6 frugal Christmas decorating tips

Posted at 10/15/2012 6:23 PM | Updated as of 10/16/2012 3:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines – With Christmas coming in less than two months, Filipinos all over the world are scrambling to add holiday cheer to their homes through decorations, from the belen to the Christmas tree.

Some, however, skip the decorations as they worry about expenses.

Cons Ruña, division merchandising manager for SM Homeworld and Our Home, gave these tips on how to maximize your Christmas decorating budget on Monday’s episode of Kris Aquino’s morning talk show “Kris TV.”

1. Get a six-foot-tall tree

A six-foot-tall Christmas tree may seem small, but this is the best size as it can fit almost any type of home, according to Ruña.

“Kasi karamihian ng mga bahay natin ngayon maliliit,” he explained.

Get a slim tree instead of the traditional fat one so it will not fill up a lot of space.

Those who do not have the space or the budget for a six-foot-tall Christmas tree may opt for a small one that can be placed on a table, or a wreath that can be hung on a door.

2. Less is more

No need to place everything on the tree, said Ruña, who stressed that less is more when it comes to Christmas decorations.

Limit your ornaments to only two colors to make it look elegant without spending too much, he said.

Popular combinations with a green tree include red and white, which are usually associated with Santa Claus.

3. Use what you have

Search your attic for old décor as vintage and rustic designs are in this season, said Ruña.

From picture frames to old Christmas balls, these items from the '50s and '60s are not only “in” but also easy on the pocket.

Those who do not have old items at home but still want a vintage feel can buy several cheap items in department stores, such as soft picture frame ornaments at less than P40 each.

4. Resin will last longer

The belen, a set of figurines depicting the nativity scene, can be made of ceramic, plastic, glass, wood, and even paper cutouts for those who are on a tight budget.

It can be priced from P500 to P8,000 and above, depending on the size and materials used.

While space is a major factor to consider when buying an indoor belen, durability is highly prioritized when this set of figurines is brought outdoors.

Ruña recommends a belen made of synthetic resin as it will not fade or discolor despite being exposed to the elements, which means it can still be used after several years.

5. Go LED to save more energy

Although more expensive, light-emitting diode or LED Christmas lights can give you more savings because these use less electricity, according to Ruña.

He said these products consume only 40% of the power used by ordinary Christmas lights, which will translate to lower electricity bills.

“Mas mahal siya but worth it kasi it gives you 40% more burning hours,” he explained.

6. Care for your items

Storing your Christmas decorations properly will save you a lot of money, said Ruña, who noted that a lot of people tend to replace their broken ornaments each year.

Clean all your decorations by wiping them with a washcloth before returning them in their original boxes. If you’ve thrown the original packaging, make sure to place them in durable storage boxes where they won’t be damaged or deformed.

For fragile items, cover them with paper or bubble wrap before storage.