Holiday pizazz on a Scrooge budget


POSTED: Sunday, November 22, 2009

Decorating for the holidays doesn't have to cost a bundle. Adding some flair to the decorations on hand can make things new and fresh without spending too much, according to Beth Munson, marketing coordinator for Price Busters.

Themed Christmas trees can be intimidating, but adding a little color can tie everything together, Munson explained. “;On my main tree, I use all of my traditional ornaments, the sentimental things, especially the ones that the kids made when they were small. I mix and match everything.”;

She starts by creating a color scheme that focuses on tying her traditional decorations together. Standard combinations include silver and gold; gold and red; or all silver, she said. “;White lights make everything shimmer and they don't clash with anything,”; she added.

Affordable finds abound at the new Let's Party Hawaii by Price Busters at Windward Mall and in Kapolei. For example, a container of ornaments can be found for $14.99. Smaller containers of colored theme ornaments with fewer pieces are options. Or, individual decorations can be purchased for $1.99 each. The whole idea is to make what you've always had seem fresh and new by adding a few things to the mix.

Artificial trees that can be used both inside and outside the home range in price from $1 to $200, depending on their size. “;Pre-lit 2- and 4-foot trees are most popular,”; Munson said. “;Many people have small houses or condos ... or lots of people come in to pick up decorations for the office.”;

In order to cut costs further, Munson suggests using simple neutral-colored tablecloths and embellishing the area with colorful decor. LED (battery-operated) tea lights also help dress up a room for special occasions. “;If they are set on a table, it's a good way to show stuff.”;

The store offers additional notions for entertaining. For unique party favors, Munson suggests filling plastic champagne glasses with colorful fruits and tying a bow or ribbon on the stem.

Materials for goodie bags and favors include pails, mugs and assorted bags. Holiday stamps ($1.69 for six), pencils and holiday stickers (59 cents) and Jade snacks ($1.59) can be packaged in the gift bags.

She also suggests having a few extra gifts on hand in the home and office. “;That way, we're not put on the spot if we weren't prepared to exchange a gift. We have a large selection of candy and coffee mugs, which can make good teacher gifts,”; she said.

THE PARTY stores aren't limited to holiday themes. The establishments are meant to provide one-stop party planning. All nine of the Price Busters establishments are locally owned and operated and familiar with island-style celebrations, catering to everything from the baby luau to golden-anniversary celebrations.

“;The new concept store offers everything under one roof,”; said Beth Tom, CEO of Price Busters. “;We have a 15-foot wall showcasing our Hello Kitty products. If your son wants a Thomas the Train party, we have an entire aisle with nearly 20 items dedicated to all things Thomas.”;

Plates, napkins, table covers, skirts and more are categorized by color and also by theme, from Mickey Mouse to jungle safari prints and princess parties for the kids. Adults can find props to build events around Mardi Gras, casino night and football themes.

“;We buy lots of closeouts, so it keeps our quality products at affordable prices,”; Munson said. “;We get new inventory every day. We have thousands of different types of candy. The bins were designed with the concept of penny candy (although it ranges in price from 5 to 50 cents).

“;People visit the store and comment that they haven't seen specific candies in many years,”; she said. “;It's like taking a trip down memory lane.”;