The winter holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year. After all, nothing is quite as fantastic as sharing good food with friends and getting to spend time with relatives you don’t see all the time. Despite the joy of Thanksgiving, however, you may find that the cost of throwing a holiday celebration quickly add up. This year, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your holiday costs without sacrificing the quality of your celebration.
Bring a dish
The first way you can cut costs is to share the responsibility of food with your guests. Instead of feeding 10, 15, or even 20 people on your own budget, consider asking each person to bring something. You could provide the turkey, for example, but ask each guest to bring a side dish or entree to the meal. This will minimize the amount of money you spend on food, but it will also mean you spend less time cooking.
No great party is complete without decorations, so don’t forget to decorate your home for the holiday. While many autumn-lovers rush out to buy expensive pre-made decorations, the truth is that you can cut costs by making your own decorations or by shopping early to find the right Thanksgiving decor. Remember that you don’t have to decorate your home with brown paper turkeys. Instead, consider getting a few pumpkins, having your children do some artwork to hang around, or opt for some plain brown decor for your guests. Things like napkins and plates can be brown and orange to celebrate but will be less costly than plates that say “Thanksgiving” on them.
Another way to make your party fantastic without adding to your budget is to have a white elephant gift exchange. While this is something common at Christmas parties, it could be a fun way to spice up your Thanksgiving celebration. Ask each guest to bring a small gift. You could have this be a used present, an unwanted item from their home, or something they purchased for less than $5. When everyone is present, exchange the gifts and see what you come up with. Another option would be to have a theme. For example, you could bring each person to bring a kitchen item for the gift exchange or a movie-related item.
No matter how big or small your Thanksgiving celebration is, remember to relax and have a good time with your guests. Five years from now, no one will remember whether everything went smoothly or whether all of the food was perfect. Relax and focus on making memories that will last, rather than worrying about minute details that your guests don’t really care about.