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It’s usually the case, in the few days before Christmas, to experience a mad rush of last minute buying and festive decorating. More often than not, we have been surprised at how fast Christmas has come. Suddenly, it is December 20th and we still do not have much of a festive feel to our home interiors and worst of all, the really good stuff will probably be gone from the shop shelves by now. So what can we do in the final few days leading up to December 25th, on a tight budget and that does not rely on too much Christmas shopping?

As I have always said and practised myself, it is best to gradually grow your Christmas décor collection over the years. Whether these are tree decorations, table covers or even top quality crackers, the build-up over time with the purchase of just half a dozen items a year really adds up as the years progress. Keep these decorations and accessories in good condition when not in use and they will last a life time and can be passed on from generation to generation.

However, if you’re starting anew or are perhaps not keen on the decor that has been handed down to you, then the following tips might come in handy.

candy-cane-christmas-color-decorCheap Chic – Candy canes are a fun, colorful and extremely tasty way to add some vibrancy to a Christmas tree, festive dining table and on just about anything in the home. They can be attached to wreaths, stockings and hidden in places where children will find them. One can also make use of ribbons which can be tied in bows and placed around a hearth or television area.

Table Décor – The best Christmas table decor will indeed be the Christmas dinner whether that consists of Turkey or the more traditional British version, goose. That said, further decorations to bring festive cheer to the table can include table cloths, table runners and various napkins and linens. Pick a particular color scheme involving 2 or 3 main colors, such as white, green and red. There’s still time to venture out and buy relatively cheap yet nice looking table cloths and napkins that will add some color and tasteful coordination to the Christmas dinner table.

Don’t forget your best dinner plates and cutlery as well. These are kept for special occasions and there is no better time for these to be brought out than during the festive period. Also, add a few bowls of nuts, fruits and candy to the table which will contribute further to the colorful and festive scenery of the dinner table and dining room as a whole. If you live near the country, then you can venture out and collect some holly and winter foliage that can be spread around the table to bring a natural Christmas feel to the setting. Don’t forget the candles too!

holly-christmas-foliageFoliage – As I mentioned in the previous segment, Christmas is the perfect time to bring in nature from the cold. When snow is falling outside and the carols are being playing, you can gaze upon the green and red beauty of the foliage to remind you of the landscape outside beneath the snow. It’s also traditional.

Foliage you can gather, either from the countryside or from stores, include holly, ivy, mistletoe and spare cuttings from Christmas trees. These can be added to tables, banisters, window ledges, mantels and walls. To increase the color combinations, you can think about collecting berries, dried fruits such as oranges and also cinnamon sticks. Once all this foliage is in place, you can then decorate these with any spare tree decorations you might have and even fairy lights.

No spare tree decorations? Well then, make your own! It’s easy.

Candles – The use of candles during Christmas is a must. As long as you make sure you use them safely, especially if you have little children in the house, then candles will really make a big impact on the festive ambiance and magic of the Christmas home interior. There are so many different types of candles that come in different colors, shapes, sizes and scents. try placing candles in little groups but of different shapes and sizes. This will create a contrast that will reduce conformity as well as adding a creative style and very probably, more light.

There are numerous ways to quickly, cheaply and effectively add Christmas cheer to a home interior lacking in festive decoration. Be creative and plan ahead so you don’t suddenly realise after it’s too late to do anything about it. Luckily for me, I have too many decorations but all of these have been gathered over more than thirty years.