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The chaos of the holidays is officially upon us. You realize that you have been invited to so many birthday and/or holiday parties, showers, book club chats, and dinners throughout the year, and you’d love to reciprocate. You want to show your friends that you appreciate their hospitality by throwing a festive holiday fete, but unfortunately your bank account prohibits anything but an intimate gathering.
Don’t worry—at Moneytime, we understand. We’ve got four fabulous holiday party ideas for you, all with a budget of $125.00 or less. Here are some tips on how to pull off a great bash on a tight budget.
Here are four holiday party ideas that will impress your friends but not decimate your bank account.
Note: Prices may vary by region and availability.
Yes, it’s old-school. With this idea, you keep your friends busy singing their hearts out for a couple of hours. Provide the music sheets and allow 15 minutes before to practice. You could bring everybody to the local assisted living facility or the VA and sing for them—not only will you make their day; you might hear some neat stories. If that’s not an option, wander your neighborhood and regale your neighbors with your rendition of Silent Night and The First Noel. Then, after you’ve entertained the neighbors/retirees/veterans enough, herd your pals back to your place for boozy hot mulled cider and homemade treats.
Even if you’re a hopeless baker, chocolate and pomegranate bark or strawberry Santas are foolproof recipes that anyone can put together. Add some store-bought cookies (buy in bulk to save money) or homemade snickerdoodles and sugar cookies.
TOTAL BUDGET: $120.00
This is a great idea for even a lazy host. You’ll provide warm blankets, pillows, popcorn, soft drinks, and movie-style candy. You can stream movies, or ask friends to bring over their favorite holiday classics. If your friends are snarky like mine, you could screen some of the cheesier offerings on the Hallmark Channel, Hulu, or Netflix. Ask friends to comment freely in the style of MST3K. Have one of your friends keep track of the funniest ones, and read them off at the end of the night. In your candy-and soft-drink-induced sugar haze, they’ll seem even funnier. The winner gets a gift card.
TOTAL BUDGET: $114.82
For this one, you’re going
tospend more on food and wine, so budget accordingly on the decorations
and supplies. Ask your friends to bring over their favorite bottle of wine to
share, but put a price limit on it. $20
will net you a fantastic bottle in most areas.
You’ll provide the cheeses, bread, crackers and appetizers. Ask the cheese monger at your local grocer about the best cheeses that they are offering right now. Get some salty prosciutto or Genoa salami to pair with stronger reds, and serve everything with a baguette and assorted crackers.
TOTAL BUDGET: $124.01
Just like the ubiquitous, beloved
show on Food Network, you are going to challenge your friends to present
their best holiday desserts to share. If
you have friends that hate to bake, designate them the judges. You’ll want at least two friends to judge the
desserts. As the host, you’ll be an
honorary judge, as well.
You’ll provide coffee, tea, and a festive hot cocoa bar. The winner of the championship gets a gift card—and bragging rights.
TOTAL BUDGET: $117.88
There you have it—our roundup of fun holiday parties that anyone can afford. Do you have any go-to holiday entertaining tips? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.
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