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Holiday Party Hosting - Tips & Tricks

by Anne Middleton, on January 11th, 2016

If you went to a bunch of blasé parties this holiday season and thought you could do better, we’ve got all sorts of tips and tricks for merrymaking for next year.   Party planning can be a full-time job—it is for some!  However, the ins-and-outs of planning a perfect holiday soiree needn’t overwhelm your holiday season. 

Give yourself time.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working a full-time job and putting in extra hours, you’ll need time to plan your fete.  Make a checklist and budget about a month to get everything together, and perhaps budget more time if you’re particularly harried.

Consider your guests as part of your budgeting.

Is everyone coming?  Who is everyone?   The ladies’ book club or the CYO basketball team?  Is there a cross-section of ages coming to your party or is it a work party?  Everything from the activities to the party favors to the holiday party menu is influenced by who is coming and how many of them you expect to attend.  Another way to think about budgeting is to consider how much you can afford to spend per guest.  Around 60% of companies have an office party, so if you’re planning a party to woo upper management, be mindful of costs.  Another thing you should do is to earmark a certain amount of money that you don’t spend and hold it for miscellaneous, unanticipated party expenses, a contingency, if you will. 

Build your party around one of many great holiday party themes.

Instead of hoisting up a tree and putting out a spread and doing the usual white elephant gift swap, consider building your party around a theme.  It may seem tricky at first to make everything work around the theme, but ultimately will boost your creativity and save you money.

Make one thing extra special if you can’t afford a feast.

Especially if you’re on a budget, you’re going to want to streamline your food offerings.  However, you also don’t want your guests to say “bah humbug” either.  You may not be able to offer an open bar, but perhaps adding a hot chocolate bar with some well-chosen Irish Cream or Kahlua may pacify the guests.  Be sure to be lavish with the cheaper add-ons too, like marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc.

Budget for the extras.

Party favors and activities can blow a budget.  Shopping now, after the holidays, may trim your budget for next year’s soiree.  Take advantage of holiday savings available now.  Retailers and e-tailers are marking down the holiday tchotchkes now, so take advantage of savings today.  Need to set up a craft table for the kids for next year?  Holiday crafting supplies are on mark-down today.  Don’t pay a premium next November. 

You may not want to think about next Christmas much now that the holidays are over.  That’s understandable, especially if you’re biting your nails over a high credit card bill.  Save now and all year long, when you shop online with our discount codes.