For the past couple of months, the Christmas decorations have been illuminating the High Street and the jingle bells have been reverberating through the shopping isles. The daylight hours are dwindling and the air temperature is beginning to bite. In my opinion, as soon as it is time to open that first door on the advent calendar, it is time to give that dark, bare corner of your home a festive makeover. However, living in a two bedroom flat in London means that storing a lot of Christmas decorations year after year is not really an option. Moreover, the price of buying decorations year after year, particularly the purchase of a real Christmas tree, can cost a pretty sizable penny. So, the real question is, how can you do Christmas on a shoestring budget? The first challenge being: how to get a free Christmas tree?
How To Get A Free Christmas Tree: Open Your Eyes
If you live in a city, it might be a bit harder to find areas of unkempt parkland – with irregular sized and varied trees – compared with living in suburbia or the countryside. However, I live in London’s zone 2, and running beside my house is a footpath surrounded by a narrow wilderness of trees. I am not suggesting you go digging up living trees from public spaces, or that you go attacking the local nature reserve with a chainsaw. At this time of year, when nature takes a bit of a battering from the weather, with its blustering winds and freezing temperatures, simply by taking a careful look around you, you can come across branches and foliage lying on the ground, calling out to be given a new lease of life!
What You Need To Gather
You will need a sturdy vase as the base for your tree, preferably at least 30cm tall. Situating your tree in a corner spot will also help ensure the tree is stable and less likely to take a tumble. You can design your Christmas tree to look however you choose, but, ideally, the branches or twigs that you gather need to be strong enough to be able to carry the weight of any decorations you wish to trim the ‘tree’ with. Choosing branches of differing lengths, with a number of subsidiary branches, works well in building width to the tree.
Once the tree itself has been arranged, simply deck it out with fairy lights and various decorations and ornaments, wait for the light to fade, and enjoy it in all its sparkling splendour!
Penny Savers Checklist
What do I need?
You need a tall sturdy vase, access to a garden or woodland or an area of wild trees, fairy lights, and any decorations you wish to decorate the tree with.
How much does this cost?
The tree itself does not cost anything. If you do not already have a suitable vase, ask friends or neighbours, and check out local charity shops. Fairy lights can be bought for under £10 (more if you go for fancy sets with different lighting displays), and tree decorations can be purchased cheaply from various discount stores. Indeed, you could experiment with making your own decorations to hang.
Let’s deck those halls!
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