Tips on throwing an in-prompt-to holiday party that wont break your seasonal budget.

The holiday season can become overwhelming with parties and social events, but in my opinion the more the merrier! This season’s gatherings are often filled with long lost friends, ugly christmas sweaters, and silly gift exchanges and too often involve an obscene amount of spiked egg nog.  When it comes to hosting your own event however, theres often less partying and more stressing.  It is important that you plan ahead and spend time deciding what kind of holiday party you want to undertake.  Parties can easily become an expensive venture and during this time of year, most of us are breaking the budget as it is.  Don't let the price of a good time deter you from hosting a holiday shin dig however, there are plenty of ways to throw a fabulous yuletide celebration on the cheap. 

Don't feel like you have to invite everyone you know.  Keep the party intimate with just a few close friends.  By keeping your party guest list to a minimum you give yourself many different options when it comes to the party itself.  By only having a few guests, you have the option of a dinner party, gift exchange, or even a fire pit party in the back yard. 

My favorite part of throwing any party is creating the party decor.  Expensive looking decor can cost next to nothing if you have the right materials and get a little creative. My staple decor pieces are white and off-white candles of various sizes and clear glass candle holders to hold the various sizes of candles. (I purchased candles and candle holders at Garden Ridge ranging from $4-$15 a piece).  If you have these basic materials you can make any space look smart and festive for any holiday.  Each time you decorate for a party all you have to do is fill the glass around the candle with some sort of filler. This adds color, warmth, and a little quirk to the space.  My Christmas pieces are filled with cranberries and shelled walnuts.  Pine Cones from Garden Ridge, a pine garland over the fireplace, and the Christmas tree round out our natural decor elements in the house. A few fun decorations are always essential and Work the Metal in Butchertown Market is the place to go for any unique Christmas decoration.  A silver glitter reindeer from Work the Metal adds some youth and fun to our party.  

This holiday season I prefer dinner parties over parties serving hor-de-ouvers.  Small, intimate gatherings of your closest friends are the way to go this year.  Serving dinner doesn't have to be expensive either. There are plenty of meals that you can prepare that are simple, feed a lot of people, and don't cost a lot to make. Fish tacos are one of our favorite party meals because a little fish goes a long way. Traditional fish tacos only call for cilantro and onion, serve some rice and beans on the side and that’s it! Soups and chilis are my other go to dinner party meal. Soup is perfect because you can prepare it before hand and be with your guests when they arrive. Soups are nice also because if you have guests with a variety of dietary needs, it is easy to make several soups before and leave them on the stovetop for your guests to help themselves. If you want to take your soup party a step further, try making grilled cheeses to go with the soup with a variety of cheeses and fillings. 

There is plenty of time left to throw in in-prompt-to holiday party. Be creative and have fun, this time of year is just about spending time with the people you love, so try not to stress. 

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