My First Christmas Tree Does Not Have To Be Frugal

My First Christmas Tree Does Not Have To Be Frugal


Leslie's First Christmas Tree

I have not had a Christmas tree in 11 years. Technically, all the trees before that were my family’s, since I was living at home at the time.

I have never had my own tree since living on my own.

For the past few years, I told myself that I wanted to have one, but when the time came, I could not justify the expense of a tree, ornaments, other decorations and lights along with the space to store everything. I let numerous Decembers pass, not wanting to spend the money on a tree.

This year, however, I decided was going to be the year.

I really really really really wanted a live tree but simply could not justify paying $60+ for a one-time tree. Instead, I sucked up my childhood nostalgia and bought a 7’ unlighted artificial tree at Lowe’s for $83. Considering this should last me over five years, I can justify the cost.

I found some simple, pretty decorations at Target for $5 (round ornaments) and $1 (snowflake ornaments). The led lights were $7/box at Walmart – they were the most expensive of the decorations and I know I could have saved money by going the non-led route.

Decorations are an easy area to be frugal in because everyone has them. Use your external resources and ask your friends or freecycle if anyone has extra decorations that you can use. While I did buy a few for myself, I borrowed some others from a friend. Less for me to buy and store.

I did not go out of my way to shop around for the best price or find the best deals on trees or decorations. The entire cost is unnecessary to begin with, so I decided, consciously, that I was going to buy what I liked – not what was cheap.

The unnecessary $150 or so I spent on the entire tree is completely justified every time I walk downstairs and smile when I see my very own first Christmas tree.

Sometimes, you just have to do what makes you happy.

What unnecessary costs have you spent for happiness?


9 Replies to “My First Christmas Tree Does Not Have To Be Frugal”

  1. I struggle with justifying decorating costs when I’m trying to curb expenses, even year-round decor! I think that’s the fun part of being in control of your budget, though, YOU get to decide what to spend your money on and where to save and if it’s happiness, it’s worth it!

  2. I’m doing a post soon on what we spent for christmas decorations…and we totally splurged for our tree. i love it though. LOVE it. i would sleep under the tree if i could…okay maybe that makes me sounds crazy…

    1. No way! Since I put the tree up, I have totally abandoned my bedroom and just hang out downstairs every night so I can spend time with the tree. Okay, perhaps we are both crazy.

  3. Your tree looks amazing, well worth the cost – Good job! I got my first real tree last year, it was so exciting! And we left it up a week past Christmas :) I found some nice inexpensive lights and basic ball ornaments at Target last year.

    We aren’t sure we’re going to do the tree thing this year since we’ll be away for a week at Christmas, but we’ll use our lights to decorate the apartment anyway!

    We spent “unnecessary” money on a much-needed vacation this past August – our first real vacation since our honeymoon 3 years ago. This past year was stressful for both of us at work and I think it was good for us & our marriage to get away and relax for 6 days, and for once not spend all our vacation time trying to please family!

    1. The main reason why I had never had a tree before was because myself and my roommates, at every single apartment I lived in, always went home for Christmas so it seemed to be a waste. This year I plan to stay here for Christmas so I figured it would be nice to have an actual tree to wake up to. I can see how if you will not be there, you may not want to put a tree up.

  4. Your tree is beautiful! For those who want a Christmas tree/decorations but don’t want to splurge, go purchase everything AFTER the holidays. We did that two Christmases ago and got everything DIRT CHEAP. We even stocked up on wrapping paper for like $.25/roll!

    1. That is a great idea Beth! I will keep that in mind after Christmas and scope out some cheap decorations for next year.

  5. I have only used one strand of white lights and silk poinsetta flowers with red bows for the past 10 yrs. I usually buy a sprig @$ store and pull off single flowers, it’s a very classic elegant look done frugally of course

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