Planning matters

Hosting the Perfect Holiday Party (on a Budget)

Who doesn’t love a good holiday party? But let’s be honest. Between deciding how many people to invite, preparing and buying food, making signature cocktails and wanting your house filled with the perfect holiday decorations, it’s easy for your holiday party to turn into a large expense. Keep reading to learn a few ways to budget and throw a great holiday party:

  • First, create a budget. Do this by being articulate about what you’re envisioning. Who or how many people do you want to host? What main dishes, desserts, decorations and games do you want? You can prioritize a list of the important must have items and the items you can do without. Once these things have been answered, attach a dollar amount to them and create a budget, adjusting as you need to.
  • When sending out invites opt to create an invite through social media or group text rather than hard copy invites. It will save on postage and printing. Plus, its easier for your guests to RSVP. Or, call guests and make it more personal.
  • When shopping for food and drinks, shop generic. Sugar is sugar and fruit is fruit. Cutting back on name brand items will allow more room for you to splurge on higher quality cuts of meat and cheese slices.
  • Ask close friends or family that you invite to bring a side dish. Better yet ask a close friend or family member to share in the responsibilities and host with you. People are usually wanting to help, so have an ask ready when they inquire on what they can bring.
  • Make it a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) by having guests bring their own alcohol or drink of choice. Or, create a drink buffet and ask people to bring an item to contribute. For example, a hot chocolate bar with marshmallows, whip cream, sprinkles and candy canes can be a very festive choice.
  • If you are wanting to throw in a few no-cost games, consider a make your own ugly sweater contest, white elephant gift exchange or cookie bake off. You can find several more inexpensive games at
  • It may be tempting to use plastic or paper plates and utensils for convenience, but this is an additional cost. It’s much more affordable to run the dishwasher a few times after the get together. Perhaps you can even ask a good friend to stick around afterwards for a post-party toast while you clean up the dishes together.

Last, step back and remember why you want to throw the holiday party in the first place. Likely, it’s about spending quality time and sharing fun moments with family and friends. It’s not about spending more money than the person who threw the awesome holiday party last year, or the celebrity you follow on Instagram with perfect décor. Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Instead, turn on some holiday music on and enjoy!

Written By Johnson Bixby