In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the darkest time of the year. So, naturally, we want to bring in the light! And what better way to do that than with a little sparkle and shine for the holidays?

Many of us don’t usually put ourselves on the holiday gift list, but there’s no need to break the bank in order to treat yourself to something that makes you feel festive.

All of the items shown below are under $100. Generally, you shouldn’t have to pay more than that for even the most extravagant-looking pieces.

One note about jewelry: There have been some alarming reports recently that the most extremely inexpensive items (you’ll see them at shops geared toward young girls) are found to contain some pretty nasty heavy metals.

Your best bet is to search out higher-end items on sale. But with the fierce competition these days, many retailers are offering pre-holiday sales throughout the month. And of course, right after Christmas, you will find some incredible bargains.

Pearls

Who doesn’t love pearls and who can’t wear them? Pearls work for every style type because they come in so many different shapes and colors. Cultured, fresh water pearls can look every bit as elegant as very expensive natural ones. For those who are more traditional, a simple single strand is always classy.

The lariat or “y”-style necklace is very big this season. This one features two real baroque pearls. And of course, a very long, looped rope of pearls is a stunning way to dress up a simple little black dress or any holiday dress that has a simple neckline. (Chanel made it a signature of her style.)

And unless someone whips out their jewelry loupe, or suddenly bites on one, nobody will know your pearls aren’t the priciest versions.

Hanging from the Chandeliers

Chandelier or drop earrings are the perfect bling-y accompaniment for a dressy holiday outfit. But of course, they will draw attention to your neck.

If you are still swan-like and have no worries about the dreaded double chin or a crepe-y neck, they add some sexiness to your attire. And if you do, in fact, have a double chin or a crepe-y neck but really don’t give a damn what anyone thinks, indulge!

As with pearls, drop earrings are best worn with a fairly uncluttered neckline. The more elaborate they are, the simpler your top or dress needs to be so that the two don’t compete for attention.

Statement Necklace

If you want to go a little bolder than pearls, a statement necklace can bring your entire look more fashion-forward. So, what is a statement necklace and how does it make a statement?

Well, for one thing, it says something unique about you – not that a strand of pearls won’t do that. However, you can make a style statement with something that speaks very specifically to your unique style and shows how you want to be perceived.

This year, there is an emphasis on the artistic and unusual. Multi-colored ‘gems’ are a perennial favorite for the holidays and beyond. For the romantics among you, there are some lovely floral fabric necklaces that add a sweet and feminine touch.

For those with more dynamism, you might want to consider something with a bit more drama than a simple classic gold link choker. And if you want to go a bit formal and old school, consider a crystal bib necklace.

Show of Hands

Finally, if you are very expressive with your hands, a large cocktail ring or showy bracelet is the perfect way to reflect the holiday lights. Just make sure your nails are manicured and your hands are hydrated. Nothing spoils the effect of a giant bling-y stone or cuff bracelet like broken or dirty fingernails.

So, you can see that all it takes is one show-y piece to put you in a sparkly holiday mood. And it certainly doesn’t require a small fortune to do so.

What’s your favorite holiday jewelry and how do you wear it? Have you found any new pieces that you long to own? Have you put yourself on your holiday gift list this year? Please take a moment to share you blingy dreams for the season.

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