Not everything at Christmas needs to be frivolous. It is possible to organize a fun Christmas party on a budget. There might be certain areas you prefer not to skimp on when it comes to the holidays, but you can throw a really great Christmas party with all the bells and whistles without having to go bankrupt. Here are some ideas for organizing a fun (and frugal) Christmas party.
1. Do a Cookie Exchange
This is a great, fun, and inexpensive way to get together at the holidays. Everyone brings one or two batches of their favorite holiday cookies and a container. Some to share at the party, and some to trade and take home. All you have to do is provide some light hors d'oeuvres and something to drink and you have a great night. The best part is that everyone leaves with something and you don't have to provide it.
2. Have a Tree-Trimming Party
So you have to decorate the tree anyways. Have a bunch of friends over, or your children’s friends, and have at it. Put on some fun Christmas music, serve some punch (our favorite is grape jucie and 7-up) and finger food snacks and you'll have a simple, inexpensive party the kids will love.
3. Have a Potluck
Not only does it save you money, but you also get to try many different kinds of foods. Plus, less work having to prepare a big meal for everyone. Have everyone bring enough to feed their family plus one and spread it out buffet style. You just get the plates, napkins, and drinks. It doesn't get much cheaper than that.
4. Dessert Anyone?
If you're looking for something slightly more elegant, perhaps for business clients, or a parent’s night out Christmas party, then a desserts buffet is the way to go. To make it even more budget friendly, ask each guest to bring a dessert to share. Then all you have to provide is the drinks and perhaps some cheese and crackers (for the salty lovers). A Christmas Punch, Spiced Cider, Hot Teas, Coffee or Cocoa would make it the perfect party!
5. Host an Open House
Have people come and go as they please during certain hours and serve them light snacks and drinks. We know a family who does this every December 25th. It has become a Christmas tradition and thier friends and neighbors, church family etc. know they are welcome to just drop in when they can for a few minutes or even stay for hours chatting, playing tables games, etc.
6. Have a Pizza Party
I know it sounds so not Christmassy, but what if you let everyone make their own pizza? Dough is relatively inexpensive and having everyone make their own brings everyone together. Not to mention that an impromptu flour fight (and the resulting clean up) can create lasting memories. It could be a lot of fun! Besides, who doesn't love pizza? Have each guest bring their favorite topping to share.
7. Skip Brunch in Favor of Lupper
A little mid-day treat or tea. It doesn't have to cost you a whole lot of money because you don't need to do a five-course dinner. Keep it small and cheerful.
8. Have a White Elephant Party
Part of the problem with holiday parties is you're never sure if you're supposed to bring gifts for everyone. At a white elephant party everyone is told to bring one wrapped gift. Put a spending limit on it if you'd like, but let them buy whatever they want to buy or would like to receive.
When it’s time for the gift exchange, take turns opening a gift. The first person chooses one to open, then second person has the choice of taking the gift from the first person or opening their own. If they take the first person's gift, then the first person picks a new gift and opens it. It then moves on to the third person, and so on until everyone is left with a gift. It might not be the one you chose, but hopefully you love it none the less. It's really very fun. And you don't have to worry about buying a gift for everyone because everyone gets one gift. Though it might be a good idea to have a couple extra gifts handy in case of an unexpected guest or in case someone forgets to bring something.
Keeping things small and asking your guests to contribute is what's going to help make your holiday party one that doesn't break the bank. After all it’s the time together that is important.
What’s your favorite Christmas party theme? I’d love to hear your ideas or things you have done for to have frugal Christmas fun.