Spending for a Christmas party can easily spin out of control. After all, you are filled with the holiday spirit and want to celebrate in style. Create a budget for your party this year and stick to it. Once you have a shopping list, DexKnows can help you find the best stores at which to cross off each item.
Decide Whom You Want to Invite
The first step when budgeting for holiday parties involves coming up with a guest list. Do you plan to have an intimate party with just family members, or do you want to open it up to friends and co-workers? Know that the more people on your invite list, the higher the cost — unless you go the BYOE (bring your own everything) route — and who wants to seem like a Scrooge at this time of year? Be sure to include an RSVP date on your invitations.
Plan the Menu
Just as the number of people you invite will affect your budget, so will the food and drink you serve. If you want to keep costs low, consider throwing a Christmas cookie and dessert party, with hot cocoa for the kids and holiday cocktails for the adults. By offering only specific cocktails, you can premake the drinks. That way you can control both the costs and alcohol content. If you want to go all out with food and drink, know that it will up the budget for your Christmas party significantly, whether you do it all yourself or hire a caterer.
Tally Your RSVPs and Do the Math
With a general idea of the number of guests to expect and a desired menu, you can use an online party budget estimator or do a dry run at the grocery store. Evite offers an excellent online estimator that calculates food, drink, decoration and entertainment expenses based on the number of guests and type of party you want to host. You also can window-shop and do the math, which allows you to make changes to the food and drink offerings as needed to reduce costs.
Stick to Your Budget
Once you have a plan and budget in place, stick to it. Do not run out and purchase a slew of Christmas decorations and holiday lights you don’t need. Chances are, the ones you are already decorating your home with will work just fine. And don’t get grabby at the grocery store. Stick to the items on your list and avoid making eye contact with anything blinking or being offered as a sample. Remember: If it’s not on your list, it doesn’t exist.
The best holiday parties are ones where family and friends gather to celebrate the season together. You don’t need fancy food or an overstocked bar to please your loved ones. Simply open your home and heart. Oh, and a few Christmas games and holiday music wouldn’t hurt, either. DexKnows listings can help you find both, as well as anything else on your Christmas shopping 2012 list.