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So far, spending the Christmas season in Maine has been incredibly rewarding. Getting to see fresh falling snow, cut down our own White Pine (you read about that hysterical adventure here), and hang out by a nightly fire with my love is something I’ve always dreamed of. The only downside to this transient lifestyle, however, is that I don’t have any of my traditional Christmas decor. Kyle and I originally planned to be in Maine through September. What started as a month-long vacation has expanded into a multi-season makeshift move. So, yes, we’ve pretty much been living out of suitcases in someone else’s fully furnished accommodations for the past four months. To say the very least, it’s been difficult for the decorator and hostess in me.
We all know the optimistic reaction to life giving you lemons, so I’ve tried to make our loft as “Maine-ified” as possible. I’m too stingy to go out and buy duplicates of all my holiday paraphernalia, so if you’re looking for affordable country Christmas decor ideas, here are nine tried-and-true tips:
Country Christmas Decor Tip #1:
Cut Down Your Own Tree
After finding (and chopping down) an enormous 15-foot White Pine Christmas tree on our property’s patch of trees, I’ve come to embrace its symmetrical inconsistencies. It has character. Plus, real White Pine, Balsam Firs, and Blue Spruce trees have a certain country smell that can never be duplicated by any candle or room spray. If you want your home to smell like a country Christmas, you need a real country Christmas tree.
Country Christmas Decor Tip #2:
If You Have to Buy, Buy Cheap
To decorate, I purchased some cheap lights, a giant tube of shatterproof red, green, and gold ornaments, and a few different spools of gold mesh ribbon from Walmart. If there isn’t a Walmart nearby, head to Dollar Tree or Job Lot for the best deals. There are too many inexpensive country Christmas decor tutorials on Pinterest to justify spending a bunch of money on decorations, especially if they’re temporary.
Country Christmas Decor Tip #3:
Create Festive Centerpieces with Leftover Decorations
Never waste a good ornament. The 50-piece Holiday Time set of ornaments cost $17, and I filled a clear glass bowl with the remaining balls for a cheap and festive table centerpiece. If you don’t have any leftover ornaments, extra pine cones and spray painted acorns work well as centerpieces, too!
Country Christmas Decor Tip #4:
Gather from Nature
We found some pinecones and dried red berries on the property, so we threw those on the tree for additional (and free) country Christmas decor oomph. I didn’t have enough time to pull it together, but you can also spray paint acorns and thread them together for a gorgeous natural Christmas garland!
Country Christmas Decor Tip #5:
Spend for Sentimentality
I also wanted to collect some keepsakes from our time in Maine, so I splurged on a few Maine-themed ornaments. My two favorites? A wooden loon from Camden and a glass blown basket of blueberries from LL Bean. While we’re on the subject, LL Bean makes some seriously precious glass blown ornaments. For some horrible reason, you can’t purchase them online. You can, however, visit the LL Bean headquarters in Freeport next time you’re in Maine! Even if you’re good on Bean merchandise, LL Bean headquarters is more like a theme park than a store– and it’s definitely worth a visit, especially around Christmastime.
Country Christmas Decor Tip #6:
Use Cheap Mesh Ribbon for Garland
I also seriously underestimated the circumference of our tree, and it’s about an hour drive to the closest Walmart– so we cut the insufficient ribbon into pieces and staggered them around the tree to look more substantial. Since there are quite a few holes in the cone shape of our spunky tree, this fluffy garland helped make the tree look fuller.
Country Christmas Decor Tip #7:
When in Doubt, Put a Bow on It
My mom has always had most gorgeous collection of Angel tree toppers at home in Orlando. Consequently, no Angel or star, regardless of the price tag, could ever come close to any of hers. Hence, Kyle and I opted for an inexpensive, shimmery bright red bow to go with our country Christmas decor theme, since rustic and ribbon go hand-in-hand. We had a little bit of trouble getting it on top of the tree (he’s 6’3″ and still couldn’t reach anywhere near the crown– even with a ladder), so please excuse the imbalance. Also, if you have any leftover spools of festive ribbon, tie bows on individual branches like ornaments! They make great fillers if your tree is looking sparse.
Country Christmas Decor Tip #8:
Keep It Clean
Don’t underestimate the potential natural damage of a real White Pine. There’s sap and pine needles all over the place. Our entire cottage, including the walls and floors, is built with gorgeous, log cabin-esque light wood, so I’ve been using Bona Hardwood Floor Wet Cleaning Pads and Bona Disposable Dusting Cloths to keep the floors looking presentable. If you’re curious about Bona, you can pick up their affordable products at virtually any mass retailer. I picked up mine at Walmart. You can also enter to win $100 worth of Bona products or a $150 SpaFinder gift card here. Sign me up!
Country Christmas Decor Tip #9:
Better Safe than Sorry
Oh, and last but not least, in order to avoid paying for an industrial-sized Christmas tree stand, use a standard stand and secure the tree with nude twine or craft string. Even if your tree teeters on the border of the weight or height limit, better safe than sorry! Besides, it’s much less noticeable than you’d think, and it certainly beats having to clean and redecorate after your tree inevitably tips over.
Holy cow, y’all– there’s less than two weeks til Christmas! Because we all deserve a little something special this holiday season, don’t forget to enter to win $100 worth of Bona products or a $150 SpaFinder gift card here. Also, since I know there’s a 75% chance you have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on your social calendar, check out some of my favorite holiday Christmas sweaters here.