No matter the size of your guest list, there’s something exciting about getting a group together and entertaining them. Time is one of the best free gifts we can give one another however, hosting a party can certainly take a lot of time and money out of your pocket. Now that the Holidays are here, I wanted to put together some budget friendly ideas and give you overall tips to help you have the best Holiday party, and help you stress a little less!
Have a Plan
Even though Black Friday has passed, you can still scoop up some great deals. When planning your party, you need to decide if you want to have a sit-down meal, or serve heavy hor d’oeuvres. If having a sit-down meal, you can keep things simple, yet make a statement. I’ve learned just because companies sell everything under the sun to set your table, doesn’t mean you need it! Start with thinking about your theme. Here I chose to go with a plaid and Christmas napkin. Mixing can be fun and interesting! The only new items I bought pictured here was my linen napkins, rings and table centerpiece. All of which I got on sale! (I even saw on Target and Walmart’s websites; you can get 4 linen napkins for only $9.99 and Home Goods had packs of 4 for $7.99! The deals are there if you look for them and that can be part of the fun!) Incorporating items you already have is a great way to be creative and save money. Simply changing out my napkins gave the setting a new, festive look.
Now if you’re serving heavy hor d’oeuvres, there are tons of cute cocktail napkins floating around that are on major sale. Depending on what you’re serving, you may decide you need small paper plates, or you may be able to use napkins.
I’ve learned to keep it simple and not go overboard! I get so excited about having people over so this is something I’ve personally had to reign myself in on. Don’t get too extravagant with what you serve. Before planning your menu, be aware of your guests’ food preferences (Vegetarian or Vegan) and any food allergies. If choosing a sit-down menu, you can have a nice cheese, fruit and nut plate available for folks to snack on while everyone’s arriving. Then stick with one main course, let’s say a meat, two or three sides, and of course a dessert! If serving heavy hor d’oeuvres so people can meet and mingle, plan your menu where you can reuse certain foods in different finger foods. (If you missed my Tuna Tartare recipe, check it out here for a great item to serve! https://melinthefastlane.com/2016/10/21/tuna-tartare-recipe/ ) Either way, you don’t want to spend your entire time in the kitchen and not be able to have fun with your guests. As for drinks, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s okay to ask your guests to BYOB. They will understand!
The worst thing when attending a get together is not knowing what to wear! Let your guests know what to expect. Ugly Christmas Sweater party, Cocktail Attire, Casual, PJ’s, whatever! Just let them know so they can plan accordingly.
When deciding what type of get together you want to have, it’s best to specify if it’s an adult only party or if children are welcome. If adults are only on the guest list, make sure to send the invites early on so your guests can arrange for a babysitter. If kids are welcome, it’s nice to have an area dedicated for them to play and have activities to keep them busy. Also, offering “kid friendly” food is a good idea.
Some people love having games and such for their get together, especially for the Holidays. Maybe you want to do a white elephant gift exchange or play some reindeer games?! If you plan to do this, make sure you include this in your invite so your guests know what to anticipate.
Now after doing all of this, you can be the “Hostess with the Mostest” and your guests will be talking about how fun your party was for years to come! Do you have other helpful tips or ideas? If so, feel free to comment below! As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share this post on your social media pages and follow my day-to-day on Instagram!