4 Tips For an Easy Christmas

by Julie on November 29, 2012 · 10 comments

I love the holidays, but I’m always looking for ways to keep it simple without sacrificing the tradition and fun. Here are four tips I’ve discovered over the years, that make for an easy Christmas.

Tree Skirt Alternatives

Tree skirts are expensive. And they usually end up covered up with gifts anyway.

Several years ago — after using a new silver and gold theme on the tree — I discovered that I didn’t have a tree skirt to match. But I did have a gold tablecloth, which I bunched around the base of the tree.

It worked great. In fact, I liked the look better than a tailored tree skirt.

I used the same technique in my family room, where I have three small trees.

No tablecloths this time. Instead I bought a couple of yards of colored burlap for each tree. The fabric was much cheaper than tree skirts and no sewing required, which is good since I can’t sew a lick.

Tulle Instead of Bows

Do you have the problem of bows popping off the packages? Especially after you stack them under the tree or pile them in the car to go to Grandma’s?

Try wrapping your packages in tulle instead. It’s pretty, rolls can be bought inexpensively at craft stores, and it comes in a variety of colors to match your wrapping paper.

It’s also easy to get off at unwrapping time – no scissors needed – and there are no smashed, stray bows to make you cranky during the festivities. Or is that just me?

Chocolate Stars, Not Kisses

If you make peanut butter kiss cookies at Christmas, consider using chocolate stars instead of kisses. They’re cheaper, prettier, and don’t come individually wrapped, which saves a bunch of time.

You’ll find these in the candy aisle of the grocery store. Brach’s makes chocolate stars and my grocery store carries a generic brand too.

You can substitute these for kisses in the recipe you already have on hand, or here’s Brach’s recipe if you need one.

Ornaments as Napkin Rings

Speaking of the grocery store, I spotted a set of ornaments in mine while shopping for Christmas dinner and realized that — since they came with a loop for hanging — they’d be perfect to use as napkin rings.

This bell ornament has matching snowflake cousins that I alternated at each place setting. And they’re easy to toss in with the Christmas decorations when the season is over.

(See here for an easy napkin folding technique with no napkin ring required.)

Do you look for ways to simplify the holidays? What’s your favorite Christmas tip or shortcut?

This post is part of Frugal FridayThe William Morris ProjectWorks for Me Wednesday and Penny Pinchin Party.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Little House November 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

Love these ideas. I like the the idea of the chocolate stars and of not having to unwrap all the kisses foil – saves times and trash. I’ll also have to try the tulle ribbon this year. I’ve started ditching bows because they always get smashed.

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Julie December 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

Glad you found them helpful, LH. Merry Christmas!

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Brenda November 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Love the tulle and chocolate stars ideas. Will definitely be using both of those ideas. Thanks for posting.

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Julie December 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

Happy baking and wrapping, Brenda. :)

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Christa December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

I love the tree skirts — they look much more full than an actual skirt. I might have to steal this idea!

Love to make chocolate kiss cookies — so simple and delish!

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Julie December 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

The fullness is what I love about them too, Christa. Merry Christmas!

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Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin December 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

Love the chocolate stars! We will have to try them out this year.

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Julie December 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Happy baking!

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Melissa December 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’ve been using the tablecloth tree skirt trick for years. I love the tulle idea–it’s prettier AND reusable!

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Julie December 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Great minds, Melissa. :)

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