How much does your Christmas tree cost?

>> 12.03.2009

I’ve broken down the costs of my hair , face, and pet so I think it's about time for a little holiday-themed fun... let's look at how much my tree costs!

The tree: $10
When I moved out into my own place during college, I "suffered" through a Christmas with a tiny table tree so that I could score a deeply discounted 7-footer on Christmas clearance (at Home Depot). I went for an unlit tree so that I could replace the lights on my own to elongate the life of the tree.
Tree skirt: $20
Again, I held out for a Christmas clearance to snag this timeless Crate & Barrel skirt.

Lights: $5
It only takes two strands to light up my 7-foot tree when I stand it against the wall so I was able to get all of them with a 2-for-1 special.

Topper: $1
This garage sale find is still my stand-in topper while I wait to find "the one." Who knows, maybe I'll find one this December 26th.

Filler Ornaments: $30
Unlike my parents who are somehow able to fill a 12-footer with sentimental pieces, I'm still working on building up my ornament collection. My DIY tree trimmings for $10, a $10 silver set from IKEA and a a couple of $5 sets of gold stars (fair trade from 10,000 Villages) help fill the empty spots.

The extras: $20/ year
I've slowly started to buy meaningful ornaments to build my collection. In addition, Nate and I are going to buy each other ornaments as part of a new (and thrifty) Christmas tradition.

My grandmother gifted me this ornament as a reminder of my university's football championship (Hook 'Em!).
We bought this $10 hand painted ornament on our recent Thanksgiving trip to Asheville, NC.

Total: $66 + $20/year

How much does your tree cost? Do you go for hand-blown ornaments or cut your own tree each year at a local farm? What's your most priceless ornament?

I'm linking this post up with the 12th Penny Pinching Party over at The Thrifty Home.
Head over to join in with the fun!


Danielle and Clint December 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

WOW! What a deal! Last year, we found a tree on sale for $100, that was originally $400! But your deal is way more exciting. I don't tend to buy many ornaments during the year. They are mostly gifts to me.

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" December 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

I'm so impressed with your Christmas decor price tags! Holiday decor can get really expensive if ones not too careful. To save mulah in years past, we waived the whole holiday decor. However, this year we inherited a 7ft pre-lit (fake) tree and even though I had alway rejected an artificial tree, it's not as bad as I thought.

Since I own zero ornaments, I'm collecting my coupons to varies stores and store-hopping for discounted trimmings everyday after work. Did I mention how much I loved your DIY trimming? It really adds that extra sparkle in a subtle and elegant way. I may try to replicate your design if you don't mind. ^_^

The Sale Rack December 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM  

we're gong treeless this year to save money for our wedding. in nyc real trees are ridiculously expensive and there is no storage for fake trees!

i'm opting for mantel decor instead!

The Brick Cottage December 3, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

I'd say the break down for my tree is about $50. I bought it about 7 years ago for $15 (I hope to upgrade it this year) and currently have 5 strands of lights on it (so I'd say about $10 was spent over the years) and then ornaments that were purchased over time, but mostly are silver balls which are cheap. We're slowly working towards the sentimental ornaments, so in a few years or so our tree should be full of memories.

Mrs. Chic December 3, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

Yoour tree looks great! We have a dilemma this you we upgrade from our dinky 4ft apt tree? Or what untill after Christams and get an amazing 6ft plus tree?

So far I've spent $10 bucks this your on ornaments..thanks to the Dollar Tree - they even have glass!

LizzieBeth December 3, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

We are purchasing a real tree this year (I know we are horrible people) but I think after the holidays we are going to snag one on clearance.

Other then that $35 investment, all my ordiments are nearly 8 years old, so I can't even fathom how much they were when I first got them.


Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog December 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

@LizzieBeth- Did you know that buying a real tree actually leaves a smaller carbon footprint? I didn't know that until after I bought my fake. Now that I know, I'll still keep my fake so that it doesn't end up in the landfill like many of the others do.

If you're going for a fake, I'd go with an unlit one that won't need to be tossed because of lighting issues.

micah @ the yellow front door December 3, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

We bought our (real) tree for $15 this year - had a 50% off coupon from Ace Hardware. Most of the ornaments were bought last year on sale after Christmas. I love your tree skirt!

recklessbliss December 3, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

Your tree reminds me quite a bit of my tree this year. I have a blog at and I'll be posting a pic of mine pretty soon as well. I'd love for you to check it out!

chacha December 3, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

Bummer that real leaves a smaller carbon foot-print - I'll be it partly depends on how long you keep your fake one, though.

$10 for a 7 foot fake is crazy cheap, even by post-holiday standards. Good score! I got mine at Target on the 26th in 2004 - suffered a tree-less Christmas as well, but it was worth it. I think I paid $50 for a $150 tree - no lights, either.

Nicole R.J. December 4, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

What a great question! I have *no* idea how much my tree costs... we buy a real tree everyyear {but try for a place that offers a $-back coupon}, and we've picked up our ornaments here and there over the past few years. I'd guess somewhere around $100-$150.

Lydia December 4, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

It is easy to go a little crazy on holiday decor spending - I am a culprit here. I always get a real tree, but being from northwoods Wisconsin we are usually able to get a great deal at the tree farm. This year though, we got ours in downtown Chicago and paid a bit more than usual! As far as ornaments, although I probably spend about $10 a year on beautiful ones from craft stores or one-of-a-kind gift stores (and the occasional Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn addition), my family knows I collect star shaped ornaments so I can usually count on getting a couple as gifts for the holidays!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno December 4, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Your tree is beautiful! My prelit tree was $40 on mega clearance, and I just spent $30 at Hobby Lobby for the ornaments. I also bought my tree skirt for $25...I'm pretty happy that for $100, these items will last me for awhile!

Alexis L. of One Grand Home December 5, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

I am in the midst of Xmas tree ambivalence. I don't really want to spend $40 for a freshly cut tree and I don't really have the closet space for a synthetic option. I have a lot of saved ornaments and no matter what, I am trying to keep my total holiday decor budget well under $50 this year.

Jen December 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM  

I remember not having any ornaments when I first got married. Now I have tons and my kids keep making me more. I love your $1 star, I just bought a similar one for $12.

Carly December 29, 2009 at 11:12 PM  

I love the little price breakdowns that you feature throughout your blog..great idea!!

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