How to host a holiday dinner on a budget

Posted at 7:50 AM, Nov 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 09:50:34-05

Will you, like millions of others, be hosting family and friends for dinner gatherings this holiday season?

I don’t know about you, but we certainly feel pressure in these moments to provide the perfect setting with the exact right mix of holiday cheer, gourmet tidbits and great company. But let’s face it, without the budget to hire caterers, buy expensive decorations, and load up on the fanciest treats, it’s all too easy to feel under-prepared to wow our guests.

While the company and conversation is on you (that’s the easy part!), don’t despair for the rest — take a look at these tips for hosting a fabulous holiday dinner party without breaking the bank.

Set the atmosphere with candles
There’s no need to go crazy with pricey holiday decorations when you can create a twinkly, intimate setting using simple, low-cost candles. Buy a big bundle and spread them around the house, from the dining room table to the mantel to the kitchen, and you’ll have a glittering, merry ambiance in minutes. Bonus: find a festive scent, and you’ll have the holidays wafting through the air too! Check out these sweet cinnamon balsam candles on Etsy for one option.

Create a festive — and free — centerpiece
Don’t we all have far more Christmas ornaments than we could ever fit on a tree? Dig into your boxes of ornaments, grab a handful of colorful, shining spheres, and lay them out across the center of the table. Voila! Your dinner is holiday-ready. If you don’t have ornaments to spare, snag a box of 96 of these silver ball ornaments (for around $15) for a classy spread. Lay out the ornaments across the table, with a few sprigs of holly thrown in, and you’ve got a Martha Stewart approved dinner table.

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