It’s Christmas! Whether you like it or not …

In the Philippines, Christmas always start as soon as the first “ber” month sets in …  September!  To some of you, Christmas might have not even started yet.  “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?!” –  Yes, that is one of the lines in a song, I heard it right.  It is Christmas time now, 11 more sleeps at that! 

If you are having difficulty feeling the spirit of the Holiday season, I understand.   Family concerns, finances, the idea of gift giving, etc. are all valid reasons, but shouldn’t be in the way to what would be a happy celebration of Christmas.  I am not going to lecture about what Christmas is all about …. Nah, not going there.  We all know what it is, although some of us are in denial. 

With little or no budget at all for this festive season, you gotta feel it.  It’s a happy season!  Let me help you psyche yourself (if you haven’t been yet despite all the festive lights and decor outside your house and the songs that you hear over and over on the radio).  So then I guess, start with Acceptance (with a capital A).   After all, it is when Christ was born.  For Jewish people, it is the Hanukkah! – still is a time to celebrate!  Remember, even the most miserly person as Ebenezer, transformed his sour and stingy attitude to embody the spirit of Christmas – which is kindness, compassion and benevolence.  Wooah!  Those words! … they don’t cost a cent!

But let me get you to the spirit of Christmas as time is ticking.  Look around your house and it sure is telling you to decorate! At least! 

How? (And did I hear you say that you don’t really have a budget for that?)  I hear ya, and I am not going to share with you some painful suggestions but just the feel good ones without hurting your pocket.

Tidy up!   Before you could even imagine how to spruce up your house with Christmas spirit, cleaning is the first thing that you need to do.  For how are you able to envision where the Christmas tree and decor will best fit in your house, when all you can see is clutter everywhere.   Give your carpet a good vacuuming – it’s a good workout!

Light up the house.  Surrounding your house (whether exterior or interior) brings in positive, festive energy.  You don’t have to have the entire house lit up.  You can wrap the lights around an existing tree in your front yard, around your glass window, or in one of the potted plants that you have moved indoors this winter.  Canadian Tire has various multi-colored Noma LED light sets at $14.99.   At Walmart, you can find a variety of lights from $5.99 to $14.99, most of them are low in energy cost.  The smallest pre-lit Christmas tree that I have seen costs $18.00 at Walmart.  But you don’t have to have an artificial Christmas tree if you prefer a real Christmas tree.  Real Christmas trees are renewable, recyclable resource.  I found out that an acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people a year.   Real Christmas tree can cost from $10 – $35, which is still a reasonable price.  Plus, live pine tree diffuses a smell that of Christmas!  Make sure to find out an eco-friendly program that your community has in recycling live Christmas trees used during the Holiday season. 

Look around your house and you’ll find something.  You don’t have to be Crafty to be Cheery!  Glam up your Christmas tree or your house with Christmas decor.  Christmas balls, Christmas Wreaths, Poinsettia, Topiaries, Ornaments, Ribbons, Lanterns – truly the options are endless!  And some of them you don’t even have to buy.  All you need is inspiration … Steal these ideas!

If you have the knack for sewing, old white bed sheets or coverlets or left over fabrics can be sewn anew as Christmas stockings.  Otherwise, something like this does not necessarily need a sewing machine.  You can draft a pattern, cut them and either glue or staple them to shape.  Accessorize them with other colored printed fabrics or bows or pin pictures.

I have always thought about Polaroid pictures of family members and friends as an ornament for Christmas tree.    I don’t have Polaroid camera and I heard that they are already discontinued in the market place.  So, why not sew a faux one using felt fabric? Or if you design a box with print around a picture look like a Polaroid photo.

Cinnamon sticks bundle! –  A pretty traditional idea but still works!  It’s all natural and permeates an inviting Christmas scent!

Get your kids to do some Christmas paintings and hang their work of art on the wall. 

They make great Christmas decor too?

Wall Talk! – Yes! One creative way of decorating and showing a bit of Christmas spirit even if you don’t feel like talking … walls can do that for you!  You can find them in the stores at about $10 – $25.   If not, you can create unique ones for yourself and have your local printing store do the vinyl stickers for you.  They usually charge per size so try to squeeze all your words in a piece that you can afford.    If you can’t stick them to your wall, use a canvas as your medium.

Unify all your Christmas decor with a theme or color.  It just makes perfect sense.   No matter what your choice in holiday decor, a theme or a color palette ties all the decorations in a unified, harmonious and balanced design style.   It stamps your personality as well as it makes it stand out among the rest.  And you don’t need to break your piggy bank to do so!  You can have a traditional Christmas with all the elements of good old country or a pink Christmas, if you so wish.  Stimulate your creative mind, find inspirations from your surroundings and GO FOR IT! … It is fun and never deprive yourself of the fun involved in decorating and celebrating Christmas!  What do you feel like?

Have a peak of my black and white Christmas last year!  (  This Christmas, I’m contemplating on either a purple color palette or HONEYSUCKLE!!!! for my theme.  (It’s not yellow, it’s sorta like fuchsia!) 

Happy Holidays!



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