Every December it's the same thing: the holidays bring with them their fill of joy, but also stress and expenses. Gifting, hosting, decorating, tasting, toasting… the expenses add up as fast as it takes Santa to distribute his gifts!

This year, celebrate Christmas in style without breaking the bank thanks to these easy, inexpensive, and amazing tips!

Delicious bites with simple and affordable ingredients

These bites are quick, easy to prepare, and will help you spend time with your guests while the turkey cooks in the oven. You can also turn them into fun activities with the kids!

Pesto pastry sun

2 puff pastry doughs, 1 jar red or green pesto, 1 egg yolk

Lay two sheets of puff pastry on top of each other with a generous layer of pesto in the middle. Seal the edges with your fingers. Brush the egg yolk on top. Cut about 20 rays starting from the edges to a few centimetres from the centre. Twist the ends together. Cook for about 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350°.

Stuffed cream cheese mushrooms

20 fresh mushrooms, 1 container herb and garlic cream cheese

Wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Stuff them with the cream cheese. Cook for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350°.

Smoked salmon rolls with dill

200 g smoked salmon, 1 container plain cream cheese, 4 sprigs of dill

Spread the cream cheese over strips of smoked salmon. Sprinkle dill on top. Roll the salmon up. Serve with toothpicks.

Soft chocolate chip cookies

1 cup soft butter, 1 egg, 1 ½ cup brown sugar, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 350 g chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients until you get a consistent dough. Shape it into balls of about 3 centimetres in diameter. Flatten them a bit using your fingers and cook for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 280°.

Comforting beverages that are easy to prepare

With or without alcohol, these recipes are perfect for toasting!

Hot chocolate with marshmallows
A childhood classic…

1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon chocolate chips or spread, 1 handful of mini marshmallows

Bring the milk to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips or spread. Stir until completely dissolved. Serve topped with a handful of marshmallows.

Golden milk
An original drink full of benefits

1 cup coconut milk, 1 pinch cinnamon, 1 pinch saffron, 1 pinch ginger, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil in a pot then simmer for 10 minutes on low while constantly stirring. Strain through a sieve and serve.

Homemade cider
Fill your home with a delicious aroma!

10 apples, 1 orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons cloves, 3 tablespoons sugar, water

Cut the apple and peeled orange into quarters. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and cover with water. Simmer on low for 6 hours while stirring halfway through. Strain through a sieve and serve.

Mrs. Claus' favourite cocktail!

30 mL vodka, 15 mL Grand Marnier, 90 mL cranberry juice, ice cubes

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Strain and serve in a martini glass.

Inexpensive decorations

Instead of running from store to store for decorations and trying to recreate their lavish window displays, try these unique, inexpensive decorations.

An ode to nature

Pine cones, fir branches, lichen… Simply take a walk through your garden, a park, or the woods to find what you need for wonderful Christmas decorations. Dry what you find on newspaper before arranging or suspending them throughout your home.

The season for citrus

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit can be used for natural, aromatic decorations. Dry a few slices by putting baking in the oven for 2 hours at 150° then suspend them with a nice golden string. Or push some cloves into oranges for a wonderful Christmas centrepiece!

Festive jars

Turn your old jars into candlesticks! Simply wrap some adhesive tape around them and add paint. Once the paint is dry, gently remove the tape. Add whatever inspires you: ribbon, glitter, bells… Place a candle holder in the bottom and you're all set!

Inexpensive gifts!

These dazzling yet inexpensive gifts will please your hosts, friends, and colleagues! They're homemade with love!

Cookie jars

In a mason jar, add layers of the dry ingredients needed to prepare cookies. The recipient will simply need to add the eggs and butter. Add a label that lists the preparation method.

Maple scented candle

Stick a candlewick in an empty maple syrup can. In the microwave, melt an amount of wax that is twice the size of the can. Add 10 drops of maple food flavouring. Pour this mixture into the can and hold the wick upright. Let the candle solidify while making sure the wick stays straight, use a clothespin if necessary. Cut the excess wick off.

Exfoliating body scrub

Mix 1 cup white sugar, ½ cup coconut oil, and 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice (lavender, mint, grapefruit…). Pour this mixture in a glass jar decorated with a ribbon and a label listing its ingredients.

Personalized wrapping

You only need a potato and a bit of ink or paint to turn some brown wrapping paper into festive wrapping! Cut a shape in the potato and use it as a stamp.