Without a doubt, Christmas celebrations are going to look different this year. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the holidays might be an especially bright spot — but with cases on the rise nationwide, it’s important to minimize risks (and costs, in many cases).
Approximately 68 million Americans have poor credit, and with millions of others still out of work or afraid of impending layoffs this holiday, it makes sense that you might want to cut back. With fewer large celebrations happening, it’s likely you might be able to save a bit in that regard. But if you’re feeling the pressure to spend more to make up for pandemic-related disappointments, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation in 2021.
With that in mind, you might want to embrace your creative side and partake in some family crafts this holiday season. Whether you’re looking for inexpensive decorations or an affordable way to entertain everyone on Christmas Day, here are a few DIY ideas that will make your home even merrier.
Bring the Outdoors In
Sure, you could spend hundreds on holiday decor. But if you live in proximity to a wooded area, you can easily decorate on the cheap by bringing the outdoors in. Forests cover more than 30% of the planet’s land surface, so it’s likely you can find some discarded branches and natural greenery that will look great on the mantel. You can also gather pinecones to display in a glass bowl or berries to use in a Christmas Day centerpiece. Buying arrangements from florists can be quite expensive, but your tablescape will look incredible if you use what you can find outside. Just make sure not to harm any plants or creatures while gathering!
Hand-Make Some Ornaments
You don’t need pricey ornaments to make your tree look festive. If you have any bare spots or you happened to get a larger tree this year, you might consider supplementing with hand-made ornaments. Many of them are easy to make with salt dough or dried citrus fruit. You might even try your hand at creating pipe cleaner snowflakes or embrace the old-fashioned tradition of stringing popcorn and cranberries. Not only can you deck the halls in an inexpensive way, but you’ll also create memories that you can fondly recall every year you decorate for the holidays.
Try Some DIY Gifts
Many of us feel a lot of pressure to spend a lot on others during this time of year. But whether money is tight or you’d like to recapture the true meaning of Christmas, you might consider going homemade with your gifts this holiday. You don’t have to be particularly skilled in arts and crafts to make something special, either. DIY beauty items can often be made in your own kitchen, using items you already have in the pantry, while homemade treats are always sure to delight your recipient. You and your kids can make these presents together and drop them off (contactless delivery style!) to spread a little Christmas cheer.
Taste a Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe
Of course, you need something sweet to sip on while you make your crafts — or maybe you want to create a hot cocoa kit for a loved one! There are plenty of simple hot cocoa recipes you can make on the stove or in a slow cooker for your family to enjoy all season. Consider adding an extra flavor like cinnamon, vanilla, or mint for a little kick… and don’t forget to top with mini-marshmallows or whipped cream! To make things feel really festive, take advantage of a free holiday playlist. Although the practice of P2P file sharing first became popular in 1999 with the invention of Napster, most of us have graduated to Spotify or iTunes. If you don’t want to spend money on holiday songs, YouTube has plenty of playlists you can stream on your phone or to your TV.
The holidays won’t be the same this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! With these DIY ideas, you can savor the season at home while you create something special with your loved ones — and isn’t that what it’s all about in the end?