How to Throw a Festive Holiday Party on a Budget
Throwing a holiday party this year? Sure, you can go all out and try to impress, but if you think about it, what counts is who shows up. If you’re tight on funds, you can still pull it off with money left over for gifts. Here’s how to throw a bash without bashing your budget.
Buy Discount Decorations
Shop at a fabric store or your favorite dollar store for cheap holiday decorations. Start with candles and garland. Tuck a strand of LED Christmas lights into a bough of holly or pine and put it on the mantle. Add cranberries, inexpensive glass balls or foil-wrapped candies in a dish. Light the fireplace and create a festive playlist on your iPod. It’s the aura you’re going for.
Pare Down the Buffet
There’s no need to go all out on dozens of appetizers and desserts. Put together a few good dips and appetizers. Pinterest is your friend here. Cheese and crackers, crudités, a savory dip or two and a few simple desserts will fill your guests at a cocktail party. Buy local from a farmer’s market, scour grocery coupons and buy what’s on sale, and buy domestic instead of imported.
Say Cheers to Savings!
Holiday drinks don’t have to be pricy to be memorable Try a single punch made with domestic alcohol, or a signature drink plus a few bottles of soft drinks and a coffee station. If people ask whether they can bring a bottle, say yes.
Throw a Potluck Party
One of the best ways to save money is to have everyone bring a covered dish, make a list and assign food, if you know your guests would be amenable to that. Or provide one hearty dish yourself and give suggestions for others. Don’t forget napkins and plates! Remember that a brunch is cheaper than a cocktail hour, and a cocktail hour is cheaper than a full dinner. Cookie exchanges and (if you can handle a little mess) cookie decorating parties are always a hit in the evening. Bakers love showing off their culinary talents.
Holiday parties on a budget don’t have to be extravagant. Shop smart and focus on the spirit of the season.