Deck the halls: seeking out the best value in fancy festive baubles
Now that Hallowe'en is over, our thoughts have already turned to Christmas. There are now just three weeks to go until the Late Late Toy Show (November 27), which is the point at which many Irish families put up their Christmas decorations, and often the tree.
While some will smugly unpack the brand new Christmas decorations they bought on sale in January, after nearly a year in the attic, your decorations might be looking a bit sad. Last year, to my horror, I discovered the mice had feasted on my Three Wise Men which I had carefully packed away. All of my best planning (of mice and men!) came to nought as I had to replace all the decorations that couldn't be scrubbed clean.
When it comes to buying decorations before Christmas, not all are as pricey as you might think. In fact, there are some trendy bargains to be had this year for all budgets.
For the third year in a row, Frozen is still going strong this Christmas. Most retailers have some decorations themed around this hit Disney movie. However for quality, Marks and Spencer have won the day with their exceptionally detailed Elsa hanging decoration for €8. Word has it that they are selling out fast so visit your local store or Marks And Spencer online: marksandspencer.ie for more information.
Luxury Christmas Tree
For just €29.99, if you're quick, you'll be able to pick up the last of the Lidl Christmas trees which went on sale on Monday this week. This 180cm artificial tree boasts 550 branches, a sturdy metal stand, and should last for years. It also comes with a three-year guarantee. See Lidl stores nationwide or lidl.ie for further information.
If you're looking for a quality wreath for your front door then this gold leaf wreath from Marks and Spencer might be just the thing. Costing €54, it's not cheap but will last for a number of years providing you store it carefully. A beautiful addition to gold-themed decorations, it's for those who don't like bright gaudy colours or shabby-chic. See Marks and Spencer stores nationwide or marksandspencer.ie for more information.
If you have small children in the house then getting them to stay in bed on Christmas Eve might be a bit of a battle, particularly if you have any callers to the door. This simple and practical hanger for just €4 might be worth picking up from Heatons. Stick it on your front door handle to warn callers to keep it down.
Also in Heatons, you'll find a rustic lantern/candle holder with cut-out snowmen and snowflakes. Priced at €15, it's the kind of thing that you can reuse over a number of years. Order online from heatons.ie or they're available in stores nationwide.
Dealz have small owl ornaments priced at €1.49 (the same price as all of their decorations). These are available in two non-classical Christmas colours which means that owl lovers should be able to enjoy these decorations beyond the festive season. A great way to subtly adorn a room. See Dealz stores nationwide or dealz.ie for further information.
Christmas Card Holder
If you don't have enough space on your mantelpiece for your Christmas cards then a decorative holder is an investment that you'll enjoy for many years to come. This particular heart-shaped holder from Littlewoods is priced at €22, and considering it'll last beyond Christmas 2015, and can be used any time of the year, it's worth the investment. See littlewoods.ie for more information.
Hanging Decorations On A Budget
Aldi's Christmas decorations went on sale last Sunday, but there should be some of these very pretty hanging decorations left in the shop for a few days yet. Priced at €6.49 for a pack of four, they might not be suitable for hanging on a tree but perfect for the tops of pictures or hooks in the house. See Aldi stores nationwide or visit aldi.ie for more information.