I know, I know...you're disgusted that the retail world has gone straight from Halloween to Christmas. I feel your pain. Really, I do. But the truth is, I've spent the last two years of my life so buried in stressful work that I did not have time to decorate, think about or enjoy my favorite holiday. In fact, if memory serves, last year we bought a tree just a couple of days before Christmas.
This year the sacrifices and career changes I've made have allowed me to be home more often. So I went straight from Halloween to Thanksgiving & Christmas. No tree yet, but I have begun spreading cheer throughout the house in small doses. The vase below is an example of an easy, inexpensive way to decorate.
The vase is an old vase that generally spends the rest of the year tucked away in a kitchen cabinet. You probably have one just like it. (It probably once had a goldfish in it.) The green balls came from a cheap set I purchased years ago at a dollar store type shop. They look like they are glass, but they are actually plastic. Paired with an inexpensive red tablecloth, the kitchen table looks festive - without being tacky.