It’s that time of year again. Time to get the champagne glasses out, learn to make the fanciest hors d’oeuvres recipes you could find on Google and began writing out an invitation list. Yes, it’s time to start planning a holiday party. Whether this is your first year hosting a winter soiree or you’ve made it a traditional ritual for the past 5 years now, playing hostess doesn’t have to take up all your time “ or all of your money. Use these helpful stress-free and affordable hosting tips to release your inner Martha Stewart this holiday season.
Pick a theme
You may be asking yourself: how can choosing a party theme possibly save you money? Well, depending on your vision and your theme, whether you want it to be super classy or super casual, picking a theme actually does save you money and cuts the stress factor down a lot. By having an idea in mind, say like a Winter Wonderland theme or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire theme, will allow you to get you in planning mode and help you as you start organizing details such as how many silver and white decorations you’ll need to buy or what colour of clothing you want your guests to wear.
Make bargain and dollar stores your go-to for basic supplies
There is nothing that you can’t find in a dollar store nowadays. From wine glasses to colourful ribbons to even fancy metallic utensils, you can guarantee that you’ll be able to get all of your hosting supplies at your local bargain store. Usually during the holiday season, these stores also offer even more incentives, either by offering 2-for-1 deals or offering an additional special discount. But don’t forget to splurge on at least one fancy item when it comes to the bigger items, like a sophisticated crystal punch bowl or engraved ceramic plates.
Be creative with invitations and set a strict RSVP deadline
Luckily for us we live in a time where even those who aren’t creative can look to the World Wide Web for a little inspiration. Try and make your own invitations either by using free design invitation templates or with design software such as InDesign for those of you who are a little more experienced. It’s also important to send out your invitations, either through e-mail or old-fashioned mail, and set an RSVP deadline so that you can get a concrete number on how many people are expected to attend. And if you really want to save money on invitations, send out invites via Twitter or create an event page on Facebook and let people confirm on there “ no fee to you.
Make it a potluck style soiree
The holiday season is all about being generous towards the ones you love and learning about different holiday traditions, so what better than to get the ones you love to share a piece of their holiday tradition! Encourage your invited partygoers to make and bring a special dish that they really like or to bring a dessert or treat from the culture. This is the perfect way to try something new and to also save money on food. Of course, you should only suggest, not demand, your guests to bring a food item if they want to. If they decide they don’t want to, that’s okay – but let them know that they have the option.
Get your guest involved
Similar to the idea of letting your guests bring their favourite dish, this tip encourages the guests to also become a part of the hosting team. This is a great idea if you find yourself stressing out as you try to entertain, all while playing chef and DJ at the same time. Instead, if you know that your best friend has an awesome playlist on their iPod ask them to play DJ. If your friend from work is sociable and peppy, let her be the moderator for the after dinner games. By giving everyone a role you’ll be giving yourself a chance to be the ultimate hostess without running yourself thin and you’ll also let your friends enjoy themselves by using their talents and they won’t keep asking you if they can help!