Ho ho ho hacks

You can be care­ful with your money and still en­joy a beau­ti­ful Christ­mas with your fam­ily at the same time, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE - More adairs.com.au; out­liv­ing.com.au; tar­get.com.au; cot­tonon.com/AU

Any­one who has hosted Christ­mas knows what an ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise it can be. Along with pro­vid­ing the food, there’s the cost of bev­er­ages, al­co­holic or oth­er­wise, as well as the chal­lenge of dress­ing the house for the sea­son.

If you have a lit­tle time up your sleeve, or you’re af­ter a project for the kids, here’s our tips for a fun fes­tive sea­son.

Come lunchtime, most of the at­ten­tion will be fo­cused on the ta­ble. For day­time sparkle, use a glit­tered ta­ble run­ner made from Christ­mas wrap and raid the gar­den (or bal­cony) for a few flow­ers, the brighter the bet­ter. At night, a long nar­row piece of mir­ror is ef­fec­tive, es­pe­cially with tealights on top.

Buy an in­ex­pen­sive white din­ner set that you can up­date each year with a few key Christ­mas-themed pieces.

If you have more than one ta­ble on Christ­mas Day, save on buy­ing table­cloths and take a visit to your near­est fab­ric store and buy two me­tres of Christ­mas-themed fab­ric per ta­ble. Go with the frayed look to avoid the need for hem­ming.

If you don’t have a tree and space is tight, a spare wall can work. Christ­mas tree wall­stick­ers are ideal — and eas­ily re­moved — or at­tach tin­sel to the wall in a tree de­sign us­ing Blu-Tac. Or, get creative with what­ever you have with a tree shape made from any­thing stack­able, from books to bis­cuits.

Make your own Ad­vent calendar. Match­boxes are ideal but even small metal con­tain­ers like Eclipse mints work well. Stash a lolly, a joke or a small gift in­side each one.

You can use just about any­thing to make a Christ­mas wreath, from fab­ric scraps to baubles to your favourite bar coast­ers if you want. Grab a hot glue gun and a coathanger fash­ioned into a cir­cle and you’re set.

If you’re over the con­sumerism of Christ­mas, a tra­di­tional stock­ing from Tar­get is one way to put a limit on gifts. If you’re crafty, make your own and add names.

Rein­deer cups from Out­liv­ing come in packs of eight. Just be­cause your place is small, doesn’t mean you can’t have a tree. Try this hang­ing ver­sion from Adairs or have a go and make your own.

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