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Holiday Decorating On the Cheap

Everyone is keeping an eye on their bottom line this year. That means that the holidays need to be celebrated with a leaner budget in mind.

In "The Early Show" series "Early on the Cheap" we'll show you how you can celebrate the holidays to the fullest without spending a ton of money.

Sarah Humphreys, executive editor of Real Simple magazine, took a look at inexpensive ways you can fill your house with holiday decorating cheer.

CANDY CANE STAND
Everyone has a ton of candy canes in the month of December. So why not take advantage of the surplus? There are tons of ways you can use them, from dressing up flower arrangements to hanging them from your kitchen cabinet handles. But here is Real Simple's favorite: Place the candy canes in a bunched arrangements, hook side down. Then tie the other end with ribbon, colorful yarn or string. Put a sprig of holly in the center, and place on side tables, mantelpieces or anywhere you feel needs a little holiday cheer.

PINE CONE AND NUT VASES
Almost everyone has a ton of flower store vases sitting in a cabinet in their kitchen. So head to your local store or your local nearby forest and collect some pinecones. Fill the vases and tie the top with a colorful ribbons to add to the holiday cheer.

Another great idea is to take vases, large tumblers or snifters and fill them with nuts. Chestnuts, almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, than tie with a ribbon or yarn and set around the house!

MUFFIN TIN TABLE CENTERPIECE
Why not take your muffin tin and put it to good use this holiday season? Use your six or dozen muffin tray holder and fill with votive candles. Or alternate votive candles with some decorative balls from your tree. Use as a centerpiece at your next dinner party. It's elegant, inviting and cozy.

HANDY HOLLY ARRANGEMENT
Holiday flowers are a nice idea, but flowers die quickly, and holly can be just as festive and last longer -- up to four weeks! Just purchase some fresh holly from your local flower store or grocery store. Cut the end for freshness, place in vase with water and you have an instant holiday flower arrangement -- no expertise required.

LEND A HAND
We have all lost a mitten or outgrown a winter hat. You can take mismatched winter weather gear and turn it into a great mantelpiece decoration. Simply take stray mittens, hats you've outgrown, and pin to a piece of yarn. Take the strung piece of yarn and hang under the mantle. It's a cozy way to celebrate winter weather and the spirit of the season.

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