How to Throw a Smashing Christmas Party on a Student Budget


One of my favourite things about the holiday season has always been the parties. Whether it’s an open house with your neighbours, a family get-together or a smashing party with your best friends, there’s always something fun and merry to attend and everyone is in such a warm, cheery mood!

This year, my best friend (Sidney O’Reilly of Eleven Buttercups) and I decided it was time to give back for all the parties we’ve been to in the past and throw a big jam for all of our friends. The only problem was that we’re students with a very, VERY small budget. So naturally, the first place we paid a visit to was Dollarama!

I know, I know, it sounds too cheap to even consider as the place to buy all your Christmas party essentials, but if you’re on a student budget and your guests aren’t expecting a fancy, first-class ball then it’s an awesome place to pick up decorations, cups, plates, napkins and anything else you may need to throw a smashing party.

Another unexpected, impromptu place we visited was Bulk Barn. We hadn’t planned on going in there, but it turned out to be the best place for Christmas-themed snacks. Among other scrumptious candies there were Christmas-coloured Mini Eggs and candy cane Hershey’s Kisses, which we bought a ton of and should be enough to get you to run there right this second.

These candies turned out to be the best money we spent on the party because we used them to put on top of cupcakes and brownies and then put out the rest in bowls for people to munch on throughout the night.

And of course, if you read my last post you’ll know that I’m a Nutella fanatic, so of course we bought some for the party and used it on pretty much every sweet treat we served.

Another must-have for our party was candles. We knew that the smell of the space was very important to us, so Sidney bought two pine-scented candles from Bath and Body Works. The scent she bought is called Fresh Balsam, and let me just tell you, it smelled pretty heavenly all night long! If you want your guests to feel like they’re walking into a winter wonderland when they walk into your home, then I would definitely recommend investing in some Fresh Balsam.

Finally, we added some obvious party staples like party mix, cookies and pop, and tada! A cheap yet adorable Christmas party on a student budget.

Check out the photos below to see some of the highlights of our student-budget-chic Christmas party!


The Christmas-coloured Mini Eggs were a huge hit! Most people didn’t even know they existed. (I didn’t either before I saw them at Bulk Barn!)


We used Nutella to stick these candy cane Hershey’s Kisses onto Two-Bite Brownies. They were delish!


Don’t tell anyone but we didn’t make these cupcakes – in fact they’re mini chocolate chip muffins with Nutella spread over them! Even though the muffins are usually a breakfast food, they tasted great as a dessert as well.


We bought a roll of velvet ribbon from Dollarama to tie around various pieces of furniture around the house. I think it looked super cute if I do say so myself. (P.S. – we had to watch this bow tutorial to figure out how to make it look pretty. It totally helped!)


This was our finished refreshments table (obviously before everyone arrived!). The Christmas plates, the table cloth, the mini plastic champagne glasses, the candy canes, the drink stirrers with pom-poms on the ends and the sparkly red tree are all from Dollarama, and everything else is from our local grocery store. We put fruit punch in a jug so people could use it to mix drinks with and because it’s red so it matched our theme.

Do you have any tips for throwing a party on a tight budget?


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