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Hosting a Holiday Party on a Budget

Dec 7, 2020
Throwing a Holiday Party on a Budget

Throwing a Holiday Party on a Budget

The holiday season is the perfect time to bring all of your loved ones together, and a party is the perfect way to do that – even if it’s a virtual gathering. But sometimes when planning a holiday party we get so wrapped up in setting a festive tone that we spend more money than we have to. Below are some tips to help you plan and throw a festive party that is sure to get your guests in the holiday spirit – without breaking the bank.

Host the Party Online!

If you’re planning a holiday party for your friends and family, hosting the party online via Zoom or Skype is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays this year. Not only are virtual gatherings of any size CDC-approved, but they’re extremely cost-effective, as you won’t have to rent a venue like a private room in a restaurant for the night. In addition to saving money on the cost of a venue, the party will be more relaxed and casual since you’ll be in the comfort of your own home, and you definitely won’t have to go all-out with decorations to impress anyone.

To help get your guests in the holiday spirit, rather than spend money decorating your home for the party, you can simply change your background on Zoom to something festive and cheery like a yule log, menorah, or a snowy scene. And since you’ll likely host/attend the party on your computer or tablet device, you can connect your phone to a Bluetooth speaker nearby and play a holiday playlist on a free music streaming app for some background music.

Send Digital Invitations

Just because you’re hosting the party via Zoom doesn’t mean you can’t send out nice invitations! Sending out evites are a great way to avoid paying for traditional paper invitations, and you can choose from dozens of designs, personalize them to your taste, and insert the Zoom link or passcode right into the invite.

DIY Decorations

Holiday decorations can elevate your party, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your money on them. If you want more than just a festive Zoom background, focus your decorating efforts on one area of your home that will serve as your backdrop. You can decorate the wall behind you a few different ways, all of which are cost-effective. If you already have cranberries and popcorn, you can string them together to create garland, which you can drape across the wall behind you. You can also create snowflakes or Jewish stars out of construction paper or leftover wrapping paper.

If you want to add a personal touch to your backdrop, design a photo collage on the wall by arranging family photos so that there’s no space between them and outlining the collage with a strip of wrapping paper to look like one big frame. You could use photos of your family from past holidays, your family’s past holiday cards, or holiday cards that you’ve received from loved ones throughout the season. 

If you hope to host an in-person holiday party next year, consider buying decorations right after this holiday season ends when all decorations are on sale. This way, you can stash them away so they’ll be brand new for next year’s party and you won’t have to worry about spending any money or time hunting for new décor.

Find Creative and Cheap Ways to Entertain

There are many different ways you can entertain your guests without spending any money, especially with a virtual party. You can play classic games like Pictionary, Charades, Jaqbox, Quizzo, or trivia, and depending on the size of your virtual gathering, you can utilize the breakout room feature on Zoom so that everyone can participate.

Another easy way to up the ante for the party is to set a theme like an ugly sweater contest or a cookie decorating contest. Hosting some type of contest where you set aside time for decorating and judging can help break up the party a bit to avoid guests from feeling any “Zoom fatigue.”

The holidays are meant to bring you and your loved ones together—even if from afar—so don’t let the stress of party planning get to your head. At the end of the day, your guests will remember the time they spent and the conversations they had with each other during your party, not whether or not you bought new linens.
Happy Holidays from our family at PFCU to yours!


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union

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