Here are some simple, budget conscious Holiday Party tips of my own:
Invites: For casual events, email invitations are just fine. I know some planners shutter at the thought, but sites like Evite and Sendomatic are offering up a variety of new designs and some even allow you to upload your own images. These sites can often save you time by taking advantage of RSVP services and reminder settings. For the Photoshop savvy, create your own email invite by adding text to an image and inserting it into the body of the email or as an attachment. If you’re planning on hand delivering invitations, why not insert a simple printed flat invite into a fillable ornament or miniature gift box along with a few pieces of chocolate.
Try these prefilled Wonka Christmas Ornaments. They're only $19.20 for a set of 24 at CandyWarehouse.com.
(image from candywarehouse.com)
Food and Drink: Keep it simple! I recommend leaving the main dishes to a caterer or local restaurant. Just display on trays or platters to match your décor! If you pick it up instead of having it delivered, it should come out to just about the same as buying groceries to make your own and in the end it saves you tons time. If your mom has a fabulous soup recipe or friends love your veggie lasagna, stick to what you know! Serve up your favorites even if they aren’t the cliché holiday spread. How much ham can people eat anyway?
Party Favors: Try to keep gifts inline with your theme or your décor. They needn’t be expensive. Check out sites like OrientalTrading.com where many of their cute little mementos come by the dozen. For a custom gift, personalize ornaments with a permanent marker.
Fun and affordable gift ideas from OrientalTrading.com
Dominoes In Snowflake Case ($5.99 per dozen)
Plush Long Arm Reindeer (Only $7.50 per dozen)
Holiday Magnetic Travel Games ($9.99 per dozen)
Snowman Snowflake Ornaments ($7.99 per dozen) with a spot for adding names or a personalized holiday greeting. (pictured to the left)
Décor: Have fun with it! Don’t limit yourself to typical holiday colors. Experiment with color schemes like purple and silver or bright fuchsia. I stumbled upon some ultra chic serving trays and other decorations by Paperchase at Borders Book Store. They had the greatest little reindeer figurines available in a bright fuchsia as well as a sparkly black. Save money by focusing on putting together a dramatic table setting, bar, or buffet. A few eye catching pieces will have a better impact than covering your entire house in holly. Never underestimate the effect of fresh flowers. Stop by your grocery store flower department for deals. They often get flowers from the same farms as major florists without the heavy price tag.
(images from Paperchase's website: cut out pink stag and
glass bonbon dishes)
I love the holidays!!!