Holiday Parties for the Cheap, but Still Fun

Whether you celebrate one of the upcoming winter holidays or not (It’s Festivus for the Rest of Us!), it can be stressful to think of all of the get-togethers that come with them. But fear not, you can still plan a great, fun party, well within everyone’s budget! This will be a series over the next few days on how to throw the best holiday shindig for the least money! First, your theme!

My brother’s dog, Aoiffe, ready for the holidays!

Theme’s are a good way to keep everyone on task and on-budget for your Holiday Party, so here’s a few tried-and-true parties that ALWAYS go over well!

  1. Pollyanna- Also known as a “Secret Santa”, this type of party has become almost traditional for the holidays. Set a budget (usually about $10, but I’ve done “$5” Pollyannas before-5 Below is a good resource!) and use Elfster to remotely choose everyone’s recipient!
  2. Krampus Party! Krampus is an Austrio-Hungarian holiday tradition, in which children who misbehave are punished by Krampus. Use this idea as a basis for some light-hearted pranks, and maybe a “Secret Krampus” instead of a “Secret Santa”. (Have a White Elephant exchange!)
  3. Holiday Pajama Party- Just because you’re a grown up, doesn’t mean you have to grow up! Host a holiday pajama party, and have everyone come over to drink wine out of sippy cups, and watch holiday movies!
  4. White Elephant Party- A White Elephant Exchange is when guests bring a useless, or ridiculous gift to add to a gift pool, (instead of buying a gift for a specific person) More Info here. I like the idea of theming the gifts (re-gifts, candy, board games etc)
  5. Sock-stice- All credit goes to a friend of mine, Sock-stice(or Solstice of Socks) is a generic Holiday Tradition where everyone gets socks! Nobody is left out, nobody’s gift costs more, and everyone loves socks! (Dumbledore did, and if it’s good enough for Dumbledore, it should be good enough for you!)
  6. Ornament Exchange- One of my favorites! Again, use Elfster to choose recipients and have everyone buy or make an ornament for their recipient. Have them hang the ornaments on a tree, or strand of string, and label their gifts, so that all guests see every ornament when looking for theirs!
  7. Cookie Party/Gingerbread House Party- Have all guests come bearing plain cookies, and 2 kinds of cookie decorations (icing, sprinkles, candies etc…all available at a dollar store) and decorate them!
  8. Hot Cocoa Party- Bring your favorite mug (OR White Elephant Theme is MUGS) and ask everyone to bring a fun Hot Cocoa flavor or Marshmallows!
  9. Hats and Gloves- Bring a new hat or gloves to donate to a shelter for the holidays!
  10. Adopt a Family- Contact an organization hosting an “Adopt a Family” and have your party guests bring items for the family’s holiday celebration!

These are just some party ideas to get you started! Check back for some easy potluck recipes, White Elephant Exchange Themes, and Last Minute Gift Ideas!


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