Just about everybody loves a good party. If you are planning one for either Christmas or New Year’s this year, you might be wondering what things to include in your holiday party budget that will make your party a smash hit!
Taking time to make a plan, and a budget, for your holiday party will ensure you don’t go over board with spending during the expensive holiday season. Plus, it’ll help you avoid forgetting things that you’ll have to run and grab at the last minute. It’s a win-win!
Here are 6 things you should include in your holiday party budget.
It isn’t a party if you don’t have great food. Make sure you plan your menu ahead of time and don’t wait until the last minute to do your grocery shopping. I was once forced to change my holiday menu because the only grocery store in my small town was out of a critical ingredient I needed for one of the food items I had been planning. If some of the ingredients you need are canned or boxed you might be able to pick them up a couple of weeks early when they are on sale and save money in your budget. It also helps if your menu includes less items that are out of season because not only are they harder to find during the holidays, they will cost you more as well.
Serving wine or other beverages that include alcohol can add up quickly when you start calculating how much money to budget for your holiday party. You could skip drinks containing alcohol altogether, but there are also lots of creative ways to include spirits and still stick to a budget.
One way is to serve a special holiday cocktail before dinner. Then you can serve a limited selection of wine and beer later. Or, make it a BYOB party. If you are planning to skip alcohol completely, serve a festive punch drink using cranberry juice or apple cider instead. There are plenty of recipes on the internet to choose from.
What party is complete without some form of entertainment? It could be as simple as using a cd player or streaming holiday music during the party. Other forms of entertainment might be to play games or even watch a holiday movie. Either way, planning ahead for entertainment and working it into your budget is better than scrambling for ideas at the last minute.
If you’ve already decorated for the holidays or the party is being held somewhere else that has already been decorated you can skip this section. However, if you have booked a room for your holiday event, check ahead of time to see if decorations are included or if you will need to provide them. It’s easy to decorate on a budget by using table cloths, some candles, and a little greenery.
You’ve planned the food, drinks, entertainment, and decorations, but do the guests know when and where to show up? Don’t forget to include invitations in your budget planning, even if they are e-invitations. Some e-invitations are free, but others might cost a couple dollars if you want a fancy or themed layout.
A small gift on each guest’s plate can serve double duty as a gift to depart with, as well as helping with your holiday décor. It could be as simple as a tiny, prettily wrapped box with one piece of heavenly chocolate inside. Or, maybe you could have each person draw names ahead of time. This way they have time to plan ahead for a “Secret Santa”. There are lots of ways to handle gifts for your holiday gathering. Just don’t forget to budget for whatever method you choose.
Planning a holiday party takes time and money in order to make it a success. Don’t forget these 6 things to include in your holiday party budget.
Are you planning to have a holiday party this year?