Hosting a Holiday Party on a Budget
More than any other time of year, the holidays seem to bring with it a sense of wanting to make the perfect memories for our friends and family. We are looking for that perfect tree for the house, the perfect gifts for our loved ones, the perfect cookies to share and the perfect holiday party to host. But, by the time we get around to hosting that perfect party, our budget has become tighter than we wish that it was and time is limited as well!
I’ve come up with 5 ways to host a great get-together on a not-so-great budget!
1.Keep it simple.
Believe it or not, most people don’t accept an invitation because of the food you are serving or because you have a meticulously decorated home. They are coming because you’ve extended yourself and invited them! Don’t fuss – Don’t stress about hosting – Keep everything simple, nice and most importantly, DOABLE!
2. Choose a budget friendly menu.
Bust out your best chili or soup recipe and then embellish it with things to top it with! If you choose chili, include chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips or oyster crackers and hot peppers, etc. You can also include buttermilk biscuits or fresh bread for dipping to serve at your holiday party. Watch the heat level so as to appeal to all of your guests. You can always add more peppers, but it’s tough to quell back the fire if it’s not something enjoyed by all.
3. Make it completely self-serve.
The last thing any of us want to do when we have guests is to be running around the kitchen for this-or-that. Take the pressure off by setting up your ‘chili bar’ or ‘soup bar’ with everything your guests might need in advance. No need to serve anyone, just refill the toppings as necessary. Use big mugs or your own soup bowls…can you say homey!?
4. Drinks anyone?
We all know that drinks can make a huge dent in our party-throwing budget. Fend off that expense by creating a signature drink for the evening. It might be something you create on your own or favourite punch-like drink. Make a virgin version as well as a spiked version and keep them clearly marked. No one has to feel awkward by not choosing to drink and you can also keep a lid on how much is being consumed. Another great option is a hot cocoa and/or coffee bar. There are great recipes out there for homemade cocoa mixes and homemade coffee creamers. Set it up alongside of the punch for an additional choice. Also include iced lemon water for all.
5. The atmosphere sets the tone!
Keep things festive and fun. Make sure the tree lights are on and the room is comfortable. Conversation can sometimes be awkward… be the host/hostess with the most/mostest! Get guest talking by asking what their favourite Christmas song might be as you’re building a playlist for the holiday party. As you build it, begin to include those songs in the music you’re playing. PLAY MUSIC! Even a small Bluetooth speaker with music can change the mood of the room.
After the holiday party, send your guests an e-mail to thank them for coming and attach the playlist. Another fun thing to do is to have a few games set up and encourage people you know love to play Christmas games to play. Your guests that might be more reserved will soon see the fun and want to join in as well!
So there you have it. Five easy steps to hosting a budget-friendly, but completely awesome, holiday party! The most important thing to remember about hosting a party is … BE YOURSELF! Have fun and be sure to include those special touches that make you who you are.
Those are great ideas, we have one big party every holiday season and it is allot of fun. We also have a few party games and it is enjoyed by all.
These are all great tips, it can get a little costly sometimes, I used to host quite a few parties, but that was when I was working, another great idea is to have everyone you invite to bring one thing, that helps out a lot too!!
Great tips especially making it self serve so you can enjoy the party too!
Thank you so much for these tips – I desperately need to stay on a budget for Christmas this year!
Very interesting. Thank you for all your tips.
We do an open house (all-day party from afternoon to night) and guests drop by when they are available. Some of our staples are chili, soup, meatballs…anything that can keep warm all day and our friends just serve themselves. 🙂
Love this! I will have to remember this when I host my next party.
We usually do self serve and people often bring drinks or maybe an appetizer.
Marvellous ideas. My son and family always do a self-serve on big occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Everything is set out on the island and we all get up and serve ourselves. There’s be no room on the table for it all since there are between 8 and 16 sitting down to eat. 🙂
Great tips! What we do we have everyone bring a dish to not only cut on cost but cut on work.
I really like the idea sending the playlist along with the thankyou emails.
Thanks for the awesome tips. I love hosting holiday parties.
I have a New Years Eve party every year and we always do BYOB because booze costs a lot