So you have just purchased your first home. The home buying process and piles of paperwork are finished, the boxes are unpacked and the dust is beginning to settle. Now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Most likely money will be tight for your first holiday as a homeowner and that’s ok. There are many ways to enjoy the season without spending a fortune.
Greenery, Snow and Winter
For decorations use fresh pine, twigs and branches collected from your backyard or a local park. Christmas tree lots always have extra pine boughs trimmed from the bottom of trees and they usually give them away. Buy a can of spray snow, about $5 and some iridescent glitter for around $2 then lightly dust the twigs and branches with both. Make a garland by attaching pine boughs end to end with green or black twist ties and add the snowy branches here and there. A wreath for the front door can be made by disassembling a wire coat hanger and shaping it into a circle. Attach the pine garland to the wire frame and add some red, silver or gold ribbon if you have it. Pick up some cranberries and popcorn for under $10 at the grocery store and string them for garlands to hang on the tree or fireplace mantel. If you have an extra $20 go to a discount store and buy a dozen votive candles and glass candle holders. Place the lit candles all around the living room for an instant warm & cozy atmosphere.
No money for outdoor Christmas lights? Not to worry. Make luminarias by filling brown paper lunch bags with an inch of sand and one votive candle in the center. Each luminaria should cost less than $1.50. Line your driveway, patio or front walk with these and light the candles when the sun goes down. The effect can be so stunning that you may never want to buy Christmas lights.
Now for the big holiday feast. Shop around for deals on turkeys and hams. It might feel like you are spending a fortune for a $15 or $20 hunk of meat but keep in mind that leftovers can be turned into soups, casseroles and sandwiches. Also buy a large bag of potatoes and you will have a built in side dish for a week or more. With the money saved on holiday trappings you should be able to cover that first mortgage payment and buy an inexpensive bottle of champagne to ring in the new year in your new home.
Purchasing a new home and making mortgage payments puts a huge strain on the budget, especially the first year or two. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do Christmas in a big way. After all, now you have your very own space to decorate!