To be on the safe side, I've always broken down the packaging for large ticket items before they make their way to the trash can. This year, instead of going through the hassle I turned them all into holiday decor instead. Now no one will know my expenditures and I have free festive decorations!
Cutting the cardboard from a recent purchase into large triangles (with rounded bottoms), I was able to make around 15 holiday trees to adorn my windows. All it took was a little tape to hold them together and some felt or tissue paper to cover the outside and I have a colorful forest that greets me every time I walk through the door.
Although I trust my neighbors to pick up my mail and occasionally take out the dog when I'm away from home for extended periods of time, that doesn't mean I trust everyone in the neighborhood or those who might just be passing through. Now my home doesn't appear like a target full of brand new appliances, in fact it's looking more like a winter wonderland instead!
Image: Sarah Rae Trover