By Sheryl Renee

Affordable Room Makeovers

One of the greatest things about the holidays in the USA is that people of all ages, hues, and faiths, can find their “inner decorator.” Whether it be decorating our homes, offices, dining tables or Christmas trees, we get a chance to acknowledge that our shiny, upgraded surroundings mean something to us by adding our décor flavor.

Shopping second-hand is an excellent way to find amazing treasures and give new life to long-forgotten donated items, all while paying pennies on the dollar. With the variety of trinkets set out this time of year, you can step outside the normal red and green Christmas season colors and follow your heart’s desire. Do you like an exotic color palette? Like themes? Want to enhance your beloved collection? Then the sky’s the limit!

When I saw a rallying Facebook post from Sharon Allison & Shanti Chacko of the production company Rave Reviews, requesting decorations for Aurora’s Ronald McDonald House for the holidays, I jumped into action. I put the word out and called my friends at arc Thrift Stores, (they are always committed to helping the community). I soon had some lovely $5 arc voucher coupons in my excited little hands. I choose a Saturday (50% off discounts), and a Tuesday (senior day) and found the most wonderful ornaments, lights, garlands, and more. We had 12 trees to decorate, so I created several different themes like:

  • Matching Colors (silver & gold, red & green, blue & white)
  • Toys (bears, dolls, cars)
  • Santa Claus (elves, Rudolph, gift boxes)
  • Religious (angels, crosses, nativity scene)
  • Multi-color (lights, ornaments, and tinsel)
  • Musical instruments and more

After gathering all the décor delights, my living room was covered! I separated and bagged all the items beforehand for easy distribution amongst the volunteers. The final results were stunning and rewarding, and it warmed my heart to see the families returning from the hospital to merriment and a festive environment.

So, this year, think outside of the box! Even if you add one new item, it’s a chance to change it up. Include the kids and make a fun night out of finding, creating, and hanging your new baubles and making new memories. By recycling, you’re also helping the planet and that is a win-win.