Entertaining on a budget at Christmas

Entertaining on a budget

Christmas is a time of year that’s synonymous with spending. With gifts to buy, family dinners to cook and nights out a plenty, it’s no wonder that people dread the arrival of January’s credit card bill.

However, it doesn’t need to be this way. Personally, I think Christmas is more a time to spend with those you love than give ostentatious gifts that many of us can’t afford. ‘But entertaining also costs money’, I hear you cry, and while undoubtedly it does, there are ways to have a lot of fun entertaining at Christmas without breaking the bank.

The thing I love about entertaining on a budget at any time of year is that you have to get creative. And that’s where the fun comes in. Thinking of ideas as to how you can have a great time without it costing an arm and a leg forces you to think differently about what you could do and how you could do it. I’ve listed a few ideas below to help you get started:

Throw a hygge party

Entertaining doesn’t need to mean getting dressed in your finest and drinking fancy cocktails. To me, it’s about spending time with your nearest and dearest. One way I like to do this is to throw a hygge party.

Hygge is a Danish way of life that epitomises the little things in life; a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fire is how I like to describe this feeling. And so I decided to do just that. I’ve thrown a few of these parties, where my friends came round and we snuggled under duvets and watched cheesy films over hot chocolate and marshmallows. We had more fun than we would have had we went out and all for the cost of a jar of hot chocolate and a pack of marshmallows.

Pot luck is your friend

If you would like to enjoy a meal with your friends but can’t afford to cater to everyone, why not organise a pot luck party? Pot luck is where everyone brings a different dish and tells the story of their dish and why they made it.

This is a great way to still get everyone around the table, without one person having to burden the cost of feeding many. It’s also a great way to try lots of new foods, and if you like eating as much as I do, it’s pretty much a win win.

Not a meal; drinks and nibbles

If you don’t feel comfortable asking people to bring things to your home, entertaining with drinks and nibbles is much less expensive than putting on a dinner. Provided you call it what it is – be explicit that it’s not dinner – people won’t be expecting a full meal, but rather the sort of snacks you might get in a bar.

When I have friends round for drinks and nibbles, I opt for things like olives, pretzels, a pizza cut into bite sized pieces, a little cheese and some crisps. You can put out anything you like that people can eat in one mouthful. And as well as being a bit of a novelty, it doesn’t break the bank.

There you have it, some tips for entertaining on a budget. How do you entertain without spending lots?

Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.