Make your Hampton Roads Home Holiday Ready (on the Cheap)

Our cities are all lit up and decorated, our malls and shopping centers are covered with trees and ornaments, and Santa is popping up all over the place.

It’s time to get your home ready for the holidays, too!

Holiday decor can be so expensive, though, and very few people have money to burn in December. But we have some tricks that can make your home sweet home holiday ready without breaking the bank.

The Tree

The secret to saving money on your tree is to take your time. Often if you wait until right before Christmas, tree lots have lowered their prices to remain competitive and unload trees they they risk not selling. Remind yourself that an “imperfection” can be decorated away… or worst case scenario turned to the corner. You may also get lucky with artificial trees on neighborhood exchanges, craigslist, or thrift stores. Keep your eyes open, and be diligent about calling and checking!


Don’t feel like you have to go Clark Griswold with the lights. Remember that simple red bows can be tasteful and festive and enjoyed during the daylight hours. Simple electric candles in the window also add a classic touch. These and other indoor and outdoor decorations are almost always available at second hand shops and dollar stores. And don’t forget, displaying cards you receive in the mail adds a festive touch and remind your family how much they’re loved.

Holiday Cards

Honestly, people remember to check their email more than their mailboxes these days, and sending an e-card with a family photo is much cheaper than the paper version. If you want to stick with traditional cards, remember if you spend a little extra time on a hand-written, personalized message it will far outweigh the paper quality, size, or name brand. It’s the thought that counts!

Warm Scents

Picking up a candle that smells like cookies, cinnamon, or fir trees will definitely do the trick (again, discount stores carry them!) but I learned a cheap way to have hours-worth of delicious scents in your home. Grab the cheapest bag of oranges you can find, cut some up and throw them in a slow cooker with a few cinnamon sticks and plenty of water, then simmer on low. Be sure to keep an eye on it and make sure that there’s always water in the pot (it will evaporate over time) but your home will smell heavenly.

Make Things Cozy

So much of holiday decorating is getting the family involved. Ask your kids to help make snowflakes, throw a few extra blankets on the chairs and sofas, and light a candle here and there. Keep holiday music playing, make paper chains with the kids, and string up unused ornaments in windows can also help add to the spirit.

Any other ideas? Email us at!

For holiday fun outside of the house, visit our events page!