Joy: That feeling when you fill your shopping cart with fresh (and never-before-used) strings of holiday lights. But before you break the bank, take a beat…reflect on the season…and promise you won’t be guilty of any of the following decorating sins.

RELATED: 6 Non-Tacky Ways to Glam Up Your Home for This Year’s Holidays

holiday decor stocking tree
Twenty20

You’ve Gone From Festive to Cluttered

If your crocheted harp-playing angels are a tradition, by all means, bust them out. But promise to keep your chachkas to a minimum, lest you look like some sort of crazy old lady hoarder. And remember: if you’ve strung up more lights than you can remember to turn off (eep, fire hazard), it’s probably time to tone it back.

holiday decor deer
Twenty20

Your Color Palette Is Limited to Red and Green

Sure, to traditionalists, they’re the colors of Christmas. But so are pretty gold and silver metallics and winter whites.

holiday decor inflatables yard

You Put Out One Too Many Lawn Inflatables

Less is more, people. It’s one thing to display a cutesy Santa and reindeer. It’s a another to add four holiday-themed minions and Snoopy and the cast of Toy Storys one, two and three.

holiday decor scented candle
Twenty20

And Go All Crazy on the Scented Candles

A homemade stovetop potpourri—with hints of cinnamon and cranberries and cloves—is way more effective (and much less overpowering) than anything store-bought.

RELATED: How to Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas in 2.5 Seconds

holiday decor tree christmas kids
Twenty20

You Put Your Christmas Tree in the Wrong Spot

If you’re going to spend the time schlepping to a cut-your-own farm, it’s worth re-arranging the furniture in your living room to make your tree the focal point. Ideally, there’s a spot where you can glimpse your tree from a variety of vantage points—your living room couch, your dining room table, and most importantly, through a window as you’re pulling in the driveway. Just be sure it’s far away from any potential hazards (ahem, the wood stove).

holiday decor mug
Twenty20

You Forget the Best Décor Can Be Picked Up in Your Front Yard

No, you don’t need a Mickey Mouse-themed nativity scene. A couple of tree branches and a handful of pinecones creates a rustic aesthetic for your mantle at zero cost.

RELATED: 25 Days of Holiday Savings

holiday decor cards
Walmart

You Keep All Your Christmas Cards in a Countertop Mail Pile

Some twine and ribbon is all you need to create your own festive (and DIY) holiday garland—a no-cost display for all to see. 

RELATED: 12 Websites That Make Holiday Cards a Total Breeze

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