Santa's Milk + Cookies!

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After I proposed the $20 Trim-the-Tree Challenge, I immediately started getting pretty pumped to do my homework!

I figured one of the safest places to bet on for some of my trimming essentials was the Dollar Tree.

I know, I know, it's an easy guess, but let's be realalthough you can often find some cute things there, not everything is going to translate to your style.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of things I actually found for this challenge at Dollar Tree!

And those few items that weren't at Dollar Tree were at my other stopsTarget and Big Lots. Lucky for me, all of these stores are close together!

This is how the list broke down for me:

  • Tree: (previously purchased, a couple of years ago)
  • Lights: ($5 from Target, previously purchased, years ago)
  • Santa’s mailbox: $3
  • Ribbon: $4, Big Lots
  • Cups: $1, Dollar Tree (x2)
  • Cotton balls: $1, Dollar Tree
  • Ornament hangers/hooks: $1, Dollar Tree
  • Sparkling gift tags: $1, Dollar Tree
  • Gingersnap cookies: $2.99, Kroger

Total spent (not including the tree + lights): $14.82

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I even had enough to grab a bottle of cider I found on clearance at Kroger for the adults to enjoy while decorating the tree! Jude went with some vanilla Ripple “milk” we had.

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Hopefully the pictures give you a pretty good indication of how I made the little cups of “milk” and the cookie ornaments...

First, I poked a hole in the cups near the top (just under the lip). The best tool I had around the house was a plant hanger hook. It gave me good control over the placement and size of the holes I made. You could definitely switch it up though and experiment with a small drill, hole punch, etc.

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After putting my holes in the cups, I just added an ornament hook through each hole.

And stuffing the cotton balls into the cups was the perfect job for Jude! She put three into each cup and we pulled the top one apart a little to fluff it out and fill the cup to the top.

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For the cookies, over a cutting board, I gently twisted the screw part of the plant hanger hook through a crack/crackle near the top of each cookie until it made a small hole, then I threaded an ornament hook through the hole.

The cookies were the perfect amount of crispy to keep them from breaking!

I had originally thought about making homemade ones, but decided we’ll do that for Chirstmas Eve to set out for Santa!

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This challenge became easier when I let go of the idea that the tree needed to look like some TV movie tree. I realized that it just needed an idea and some personality.

Jude, Demond, and I thought it turned out quite pretty and loved the theme.

They say anything's possible “if you have a dollar and a dream!"

Well, I had a theme and a jack$on!

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I hope this challenge inspires you to get creative and find your holiday spirit in whatever celebratory decorating you may dothis year and for years to come!

Try to have fun with it and relax on the rules of décor. I think it'll give you the freedom to enjoy the holidays a little more!

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Jude loved helping with the cotton balls and cups, and then hanging everything on the tree!

Her little face was so sweet and filled with such excitement the whole time we decorated. That in itself was a pretty special gift for me!

Merry Christmas and Happy Decorating to all!

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See what everyone else did ♥