It’s my favourite time of the year. November through January are always very busy for us, though. I am one of those that like to make this time of the year very special for my family not so much with gifts but with arts & crafts, little treats, baking, and decorating. We also throw a HUGE Christmas party for our neighbourhood, but it has to be done on the cheap. Here are 10 ways to host a Christmas party on a budget.
Tips for a Christmas party on a budget
My first year I didn’t make a budget. It was a HUGE mistake. I ended up spending 4x what I could afford. The first thing you need to figure out is how much you want to spend on the entire party, and then you need to break it down.
- How much are you going to spend on food and drink?
- How much is entertainment going to cost?
- Are you going to have party favours?
- How much are decorations going to cost?
- Do you have to pay for a venue?
- Do you need Plates, cups, paper towels, napkins, or silverware?
- Do you need invitations?
- Do you need to rent any equipment?
Make your budget as detailed as possible, but also realise that it may change as you plan your party. Don’t be afraid to not have party favours if you can’t afford them. Your guests are going to have fun, but don’t put yourself in the poor house for a party. Can’t afford fancy invitations? Make them or better yet have your kids do it.
Is your budget slim this year? Maybe instead of inviting your entire family and all of your friends you throw a family party this year. That way you don’t have to pick and choose which friends to exclude.
Want to have a party with everyone but don’t have the budget? Have a potluck style party. Ask everyone to bring a dish. This will help take pressure off of your budget for food.
If you don’t want to have a potluck style party have an appetizer party. Where instead of a full meal you have several little appetizers to serve. You could do chips and several different “hearty” dips or little burger sliders. Anything that’s affordable and can serve a lot of people.
As far as desserts go don’t serve full-size desserts. Serve cake balls, mini cupcakes, or hot chocolate and a cookie. Make it festive but bite size. Check out this Pinterest board for cute “mini Christmas desserts”.
I know you might want to have a lot of options to drink, but let’s keep it to a minimum. Instead of expensive sodas or having alcohol let’s keep it simple.
Serve hot chocolate it’s a Christmas party after all, and you can make it budget friendly. Here’s a great recipe for crock pot hot chocolate. If you’re not a fan of hot chocolate check out this recipe for a crock pot cranberry apple cider.
Tea is another great option that is very budget friendly when you’re having a lot of guests.
Water. If you can’t afford bottled water put some in a pitcher and keep it cold.
Lemonade is another budget friendly option.
Offer two different options and then also have water available that way you have something for everyone. If they don’t want tea or lemonade they can always choose water.
Check out the dollar tree, clearance, or and DIY some of your decorations to save money. Just be careful with the DIYs. A lot of people think they are saving money by making the item but end up spending two times what they could have just bought it for.
If you have this party yearly after the holidays go grab clearance items and put the up for the following year. Even during the year. If you find Christmassy plates or paper items that you need on sale buy it and put them up. Just don’t do what I usually do and lost the stuff, though.
Don’t spend a lot on entertainment if you want to have music instead of hiring a DJ you could make a playlist on Itunes or on your iPod. Most stereo systems nowadays have a plug and play feature, so there really is no need for a DJ.
Make playing family fun games a new family tradition. You could play;
- Hangman– Not a board game but our family always enjoys playing it. Plus all you need is paper and something to write on.
- Pictionary– It’s a game where players pull a card and then try to sketch a quick image. The goal is to get your teammates to guess the image you’ve drawn. It’s a great game to play as a family since you can play with as many or as few people available
- PieFace– This game is a blast and everyone can play. It’s really simple all you do is turn the handle and hope you reach 25 point before you get a pie in the face. You could even add a little holiday twist in by asking holiday questions and if you’re wrong you have to turn the handle.
- GooglyEyes– You put glasses on that distort your vision, and then you try to draw an image. Your family and friends try to guess what the image is. It’s a fast game. All you do is roll the dice and then draw. Anyone can play.
- Watch ya’ Mouth- This game is fun for the whole family. Basically you put a mouth guard int your mouth and try to say certain phrases. Your family and friends then try to guess what you’re saying.
When I was a little girl my grandparents use to always take us Christmas carolling. Sounds silly but it’s one of the best memories I have growing up.Walk around your neighbourhood and look at the lights while singing your favourite Christmas songs.
Don’t stress out about this have fun and enjoy your holidays. Your family will have fun even if everything isn’t perfect.