Let’s set the scene: it’s a week before Christmas, your family nominated you to host the entire clan for the holidays, and your fridge is overflowing with enough groceries to make a sugar glazed ham and all the trimmings. You know you can cook a meal that Nana will be proud of, but you’ve blown your budget and put the table decorating on the back burner. What to do?

First of all, don’t stress! The holidays are supposed to be a fun time to spend with the people you love. Take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. A relaxed hostess is a vital piece to any event. There are ways to deck your dinning halls without breaking the bank.

Pinecones are a lovely addition to any Christmas décor. Many times, they are available for free, just ask your pine tree loving neighbor if you can pick some up from her yard. Brush off any loose debris. If you don’t have access to these types of trees, you can buy a bag of conifer cones on Amazon, and Michaels sells a scented variety.  Dropping pinecones into any clear vase you already own makes a cheery, rustic centerpiece everyone will love. Tie a ribbon around it for added flair or stick a flameless candle down in the middle of the vase and place the pinecones around it.

Next, you can use gift tags on napkin wrapped silverware to serve as table place cards. If you don’t already have tags on hand, you can get them inexpensively at price point stores like Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. Dollar General sells these for just $1 a pack. While you’re at one of these stores, go ahead and check out their selection of holiday tablecloths and garland. You may be surprised at what you can add to your decorations for a bargain.

Wowing your guests can be as simple as printing a menu and placing one on each plate at the set table. This can serve a few purposes. You’ll be reminded if you forgot the cranberry relish in the back of the refrigerator, it helps your guests plan out the real estate of their plates, and it looks classy, too. Microsoft offers Office users a winter themed menu template to download free, and Zazzle has two pages of holiday menu templates, all under $3.

Lastly, don’t feel pressured to have fine China or “good” dishes that you only use on special occasions. These sets can be expensive and take up storage space in your house that could be better utilized for items you use every day. Your guests don’t care how much their plates cost or the history behind them, they just want to enjoy a nice meal with you.