entertaining · home + garden

Frugal and Fancy for the Holidays

If you’re looking for ways to be frugal and fancy for the holidays, here are 5 quick tips to keep you enjoying the holidays more – and stressing less.

Frugal and fancy from Go Gingham
Homemade cloth napkins in festive fabric with pine cones. Festive and frugal!

1.  Entertaining

For entertaining during the holidays, invite people you really want to see and enjoy spending time with. Turn up the holiday music mix and lower the overhead lights – with candles and twinkling lights, no one will notice the box wine and light snacks. Guests also won’t notice if your home doesn’t look picture perfect! Cracks in walls or cob webs on the light fixtures will definitely be overlooked with the lights down low.

2.  Gift Giving

Set a reasonable budget and stay within it. Don’t make yourself crabby this holiday by over spending. If you want the holiday to be a celebration and one that you’ll enjoy, don’t give gifts that no one will remember.

Make a gift of food – homemade granola or a batch of chocolate chip cookies look fancy when dressed in a pretty glass jar with a ribbon on top.

Simply must by a gift? Consider buying second hand. Buying a gift second-hand doesn’t make it any less thoughtful or meaningful.

3.  Gift Wrapping

Brown bags from the store can be easily decorated with holiday scenes and/or words. They will look great and totally personalized.

Frugal and fancy with Go Gingham
Maps and re-used ribbon: pretty and inexpensive wrapping.

Old maps or wrapping paper from estate sales look great on gifts and have much more style to them than brand-new wrappings. Collect ribbons that can be reused on your gifts, too.

4.  Decorating

Use outdoor items to decorate your home. Evergreen tree branches, pinecones, and holly can all be used to decorate with during the holidays. When the season is over, simply place your decorations in the compost.

Fresh fruit – especially citrus fruit – looks festive at this time of year, too.

Frugal and fancy with Go Gingham
Citrus fruit with a table runner made from re-purposed curtains. The curtains used to be in the Polo/Ralph Lauren Shop in Georgetown.

Use nice, classic tablecloths that can be reused year after year and become family traditions. Look for items to add to your collection at the end of the season – when the holiday items are on sale.

5. Food

If you’re cooking during the holidays, make the party a pot-luck and share the work and the fun! Find a festive holiday meal and email recipes to willing guests and ask them to make the dish. Cooks will love to try a new recipe and you’ll love not having to do all the work yourself.

Think lighter on the waistline and budget by skipping the heavy meal. With a few easy dips and fresh cut vegetables, holiday munching is easier.


What’s your favorite way to be frugal and fancy during the holiday season?

Go Gingham related links:

Displaying holiday cards – don’t put them away, just leave them out to enjoy
Homemade Christmas gift tradition: family calendar
Tree topper tale: a Christmas tree topper that’s so easy to make
Quick and easy holiday decorating: very easy
Green holiday living: generate less waste this holiday season
Holiday attire that’s all used clothing – frugal and fancy to wear!
Hostess gift ideas that are frugal and fancy!

Here’s a link to a podcast I did with Average Joe Money discussing this very topic. You can listen at your leisure. Isn’t technology amazing?