It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? To celebrate, I invited some blogger friends over for a Merry Little Christmas Party last weekend. We ate, drank, and were very merry. Lots of laughs were had and stories shared. As much as I love hosting gatherings, the cost can add up quickly if I don’t watch out. Luckily I’ve learned a few tricks for keeping prices low. Here are my tips for throwing your own holiday party on a budget!
1. Skip the Paper Invites.
As fun as snail mail can be, it can also be costly. Stamps alone cost $.49 each! Instead, send an email invite or even set up a Facebook event. You can still make it personal by creating a photo invite. I made mine using the same steps as in this DIY Holiday Card Tutorial.
2. Keep Your Guest List Intimate.
The more the merrier! And the more expensive… If you’re sticking to a tight budget, keep your guest list small.
3. Host Between Meal Times.
Hosting a full dinner requires a lot more food than simply serving hors d’oeuvres. Set your party to start in the afternoon or later at night following dinner. Let your guests know that you’ll be serving light bites so they don’t come starving.
4. Stick with One Speciality Beverage.
As I mentioned in my 7 Ways to Save Money When Hosting Thanksgiving post, having guests BYOB saves tons of money. The cost of alcohol adds up quickly! But if you’d like to serve a festive drink, choose just one. That way you don’t have to spend money on several different liquors.
5. Research Ideas on Pinterest.
Pinterest is such a great resource. Before buying anything, do a quick search for “frugal DIY decorations” or “Dollar Store holiday decor” to get inspiration. The brown postal paper you see on the table? Totally a Pinterest thing.
6. Use What You Have.
Ramekins may be traditionally used for crème brûlée, but I used mine for nuts! And my dozens of mason jars? Why not fill them with festive straws for some inexpensive decor. Before you head to the store, rummage through your cupboards and see what you can find. Get creative!
7. Borrow from Friends (or Work!).
If you can’t find something at home, try asking around before you buy. At my office, we have tons of vases that rarely get used. I borrowed them for the weekend and filled them with Christmas ornaments for cheap decorations!
8. Explore the Dollar Store.
Forgetting which glass is yours at a party is the worst, so when I saw these clear glass mugs for $1 each at the Dollar Tree, I knew I needed them. With a Sharpie I wrote each guest’s name on a cup, making it easier for everyone to find their drink. Bonus: No one will forget anyone’s name! So much classier than name tags. Some things are worth a few extra dollars!
9. Keep It Simple.
And as I always say, keep it simple. You likely don’t need as much food as you think or need as many games planned as on your list. People are way more likely to remember the great conversations they had than the decorations you had on the table. Enjoy and have fun!
- Almond Stuffed and Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Guacamole and Chicken Bell Peppers
- Baked Brie and Raspberry Jam with Apple Slices and Whole Wheat Crackers
- Paprika Chickpeas
- Curry Peanuts
- Chili and Lime Cashews
- Grape Tomatoes and Baby Carrots
- Green Olives
- Sea Salt and Caramel Chocolate Popcorn
- Apple Cider Sangria
Besides all the food, drinks, and chatter, we played a good ol’ game of White Elephant… Except with good gifts. The catch? No one could spend over $10!
- Each person must bring a wrapped gift that costs no more than $10.
- Round One: Grab a pair of dice and start going around the circle. Every time someone rolls a double, they get to take a gift! Once all gifts are taken (and yes, some people may have more than one), everyone unwraps what they have.
- Round Two: Set a timer for 10 minutes (or however long you decide), and every time someone rolls a double, they get to steal what they want. Once the time is up, if anyone doesn’t have a gift, they get to steal whatever they want from the table. Once everyone has a gift, the game is over!
From left to right:
- Jennifer of Jennifer Claire Photography
- Rebecca of Curiosity and a Carry On
- Emily of Truefood
- BreAnna of Crafty Coin (that’s me!)
- Megan of A Dash of Megnut
- Shayla of Sports Psych Stuff Shayla Says
- Claire of Blooming in Bordeaux
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