The Christmas season is a time for gathering friends and family to reconnect and celebrate the joy in life. Unfortunately, between the gifts, events and activities, it can also be very expensive. If you’re planning on hosting a Christmas party this year, don’t let a small budget scare you away from having some holiday fun. These tips for throwing a budget Christmas party will help you plan a lavish bask without breaking the bank.
The Beautiful Budget Christmas Party
Save money on your invitations.
Your budget-friendly bash will start with affordable invitations. While there are plenty of cheap Christmas party invitations to choose from, some companies sacrifice quality to cut costs. Inviteshop.com is a site that designs beautiful and cheap Christmas party invitations and cards. Their invites start at just $0.69 each and can be fully customized to suit your tastes and needs. Your loved ones will never know you didn’t spend a fortune on posh party invites.
Save money with smart decorations.
Sort through your Christmas decorations and see if you have anything that fits your theme or color scheme. Take advantage of your local dollar store, which is sure to have plenty of cheap decorations during the holiday season. Garland and tinsel are inexpensive and sparkly. Candles in votives cast a warm glow. You can make paper snowflakes and stars and hang them from the ceiling. Empty boxes wrapped in Christmas paper make lovely embellishments. String lights are often very inexpensive but always look elegant.
The best way to decorate on a budget is to keep it simple and concentrate on key areas that will have the most impact. Key areas include the front entrance, the food table and the room or area where guests will gather to converse. Just use as much of what you have as possible and keep an eye out for sales. Browse the web for tips on making your own Christmas decorations.
Save money on your table centerpieces.
Your party table is one area you’ll definitely want to decorate since it will be a gathering spot for both food and conversation. Luckily, beautiful Christmas centerpieces can be very affordable. Simply sticking round colored ornaments in a clear vase creates a sophisticated look. Other ideas include wrapping an empty box in silver gift wrap and placing it on a pretty platter, filling glass jars with red and green candies, floating candles in a bowl or using pine cones. Get creative with what you have and keep it simple.
Save money with delicious budget Christmas party food.
The easiest way to have a budget Christmas party is to save money on the food you serve. By scouring grocery stores for sales, using seasonal ingredients and a few other small tricks, you can have an impressive and delicious buffet at your party without spending a fortune. Here are some tips for saving money on your party food:
- Have a potluck. Provide the main dish, dessert and drinks, and let each guest bring a side dish, snack or something sweet. A potluck will be a particularly popular choice if you’re having a family Christmas party, as relatives often want to help with the planning.
- Stick to small snacks and sweets. If your party is starting later in the evening (8 or 9 pm), you don’t have to serve dinner. Specify on your party invitations that light snacks will be served so your guests will eat beforehand. Provide plenty of chips and dips, veggie trays, cheese and crackers and other affordable appetizers. That will allow you to spend a little more on desserts, such as professionally made cupcakes, cheesecake, an assortment of Christmas cookies or pies.
- Have a food bar. A baked potato bar, nacho bar, sandwich bar or salad bar can be a very affordable option. Food is cheaper when it’s bought in bulk, and since people will pile on the toppings, you won’t have to have a wide variety of other foods to pair with it.
- Make the food your entertainment. If you have a cookie decorating party, your guests can each bring some frosting, sprinkles or colored sugar. All you’ll have to do is bake sugar cookies and have a few small snacks on hand.
- Stick to beer and wine for alcoholic beverage options. Or create a signature cocktail just for the party using only a few ingredients. A fully stocked bar is nice, but the cost can really add up.
Save money with free Christmas party games.
Fun and fabulous party entertainment doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’ve got a collection of board games, bring them out and let everyone decide if there are any they’d like to play. Otherwise, here are some free games you can play at your budget Christmas party:
- Christmas trivia
- “Never Have I Ever,” the Christmas edition (“Never have I ever eaten a whole plate of cookies….” “Never have I ever took a peek at my presents before Christmas day…”)
- Two Truths and a Lie
For more Christmas party game ideas, check out this post. If your loved ones aren’t the type to join in any reindeer games, you can play a few classic Christmas movies throughout the evening. Who wouldn’t love another chance to see It’s a Wonderful Life or Elf?
Using these tips and ideas, you can have a beautiful budget Christmas party and no one will know you didn’t spend a fortune. Have fun and enjoy the holiday season!