I have been doing Cheryl Johnson's 12 Days of Christmas photography class this week. It was 12 days of tips for taking better photos of the festivities. One tip was to make a cheap star filter by using a piece of mesh from a tea strainer and holding it in front the camera lens. I actually used my big colander/strainer-but it did the trick, as you can see here:
And here are a couple of the lights on the mantel piece(without the strainer).