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The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, where families and friends come together to share love and create lasting memories. However, it’s no secret that the holidays can be financially challenging. The expenses associated with buying gifts, decorating your home, and preparing festive meals can quickly add up. In this article, we will explore strategies to help you obtain a free Christmas tree, find affordable holiday home decor, embrace easy DIY decorating ideas, and discover valuable tips for effectively budgeting your Christmas shopping.
Next, we will answer the following questions:
- Where can I get a free Christmas tree?
- Which organizations help low-income people during the holidays?
- Where to find inexpensive Christmas trees?
- Where to get free or low-cost holiday home decor?
- What are some easy DIY holiday decor ideas?
- How can I budget for Christmas shopping?
Where can I get a free Christmas tree?
Christmas Tree Santas collaborates with social service agencies and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. They cannot accommodate individual tree requests due to limited supply and reservations. During their giveaways, individuals must obtain a voucher from one of their partner agencies listed below to receive a tree. To access more information, please select your state from the list below.
- The Child Development Association, Roswell, GA
- HomeStretch, Roswell, GA
- Cristo Rey High School, Atlanta, GA
- Mercy Health Center, Athens, GA
- Sheppard Pratt Network, Gaithersburg, MD
- Amesbury Holiday Program, Amesbury, MA
- Action of Boston Family Community Development, Malden, MA
- Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley, Salisbury, MA
- Community Action Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start, Haverhill, MA
- Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, Newburyport, MA
- The Salvation Army, Newburyport, MA
- The Pettengill House, Salisbury, MA
- Our Maine giveaway is open to low-income families in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel. Applications are available at the General Assistance office of each respective town.
- Boys and Girls Club – Newark, Newark, NJ
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Paterson, NJ
- Kiddie Keep Well Camp, Edison, NJ
- Hope Match, Charlotte, NC
- The Family Enrichment Movement, Charlotte, NC
- Servant’s Heart, Mint Hill, NC
- Unisal Organization, Charlotte, NC
- Veteran Bridge Homes, Charlotte, NC
- Renaissance West Community Initiative, Charlotte, NC
- Ridley Park Presbyterian Church, Ridley Park, PA
- Austin Children’s Shelter, Austin, TX
name, email, phone number, address, a brief explanation of your need, and whether you live with a veteran (Yes or No). Please choose “yes” if you agree to be contacted via email, phone, or text message if necessary. Then, click “Done.”
The Salvation Army, a major charitable organization, offers direct assistance to those in need. During the holiday season, they operate two programs to support low-income families and individuals:
- Angel Tree Program: This initiative provides Christmas gifts to children on behalf of parents who may be incarcerated or unable to purchase presents, often including Christmas trees.
- Christmas Tree Program: This program offers free Christmas trees, along with lights and decorations, to financially struggling households. Typically, tree sizes range from 4 to 7 feet tall, with mini trees occasionally available.
Families can qualify for these programs by demonstrating their need through proof of income or government assistance. To contact your local office, please enter your postal code here.
Trees for Troops is a program that delivers free, real Christmas trees to members of the armed forces and their families each holiday season. The distribution and eligibility method is determined by each base. For a list of bases receiving trees in 2023, please click here.
United Way provides Christmas assistance, which may involve providing access to or referrals for free Christmas trees, ornaments, decorations, and more. The availability of these resources and services may vary depending on your location. To learn more, dial 211 or enter your zip code here to visit your local United Way office for free Christmas assistance.
Local churches can be a valuable resource for families in need during the holiday season. Many of them receive donations and participate in charitable programs, including providing free Christmas trees to those who can’t afford one. Here is a list of some churches that may offer Christmas assistance:
Online platforms such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and Buy Nothing Facebook groups are excellent resources for finding free Christmas trees that individuals no longer need. These platforms often have listings for secondhand or unused Christmas trees for free.
Where to find inexpensive Christmas trees?
If you missed the deadlines or none of the programs mentioned above are available in your area, here are some options for finding inexpensive Christmas trees:
- Dollar Tree offers 4-foot Christmas trees for only $5 in four colors: green, gold, silver, or white.
- Five Below has 4-foot trees for $7.50 or a 6-foot tree for $20.
- On Amazon, there’s a 30% coupon available for a 4-foot tree priced at $28.99.
- Walmart has a 6-foot tree for $25.
- Dollar General offers a 6-foot, pre-lit tree for $40.
- Both Home Depot and Walmart offer various 4 to 6-foot trees for under $50.
- Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores often have affordable Christmas trees in October and December, but they sell out quickly.
Typically, the ideal times to purchase a Christmas tree are around Thanksgiving and immediately after Christmas. You can often find great deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or during the Thanksgiving holiday season.
Where to get free or low-cost holiday home decor?
To add a festive touch to your home without overspending, consider these options for free or affordable holiday home decor:
- Thrift stores often offer a wide selection of budget-friendly home decor items.
- Dollar stores are great places to find affordable holiday decor items, such as ornaments, wreaths, and seasonal knick-knacks.
- Local garage sales and estate sales offer affordable and unique decor items.
- Discount or bargain stores, such as Ross, Burlington, Big Lots, and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, often have affordable holiday decor items.
- Explore flea markets in your area, where you can find unique and budget-friendly holiday decor items.
What are some easy DIY holiday decor ideas?
Crafting your DIY holiday decor not only adds a personal touch to your home but also reduces waste and saves money. Here are some easy DIY holiday decor ideas:
- Paper decorations: Make paper snowflakes, origami ornaments, or garlands using colored or patterned paper.
- Mason jar crafts: Paint mason jars or fill them with holiday-themed items like ornaments, candles, or fairy lights.
- Pinecone creations: Collect pinecones and create wreaths, centerpieces, or even painted pinecone ornaments.
- Fabric crafts: Sew or glue fabric scraps to create holiday-themed table runners, pillow covers, or stockings.
- Nature-inspired decor: Use branches, twigs, and leaves to craft natural decor, such as a branch centerpiece or twig wreath.
- Homemade ornaments: Craft your ornaments using salt dough, cinnamon sticks, or clay.
How can I budget for Christmas shopping?
Budgeting for Christmas shopping is a key part of smart holiday planning. Follow this step-by-step guide to manage your expenses effectively:
- Start by making a comprehensive list of all potential holiday expenses, including gifts, decorations, food, and travel.
- Determine the total amount you’re comfortable spending during the holiday season.
- Divide your budget among different categories, like gifts, decorations, and entertainment.
- Make a list of everyone you intend to buy gifts for and set a spending limit for each person.
- Stick to your list and spending limits while shopping. Look for sales and discounts, and consider shopping early to secure the best deals.
- Maintain a record of your expenses to ensure you stay within your budget.
- Stay disciplined and resist the temptation to overspend on last-minute purchases.
- Explore the option of DIY gifts, which can be thoughtful and budget-friendly.