Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party on a Budget

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
The holidays are a great time of year to host a party, though they can take a lot of work and money. You want to provide a variety of refreshments, a meal that will delight your guests, and space to accommodate everyone. Parties should be fun, so if you’re the host follow these tips to keep your party stress-free and on budget.

Ask for a Head Count

To make sure you have enough while avoiding waste, ask guests to RSVP by a certain date before stocking up for the party. Hosts can easily over spend, especially with open house style parties, because they assume nearly everyone on their guest list will show up.

Skip the Three Course Meal

Trying to feed a group of people a large holiday meal, such as a prime rib or turkey, can be expensive and not pleasing to every pallet. Instead, opt for a variety of hors d'oeuvres. Finger foods are usually easier to make and serve, and can also be more affordable. Plus, guests can eat and mingle at the same time, which means you don’t need to set up and make room for everyone at the dining table.  

You can also host a holiday potluck, giving your guests an opportunity to share their favorite dishes. It does take a bit of planning, as you’ll want to make sure there is a good variety of food and that there won’t be any issues with keeping things cold or hot during the party, or taking care of leftovers afterwards.

Stack up on Paper

Sure you want to limit waste, though spending a few bucks on recyclable paper plates means less stress and clean up for you. Guests won’t need to worry about breaking dinnerware or where to put dirty dishes. Just direct them to the trash and be done with it!

Easy Entertainment

It doesn’t have to take much to entertain your guests. As a fun activity and conversation starter, you can have a cookie or ornament exchange. Check out’s checklist to hosting a cookie exchange.

For an ornament exchange just set a spending limit for each guest, like $5 or $10, and ask they bring a wrapped ornament to exchange. During the party, have every guest pull a number out of a hat for the order in which they will get to choose an ornament. You can even mix it up by allowing guests to trade ornaments, too!

To make the holidays even more stress free, open a special savings account, like a Christmas Club. It’s an easy way to prepare for next year’s festivities, including parties, gifts and trips to visit family and friends.