Skip to main content

Cheap Christmas Decorations That Do Not Require Electricity

In her spare time, Abby Slutsky enjoys brainstorming unique ways of entertaining.

Invention and History of Christmas Lights

According to "Christmas Lights: Here's How They Came to Be", by Melissa Chan, people originally used candles to decorate their trees, but they could dangerously cause fires. In 1882, Edward Johnson invented a string of white lights, but initially few people used them as Christmas decorations because they were expensive.1

"A Brief History of Christmas Lights", by Heidi Davis, indicates that after a devastating fire in New York, Albert Sadacca , son of a lighting manufacturer, was inspired to create colored lights in 1917 for the holiday.2 By the 1920s his family's company was making and selling most Christmas lights.3

Over time, people have gone beyond decorating a tree and frequently decorate their entire house with many strands of lights. Therefore, the cost of using Christmas lights has increased. Thus, some people may prefer cheap Christmas decoration alternatives.

Cheap Christmas Decorations: Options Instead of Christmas Lights

Although Christmas is the time to deck out your house with festive decorations, lights are not only costly, but it can be time-consuming to string the lights. Some people spend money to have a professional put up their lights, which makes using them to decorate even more expensive than putting up lights yourself.

Fortunately, these inexpensive Christmas decorations will have your home looking festive without spending a fortune on electricity. Even better, if you use them this year, you can store many of them in a box, so you do not have to make or purchase them next year.

Here are some items that can come in handy to use as Christmas decorations:

Wide, red ribbon or tinsel

Inflatable decorations

Christmas decorations that insert in the ground

Wreaths or gold and silver sprayed branches

Holly, Fir Tree sprigs, and Christmas plants

Door decorations

A little ribbon and greenery can make excellent Christmas decorations for exterior columns outside your home.

A little ribbon and greenery can make excellent Christmas decorations for exterior columns outside your home.

Decorate Bannisters or Columns With Inexpensive Tinsel or Ribbon

Many homes have columns flanking the front door or bannisters leading up to the doorways. A little red ribbon and some greenery can help give bannisters and columns a festive touch without costing you a fortune.

Wrap some ribbon around the columns or bannister and secure it with clear tape. Tuck some greenery or artificial poinsettas under the ribbon, so it sticks out and provides a festive look. Alternatively, you can create a cheap, festive Christmas look using tinsel to brighten up the bannister or columns.

Inflatable Cheap Christmas Decorations

Inflatable decorations are available in all sizes and shapes. Whether you want Santa, a sleigh, reindeer, Frosty or any other items associated with Christmas, you can probably find an inflatable version.

Scroll to Continue

Inflatable decorations are convenient because you can position them on the ground in contrast to lights which can require a ladder to string them on trees or high areas of your home.

Another nice aspect about inflatable holiday decorations is that they take little room to store for future years when you deflate them. Although some inflatable decorations can be costly, you can often find cheap inflatable Christmas decorations at online flea markets around the holiday season. Best of all, you can use them year after year.

The one drawback of inflatable decorations is that you do have to keep your eye on them. They can deflate occasionally or topple.

Pros of Inflatable Christmas DecorationsCons of Inflatable Christmas Decorations

Reuseable and easy to store

May topple or deflate

Easy to inflate and place on property

Can find on sale or pre-owned

Yard Decorations That Go Underground

You can probably find a variety of inexpensive Christmas decorations for your yard at your local dollar store. They will be decorations attached to sticks that go in the ground. Sometimes they are Christmas signs or sayings, but you may also find Santas or other themed decorations that you can insert in your yard. These decorations can also be used year after year, and usually do not take a lot of room to store.

You can probably find a wreath to fit any budget or make your own. If you use one with artificial items, reuse it for years to come.

You can probably find a wreath to fit any budget or make your own. If you use one with artificial items, reuse it for years to come.

Cheap Christmas Wreaths, Branches and Greenery

Wreaths make an impression when they are affixed to a door or put in front of a window. They come in many sizes and are made out of a variety of items, so you can find them within your budget. Try looking for them at your local dollar store or a craft shop.

Although many wreaths are green, you can also find Christmas wreaths made out of artificial flowers and foliage in whites, reds and neutral colors. If you do not see what you want, consider buying an inexpensive styrofoam ring and using fresh or artificial greenery to make a wreath.

Fresh greenery from your garden can also enhance your exterior or interior decorations. Consider cutting branches from a holly or fir tree to decorate a holiday table or mantel. Spray a few bare branches silver or gold, and place them on your holiday table to add a touch of festive elegance.

Cost Saving Tip: If you want a fancy artificial wreath, consider buying one after the Christmas holiday at significant savings. You can store it, and use it for years to come.

Christmas Plants

A cluster of Christmas plants by your interior front door will make the house look cheerful. Try a Christmas cactus, amaryllis or poinsettias. Put the plants in red or green pots or cover them with silver foil. If you are feeling industrious, hang a sprig of mistletoe from your indoor ceiling.

Cheap Christmas Door Decorations

Christmas door decorations can be another way to cheaply spruce up your home's exterior for the holidays with minimal effort. Affix the Beastie plastic door size banner to your interior or exterior door, and the holidays will seem cheerful. Clear tape holds this door cover up well. It is a little smaller than some doors, but you can put some colored paper or a small sprig of plastic mistletoe on top of it. Although most people will only need one door cover, it is possible to buy multi-packs. The Santa themed door covering is likely to delight your children, and the plastic is heavy enough that you can use it more than one year.

Inexpensively decorating your home without lights for Christmas is easy and fun. Best of all, removing the Christmas decorations when the holiday is over is much easier than taking down lights.

1Chan, Melissa. “Christmas Lights: Here's How They Came to Be.” Time, Time, 22 Dec. 2015,

2Davis, Heidi. “A Brief History of Christmas Lights.” Popular Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, 14 Nov. 2017,

3 Ibid.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abby Slutsky

Related Articles