Are you the host for this year’s family get-togethers? Here are a few top tips to help you keep control of your budget this festive season – without losing out on the spirit of fun…
Compile a budget
While creating a budget can seem fun-sapping, in reality, it gives you peace of mind so you can relax and enjoy the process. Once you know what you can spend, make a list of what matters for the event, in priority order. That way, you’ll know you can axe the fancy napkin rings if the entree takes a little extra cash, and you won’t have to stress.
Offer an open (hot) bar
Have a sumptuous spread of cocoa, hot chocolate, coffee and tea open to guests, and let them bring the alcohol if they are drinking. It’s more family-friendly, anyway. Glam it up with some festive toppings like marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles and cream.
It’s tempting to splurge on a bash for 100 people – but why? Take the second cousins you never speak to and the aunt who always has bad things to say about your kids off the list, and keep it to a small, memorable celebration with people you love instead. It’s the easiest way to reduce the stress and enjoy the best of the season instead.
Keep decor under control
If you have a tight budget, active kids or curious pets, opt to decorate the main areas – hallway, lounge and front door- and keep it simpler through the rest of the house.
Ask and ye shall receive
When it comes to staples like china, tablecloths, bowls, and even the food you are serving, don’t always feel you have to buy – ask friends and family to lend you everything you need. There’s nothing wrong with asking each guest to bring a side, either.
Remember that the true meaning of the season is family, love and celebration – not doing more than the Joneses. Keep your wallet and your heart happy this festive season, and keep your celebration in line with your budget – without sacrificing style.