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Christmas 12.18.09

REAL PARTY: Ornament-Inspired Holiday

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budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

Today’s inspiring – and timely! – Real Party feature comes from the ultra-creative Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home. As always, Chris does a fabulous job with this party and shows how inexpensive elements like ribbon, gift wrap, and glass ball ornaments really can go a long way in creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere!

When it comes to stretching the budget for parties, presentation is also key, as well as maximizing the elements you already own – such as versatile white serving dishes, glass vases, home accessories, and decor from parties past – as demonstrated here.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

Read on for all the creative & inspiring details, as told by Chris…

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas


I hosted a Cocktail Party for 40 recently and really had to work the budget. I chose to use my IKEA frame for a focal point above the punch and desserts, and found a package of ornament wall stickers at Marshalls for $6 to display in the frame.  Thin ribbon was attached to create the “hangers”.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

I used different styles of ribbon to add interest to a white table cloth, coordinating gift wrap to line the trays (and decorate the bottom of the candlesticks), and made pretty labels for the desserts.

To help carry out the ornament theme, I also used a few oversize ball ornaments on top of candlesticks, and put some flowers inside the larger one.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

Ornament chipboard stickers were used to create drink stir sticks. I just attached a thin piece of ribbon to a lollipop stick to let the ornament hang off the glass.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

More pretty labels were made using a printable template from No Fuss Fabulous. Tiny gem stickers were used to top off the letter “i” in the words Mimosa, Bellini, & Poinsettia.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

The buffet table was set with white platters atop glass vases filled with decorative “snow” and red ball ornaments. Red & white flower arrangements, white candles, and a Manzanita “Tree” (which I had from a previous party) completed the look.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

To dress up the Champagne Bar, I filled a glass cylinder with more “snow” and ball ornaments, then topped it with feathers.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

This party was put together using things I already had. Just goes to show how versatile glass vases, ribbon, stickers, frames, and paper can be!

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas


Thanks for the inspiration, Chris!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

28 responses to “REAL PARTY: Ornament-Inspired Holiday”

  1. So cute! Love the cocktail tags and floral!

  2. Julie B says:

    VERY cute! Love the variety of patterns and shapes. Merry Christmas!

  3. Elisha Akram says:

    Oh so very nice! I love all the cute details that make this celebration grand! love it!

  4. Amberly says:

    Very, very nice! I’m going to try to duplicate this for our upcoming holiday festivities! Thanks.

  5. Luschka says:

    Stunning, and so creative without being totally unachievable in a home setting and on a home budget!

  6. Heavenly Blooms says:

    I love it – fabulous job Chris!!! I love the food table and the little bling accents. I have those exact stockings!!!

  7. Amy Nixon says:

    Absolutely adorable! I especially love the use of the feathers…I’m a feather fanatic! Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

  8. Chris@Celebrations At Home says:

    What an exciting day for me Jenn! Thanks so much!

  9. amy@stem says:

    Yaaaaaaaaaay, Chris and HWTM in one place. It’s like Christmas came early!

    You know I loves this.

    – Ames

  10. Kristin says:

    This is so original! Love it!

  11. Kristen says:

    So festive! Beautiful and yet not over the top. Love the little embellishments. So thoughtful.

  12. Dad says:

    this will look very nice for jan 1st football watching day. no decorations, just the food. don’t forget the scotch!

  13. Bella says:

    This is fabulous, love the frame, and that Manzanita centerpiece is fabulous. Great Job Chris!

  14. Keri says:

    So beautiful and fun (and affordable)! I love that you used the typical Christmas colors without making it look too typical and cheesy at all! Very nice!

    Please tell me, where the heck did you get those awesome high heel stocking? My mom has one that she had from when she was a teenager, and I would love to have one for my own stocking! :)

  15. Coniqua says:

    I love the platters set atop the vases with the ornaments in them. I was just dreaming up decor for a New Years party and I think this would work Great!

  16. small cabin says:

    I love it all! Great job Chris! The food table is so lovable! It is an inspiration!

  17. Chris@Celebrations At Home says:

    Keri, I believe those red stockings are Department 56. I got them a couple of years ago at TJMaxx for about $15 each. Your best bet may be a Google search for “high heeled Christmas stockings.”

    Thank you to everyone for your kind comments!

  18. robyn says:

    I love the printable templates that you made for the drinks from No Fuss Fabulous. I looked on their site and couldn’t find it. Do you mind telling me where to look? Thanks!


  19. Chris@Celebrations At Home says:

    Hi Robyn! Here is the link to the post. The actual printables are not exactly what is shown in the post, so you may have overlooked it. Enjoy!

  20. Ebony Sparkes says:

    Chris….. This is absolutely great and I hope to use some of these ideas for my dessert table for Christmas day! Phenomenal work!!!!


  21. down pillow says:

    LOVE the different ribbons used to decorate the tablecloth & the glass cubes filled with ornaments to elevate the platters – such good ideas :)

  22. Way to create a holiday party that doesn’t look tired, Chris Nease! I think that holiday parties (or holiday themed weddings) tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to a lack of creativity, just because there is so much established in terms of colors and imagery that one can fall back on. I love this… it’s holiday without being cliched.

  23. robyn says:

    Thanks Chris! So on the printable tag – were you able to erase what they had written and reprint something? I couldn’t figure that part out! Sorry!!! :)

  24. Chris@Celebrations At Home says:

    Thats’ right, Robyn. I copied it into Paintshop and used the “eraser” tool to make it blank. Then I just put in my own text.

    If you need more help you can email me directly at
    : )

  25. Ebony Sparkes says:

    Robyn…you can modify it in Illustrator if you have it. I can make some changes for you if you want….

  26. robyn says:

    Thanks! I might take you up on that! :) I am wanting to have different sayings on them for different food tags….I’m going to see if I can do it in a bit, and if I can’t, I’ll let you know!!! Thanks for the help!! :)

  27. […] minutes. For more photos check out Flickr or our Facebook Album. This party was also featured on Hostess With The Mostess // Filed Under: Christmas […]