It's easy to be a great hostess this Christmas party season and also save money if you know the following strategies that can turn a tiny budget into big results:

Tip #1: Make your own party invitations

There are a huge number of free printable Christmas party invitations you can download online. Simply find the look, size and message you like, paste the artwork into Word  or another word processing program and print. If you choose well, the results should rival store-bought invitations.

Tip #2: Save big on decorations by going DIY

Many types of holiday decorations can be made at home just using clipart you can find on the Internet. These can be printed and placed all over your house, including being used as napkin holders or menu cards. If you're so inclined, try some glitter glue to make things more sparkly.

Tip #3: Serve inexpensive foods that make a big splash

While planning the menu for your party, look for Christmas appetizer recipes that don't cost a lot to make and also provide that "wow" factor. An example of this is to serve a low-cost dip in a hollowed-out purple cabbage bowl, or filling baked puff pastry cups with pre-packaged cheese spread mixed with imitation crab and Tabasco sauce or any type of filling you prefer.

Tip #4: Use music to create a holiday atmosphere

Christmas music is soothing and a great party starter. You can always use holiday music recordings, of course, but live music is so much better. And live music doesn't necessarily have to cost a lot. If you don't have friends or family members willing to play free, inquire at a local school's music department. There may be some musicians who would be willing to work for free or just a small fee.

There are probably other methods you can think of to stretch your holiday entertaining budget. Just be sure to keep your guests' experience in mind and don't let inexpensive become downright cheap. If you stay focused on being classy, your guests won't know the event was a bargain to produce.