With six in ten squeezed Brits saying they have less cash to spend due to the cost of living crisis*, Christmas 2022 is shaping up to be a pared-back affair for many people.
If you’re tightening your belt, the good news is that there are many ways you can make your home look, smell and feel festive without breaking the bank.
This back-to-basics approach has an added bonus, too – it’s better for the environment. By re-using items you have at home and foraging in your garden, you can cut down on unnecessary plastic and packaging.
1) Go foraging
Bring a bit of the outdoors in by decorating your mantelpiece or dining table with foraged greenery. Use holly, ivy, yew or fir cuttings to create a festive feel. Once you’ve arranged your foliage (there are plenty of pretty pictures on the internet if you’re looking for inspiration), add bundles of cinnamon sticks and pinecones for interest.
2) Homemade Christmas crackers
Christmas lunch wouldn’t be the same without crackers – and the cheesy jokes and party hats (that flatter no one) you get inside. As shop-bought crackers can be expensive and always seem to include mini plastic toys that last all of five minutes, why not create your own? To make:
· Fill cardboard loo rolls or paper towel tubes with homemade party hats, handwritten jokes and a few sweeties.
· Wrap each tube with colourful paper, as if you were making a bonbon.
· Tie each end with ribbon.
3) Paper chains
Give the classic paper chain a Christmas makeover and create strings of snowmen, gingerbread men or stars. To make:
· Take a long rectangular strip of paper and fold it concertina-style.
· Draw half of your creation on the top side of the paper.
· Cut carefully along the outline you’ve drawn, making sure not to cut along the folds.
· Then unfold the paper and – voila! – your festive paper chain is ready for decorating.
4) Clementine time
Dry clementines don’t just look the part; they smell great, too. To make:
· Cut several evenly spaced incisions from top to bottom around each clementine.
· Leave the fruit to dry out.
· Add string or ribbon and hang.
5) Paper baubles
For real impact, make several baubles in varying sizes and hang them together. You’ll need waxed tissue paper, cardboard, glue, scissors and string. There are several easy-to-follow tutorials on YouTube explaining how to make these pretty decorations.
We’d love to see your festive handiwork. If you’ve made any decorations this year, share a photo of your creative endeavours on our social media. CookeCo