I think keeping things natural is a good way to go. I love the smell of fir trees, and in lieu of getting a Christmas tree that would 1) die, because we are gone the week before Christmas and 2) would cost at least $40, I went to Home Depot to get some garlands. While I didn't find exactly what I wanted, I did find a pile of branches that had been cut off trees. Bonus - the staff at Home Depot just gave them to me for FREE! I made custom fir decorations for my entry table and my kitchen.
Another natural thing I brought in were fresh cranberries! They were so pretty for Thanksgiving, I wanted them for Christmas. I put them in small votive holders to brighten up my space. One bag at the grocery store cost $2 and filled 8 votive holders.
Other natural things that make easy and beautiful decorations are: pinecones (I've seen some even glazed or spray painted), leaves, oranges or clementines (hint: if you stick cloves in them, they smell ah-mazing), and cinnamon sticks.
Next, I love ornaments. They're so versatile - besides hanging them on the tree, you can put them on your mantle, you can fill a hurricane or a vase, stack them on shelves...so I purchased ornaments from Home Depot for $7. I hung them using some ribbon (which I'll also used to wrap presents) for $4. I also strategically placed them in my fir arrangement and to spruce up an old wreath.
Oh, and of course, the $1 advent calendar from Trader Joe's!
I literally decorated my house for Christmas spending less than $15, repurposing a few things and using a little creativity!
How did you decorate for the holidays? What are some tricks you use to save money on decorating?