Christmas Parties on a Budget!
Okay so we’re not playing games now – we might be come December 25th at 4.03pm after a few sherries, but we digress – because the big day is in just under six weeks. Yes, that is right… six short weeks. Six short, stressed out, running round like a headless chicken weeks looking at your bank statement in despair weeks. But wait. No, no, no, this is ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be so fraught. All you have to do is shop around the smart way. Here’s what we mean…
Christmas is such a lovely time of year but too often it’s overshadowed by worries about money and family arguments. The easiest way to reduce some tension and stress is by seeing where you can cut costs and still have a wonderful time. Firstly you should create a budget and stick to it. Be firm with yourself. Shop for decorations and party supplies in Quality Save type stores and pound shops; you’ll be surprised what cool stuff they have. Skip the stuff with Santa on or snowmen, because they can’t be reused throughout the year. Try sticking to red, white and gold, or green, so that you can at least use them again for birthdays and other celebration over the next twelve months.
Don’t shell out on fancy centrepieces or piñatas, because chances are they won’t be really noticed or appreciated anyway what with the kids buzzing over their new toys and families catching up with each other so leave them out. Save money by lighting inexpensive tea lights, which will add warmth and cosiness. Don’t go all out with gourmet food either. Stick to cheap and cheerful food like sausage rolls, dips, veggies, crisps and nuts, sandwiches and leftovers for your guests. Everyone fills up with turkey and chocolate anyway!
Borrow things where you can – serving bowls, chairs etc. Lots of neighbours eat out at Christmas or go away so you can borrow their stuff no problem as they won’t be using it. Don’t invite every Tom, Dick and Harry either, just because it’s Christmas. Don’t feel pressured into it, because chances are if they don’t come into your life the rest of the year their presence at Christmas won’t be needed anyway.
Try to teach kids about the value of money and about people less fortunate too. It’s all about the kids at Christmas, sure, but they still need to learn that things cost money. Try asking them to donate some old toys and clothes, or visit an old folks home to spend some time making lovely memories that don’t cost the earth.