Create a winter wonderland for less this holiday season

If you're a competitive person, the holiday season may be less about giving and spending time with family and more about having the most decked-out house on your block.

Whether you're fond of a traditional nativity scene or you want to have Santa and his reindeer adorning your home, you know having the best holiday decorations is based upon your budget - probably more than your creativity. If your neighborhood hosts a contest for the best decorations, there's little chance you're going to win with a few string lights dangling from your roof.

This is not to say you need an elaborate display that's synchronized to the latest pop hits and includes a heavenly host of animatronic figures, but it doesn't hurt to be somewhat heavy handed in your design choice.

Here are some tips for affordably decorating your home's interior and exterior this holiday season:

  • Shop online. When it comes to saving money, this is an oldie but goodie that applies in many situations. Many online vendors offer price breaks and other deals such as free shipping for large orders. This can be particularly helpful if you're purchasing tons of string lights.
  • Make your own decorations. Are you handy with a saw and lumber? If so, make your own wood cutouts this holiday season. Find a few stencils for your favorite holiday characters and get to work. For your home's interior, reconnect with your grade-school days and make a few snowflakes or craft homemade ornaments for your tree.
  • Shop at discount stores. You can get amazing holiday decorations at discount retailers. Although they may not be as sturdy, these items will get you through December and won't be expensive to replace the following year.
  • Wait to purchase your tree. While there's a lot of glitz and glamor on your home's exterior, the Christmas tree serves as the focal point as it shines brightly through your open curtains. While you may want to show off your tree to your neighbors for the entire holiday season, you may get a big discount if you want until a few days before Christmas Day or even Christmas Eve.
  • Start shopping for next year. Like any holiday, the day after is the best time to get your hands on discounted decorations. Stores need to clear their inventory for the next holiday, so stock up on clearance items to use for the following year.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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