of light and images right on the side of your house. Just make sure that whatever you choose fits into your overall design and your budget.
Recruit Some Help
Maybe this whole holiday decorating project seems rather overwhelming to you. In that case, recruit some friends and family members to help you put everything into place. Start early before the weather turns too cold and the snow makes things difficult. If you’re still feeling like you simply can’t create the display you want in the time you have, then consider hiring a lighting installation service. They are specialize in installing your display, maintain it during the season and then remove it in the new year. You won’t have to lift a finger.
Mind the Bills
Finally, as you plan and create your holiday lighting display this year, be mindful of the electric bill. If you think you might exceed your budget, cut back on the number of lights you use. You can also adjust your timers to turn lights off earlier or even illuminate them only certain nights early in December and more often as the holiday approaches.
Don’t be Afraid to Haggle.
If you find decorations you like at a store, don’t be afraid to haggle for a lower price. Many store employees have discretion over the prices, so you might be able to get a lower price if you ask. If you are shopping online, there are some sites, like eBay, where you can haggle. While the prices on eBay are fixed, you can often find sellers who will lower the price if you ask.
Your holiday lights can be fantastic this year. Just follow some of these tips, and prepare to light up your neighborhood.