Top 5 tips for throwing a Holiday party

The holiday season is quickly approaching, making now the time to start planning your holiday party.  Whether you host a holiday party every year, or it’s your first one, here are some tips to help you plan a party that’s not only fun, but but budget friendly.

  1.  Set a budget – invitations, decorations, entertainment, food & drink, etc.  Prioritize where you’d like to spend most of your money based on the most important aspects to you.  Once you estimate what everything will cost you can decide how to prioritize if you’re on a tight budget.
  2. Create your guest list – although your budget may dictate the size of your party, there are ways to cuts costs to entertain more people.  If you’re inviting children, keep their interests / ages in mind as you plan activities for them to keep them busy.
    1. Send invitations – you don’t need to send paper invitations but if you do be sure to send them several weeks in advance of the party.
    2. Be budget friendly by sending email invitations – free to send and allow you to easily manage who has responded or not.  If many of your guests are on Facebook, you could set up an event page to invite guests and communicate with them before the event.  Especially useful if you’re planning a potluck, or asking guests to bring snacks or appetizers, to ensure no overlap.
  3. Plan your Entertainment – Use a digital music service to create holiday themed playlists for your party.
    1. If your guests like singing – rent or borrow a karaoke machine and have holiday hits available.
    2. Have your guest wear festive attire
    3. If you have a lot of children, have a friend or family member dress as Santa
    4. Create goody bags for young kids with candy canes, crayons, colouring pages, stickers, etc.
    5. Set up a secret Santa exchange with a budget for guests to adhere to.
  4. Plan your Menu – whether you’re making everything yourself, having a potluck, or having the party catered, it helps to plan your menu.
    1. Catered – hire caterer as soon as possible.  Work with them to create a menu your guests will love.
    2. Cooking – Create your menu, and get all your recipes together.  Make as many of the dishes in advance and freeze them in order to save time and reduce stress on yourself.  Or you can set up a buffet and be able to make up most of the food ahead of time.  Another option is to do a holiday brunch instead of a big dinner (Breakfast items tend to be less expensive, so you’ll cut down on food costs).
    3. Potluck – You supply the main dish and ask your guests to bring their favourite dish to share.  Ask them ahead of time to avoid overlap on dishes.  If they don’t cook, your can ask them to bring alcohol, or non-alcoholic beverages.
    4. Drinks – Save money on drinks by creating a signature drink to serve.  Buy non-alcoholic beverages in bulk, such as soft drinks, water, or apple cider.
  5. Decorate – You will likely be decorating for the holidays anyway, so decorations don’t have to break the bank.  If you don’t have much, as to borrow decor from friends or family.  Have children help to dDecorate natural items like pine cones and branches with glitter, or paper snowflakes, etc.  If you tend to host a holiday party every year, then take advantage of boxing day sales after the holidays to change up your decor.


At the end of the Party – here are 3 thoughtful ways to thank guests for coming:

  1. Buy food storage containers beforehand to send leftovers and treats home with guests.
  2. If you have centrepieces / flowers, send them home with guests
  3. Take photos throughout the party or set up a photo booth for guests to take pics of themselves.  Let them keep the photos, or send them a copy with a note after the party.

Most of all – enjoy yourself, enjoy your guests, and ENJOY your party!!


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