Fab Holiday Parties to Fit Any Budget

by Jenny Hansen

holiday party

Hannukah is in full swing and Christmas and New Year’s are coming. Do you have a yen to throw a party? Remember, creative parties are successful parties. Although they usually involve a ton of do-it-yourself, they are often the parties people look forward to the most. Cookie decorating parties, holiday scavenger hunts, caroling parties, potlucks…these sorts of holiday parties allow you put an evening together quickly and invite lots of friends, without spending a lot of cash. What do you need to provide?


If it’s a holiday party, you will need to dress up your house. However, home decor is quicker and cheaper than you might think. Here’s some ideas:

  • Wrap your front door like a present. You might use regular wrapping paper, or try butcher paper, which guests can sign and decorate for a fun party project.
  • Keep spare wrapping paper and bows from your own presents and turn them into home decor, place cards and gift cards for your party.
  • Use lights liberally. Not only are twinkle lights easy to find on sale, they are incredibly festive. Wrap mantels, furniture or doorways with lights to bring a quick holiday feel to your home.

Or find hundreds of frugal holiday decorating ideas on Pinterest. Once you’ve decorated your house, it’s time to set a budget for the party. The type of party you throw is dependent on this budget.

Least expensive:

  • Potluck. Your cost is the single dish you make. Potlucks work best if you assign dishes in advance, or send out an email with a food theme and let people choose the part of the meal they wish. Smart hosts claim their own favorite dish and open the choices from there. It is also wise to request that everyone bring a bottle of wine or beer that matches their dish.
  • Caroling. If you are mad for all things Christmas, this party is right up your alley. Your cost is a few appetizers, some drinks and the time you spend planning. You will also want to print out some song booklets for people who don’t know the words. Many people choose senior homes or children’s hospitals for their caroling endeavors. Depending where you live, you might want to carol your neighbors. A caroling party combines well with a potluck.

Slightly more expensive:

  • Cookie decorating party. Cookie decorating parties will require some appetizers, the beverage of your choice, and some ready-made cookies. The big expense is all the cookie decorating supplies, which should be set up in a few “decorating stations.” Encourage guests to bring their own cookies as well, so that everyone can trade treats to take home a variety at the end of the party. Here are more tips on hosting this type of party from AllRecipes.com.

Most expensive:

  • Holiday scavenger hunt. This type of party will work up an appetite. A single pot meal like chili or soup is easiest because it stays warm while people are busy hunting clues. Plus, you’ll need to have appetizers and at least one type of beverage for your guests. However, scavenger hunts take time: you must think up clues, decide on scoring and print all of it up. You’ll need several small prizes for the winners. Here is a link to help plan a scavenger hunt.

Whatever you plan, all of us here at SocialIn Worldwide hope you enjoy your holidays. Do you throw a party over the holidays? What’s your favorite party type and occasion? Share your tips with the rest of us at at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny

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About Jenny Hansen

Jenny HansenBy day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

Photo credit: Elliot P. via Flickr – CC License

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