Good experience Lifestyle

How To Host A Christmas Party On A Budget

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Christmas can be a stressful time if your purse strings are a little tight. With so many gifts to buy, decorations to purchase, and food to prepare, sometimes the financial and emotional burden can seem to drain the magic out of the festive season. If you have made an annual tradition out of inviting your friends and family over for a fun-filled Christmas party, you may even be wondering if you’ll be able to throw a magical celebration at all this year.

However, the good news is that there’s no need to despair if your Christmas party funds are a little depleted; there are plenty of ways to host an enjoyable shindig on a tight budget. Read on to find out more.

Set A Limit

The first thing you should do before you get into the nitty gritty of planning your festive get-together is to settle on a spending limit. Once you have that limit in place, you will then be able to plan how much to spend on the various elements of the party – from food and drink, to decorations and entertainment.

You can decide on your limit by setting a broader Christmas budget, which will help you ensure you have enough money for all of your holiday prep. If you do this in good time, you can start saving up for Christmas well in advance, dedicating a little portion of each pay check to your festive funds.

Focus On What’s Important

Once you have started preparing a list of everything you need to get for the party, highlight the most vital ‘ingredients’ – such as food, drinks, and essential decorations – and purchase them first. Then, if you start to run out of money after that, you won’t have to worry so much about the other things on your list, as you have the most vital party supplies sorted.

Keep It Cosy

In previous years, you may have found yourself inviting dozens of people to your home for your Christmas shindig, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same this year. If your finances are stretched thin, don’t put any pressure on yourself to entertain hordes of guests. Keep it small, intimate, and manageable, by inviting only your closest family and friends.

Not only will this create a warm and cosy atmosphere for your party, but it will help you to keep the costs down as you won’t have to spend so much on food and beverages.

Go For Quantity Not Quality

When it comes to the decorations for your special event, don’t worry about covering the whole house in tinsel and baubles. You can create a perfectly magical festive ambience by focusing on the areas of your home where your guests will be spending the most time, such as the hallway, lounge and dining room.

Carefully chosen and strategically placed Christmas decorations can really set the mood, and you can also use low-cost flameless candles (for safety), lanterns and fairy lights to transform your home into an enchanted Christmas grotto.

When it comes to preparing your festive menu, the same concept applies. Don’t throw your hard-earned money away on a wide assortment of appetisers and mains, which your guests probably won’t even be able to finish. Focus on providing a few delectable dishes, interspersed with a small selection of light bites.

Set The Mood

A free and very effective way to create a festive atmosphere at your party is by compiling a Christmas playlist, complete with your favorite tunes, best-loved carols, and probably that eponymous Mariah Carey hit.

If your guests are in the mood for some karaoke, you might even want to find a Christmassy karaoke playlist on YouTube for some musical fun that won’t cost you a dime.

Swap Out Booze For Cost-Effective Cocoa

While you may feel no that Christmas party is complete without copious quantities of alcohol, the sad fact is that booze can be very pricey, particularly if you are having to buy in a large supply. Why not consider ditching the alcohol altogether this year, and serving your guests delicious cups of hot cocoa, with marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles? Sweet, rich, and cozy, this festive beverage will give them a warm glow inside and hopefully make them forget about the lack of ‘Christmas spirits’.

On the other hand, if you daren’t go entirely alcohol-free, you can focus on creating one delicious seasonal beverage, such as a saucepan full of richly spiced mulled wine, or a big bowl of fruity punch. Once again, quality, not quantity, is the watchword.

Ask Your Guests To Contribute

Throwing a party for your nearest and dearest at a time of year when your budget is already being stretched to the limits by buying gifts and perhaps even booking tickets to visit distant family is a generous gesture. As a result, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask your guests to contribute what they can.

Whether it’s a dessert, a bottle of wine, or even a secret Santa gift exchange, if your guests can help you make the party a success, not only will your bank balance benefit, but it can also create an extra sense of community and camaraderie, with everyone pitching in.

Don’t Be Shy About Asking For Help

Even if the party was your idea, there is no reason why you shouldn’t ask your family to lend you a helping hand with the preparations. Whether it’s your partner, your kids, or even your parents, seeking assistance from your loved ones will help relieve some of the burden from your shoulders so you can enjoy yourself more and focus on making the occasion as magical as possible for everyone involved.

Last But Not Least – Have A Wonderful Time!

Arguably the most important tip of all for your budget-friendly Christmas party is to simply relax and make the most of it. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make it perfect that you end up dreading or even resenting the whole thing. Even if something goes wrong – a main dish getting burned, for instance, or your family cat pulling down some decorations – don’t let it get to you.

Remember that the whole point of a festive celebration is to bring together all of your loved ones to make some magical new memories together, and the odd accident or mishap can do nothing to dim that sparkle.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.