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Christmas Parties on a Budget
String up the mistletoe and spike the eggnog! It's Christmas party time! Christmas is the season to be merry, but that doesn't mean you need to blow the budget!
Here's how to throw a spectacular seasonal shindig without breaking the bank.
- Watch your guest list. Your guest list will dictate how large your party gets. Put a lot of thought into how many people you want at the party - kids and adults included - and don't suddenly let the guest list blow out because you feel pressure to have extra people.
- Hold the party at your own house. If you host your own party at home, then you'll save on the cost of paying for a venue.
- Make your own invitations. With all the amazing materials and incredible stationery designs on the market, there are options to suit every party budget, including just a few dollars per invitation for do-it-yourself craft supplies. And with so many outrageous and fabulous papers available, you can choose something that reflects you, your style and the event you're planning.
- Don't overdo the decorations. Theming is fun, but it can become very expensive if you let it be. Be creative! The humble balloon, for instance, can add real wow factor your room. Simply choose giant bulbous balloons (at least 60cm) in your festive colours and fill them helium. Cheap, beautiful and fun! Another cheap and chic idea is a room filled with paper lantern. For a Christmas theme, you can't go past red and gold. Big ball lanterns start from as low as $6 a piece, so they won't break the bank, even if you purchase them in bulk. Mixed with the ever-useful string of fairy lights (very inexpensive from Big W and other discount department stores), your room will shine with Christmas delight without breaking the bank.
- Design your own favors. They could be as simple as some Christmas nougat in a twist of brightly coloured paper, or mini Christmas puddings tied up in muslin and ribbon.
- Get creative with your Christmas centrepiece. Take inspiration from your own backyard. Fossick in the garden and at the local park for pinecones, seed pods and leaves and add a bit of sparkle with metallic spray paint or a splash of glitter.
- BYO. If alcohol is really going to blow your budget, then ask your guests to bring along a bottle of wine with them.
- Consider a picnic. For a family affair, consider a Christmas picnic. By finding a fun park with barbecue facilities you'll save on venue costs, and your party theming and food budget. With a bit of imagination, you can organise a seasonal sausage sizzle with games for the children, lucky dips and a lolly-bearing Santa.
- Cocktails, not dinner. If it's an adult soiree you're planning for friends or colleagues, try a cocktail party, rather than dinner, to save on pennies. Cocktail parties ultimately mean less money on catering as you're only serving finger food. Decorations are less expensive too as you aren't decorating a table. Do remember though, that cocktails mean planning, planning, planning! Organise a set menu of 4-6 cocktails that you serve and only let allocated ‘cocktail masters' organise the drinks or you risk serving alcohol unsafely. A party full of happy guests is great - a party full of drunk guests ain't.
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