How to Throw The Ultimate Holiday Party!

by Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If there are two things to know about me is that I love to entertain and I LOVE CHRISTMAS! Every year I look forward to bringing my friends and family together for fun and holiday cheer. In the spirit of Christmas, myself, Sirr, and a group of our friends are hosting the 2nd annual Christmas party entitled, “TWAS THE TURN UP BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Part Deux! Now for SOME people my age, a Christmas party only includes Solo cups, beer pong, and the latest Chief Keef single on repeat, but I like to think my friends are more “sophisticated” and would appreciate “sophisticated” event. Unfortunately, with great sophistication comes with great cost and ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I am going to share with you how we planned and even how you can plan a holiday party that will go down in history as the best party of the year! (for the low of course.)

The Theme

What can make a party great and add to the fabulous factor is a theme.  Guests will be impressed to see how you incorporated your theme into your activities, decor, and food.  To help stay on a budget pick, a theme were a lot of props and decor aren’t needed. For example, a wild west theme will exceed your budget because you might spend the majority of your money converting your space into a rodeo or on BBQ style food.  Keep the theme fun but practical.

Since the theme is Ugly Christmas Sweater Couture there are no rules to how big or small the party can be.  You just want it to look like Christmas threw up all over the place but in the most organized way.

How can an ugly Christmas party be budget friendly?

  1. Small hors d’oeuvres are usually served
  2. Food served at Christmas parties are usually bright and colorful fruits, veggies, and cheeses. If arranged properly on the serving table it will look like decoration on its own.
  3. You can use your current Christmas decorations.
  4. An ugliest sweater contest can be one of your activities for the evening.
  5. Guests will more than likely bring a bottle if they are requested to do so.  By the heart of the party you will have an abundance of drinks for the bar that will last you the entire night.

Theme Cost: FREE!

The Invitation

Once you have picked a cost effective theme you then send out a formal invitations. No need to mail out invitations because we live the 21st century. Evites are cool but, most invitation template websites won’t let you customize your invite without paying for it and this process needs to be FREE!  I stick with text invites but I do not send out actual text messages. C’MON son, we are grown! Text invites are for last minute kickbacks and booty calls.  A really creative invite sets the precedent for your party.  A nice invitation tells your guests that 1. This is a well-planned event, 2. Time and effort was put into creating a fun experience, and 3. That you are way over the top when it comes to planning a party! (TURN UP!)

A really professional graphic is made on PhotoShop or Illustrator, but I personally don’t know how to use those programs. All the different buttons make me dizzy.  So I created my own invitation using PicMonkey and PowerPoint. Yep! I said it, PowerPoint.  The programs are really simple to useand they come out awesome!

         

I would like to take time out to thank my 8th grade computer teacher (forgot his name tho) at Sutherland Elementary School in Chicago, IL.  I must have really been paying attention to your in class becasue I know how to edit and create anything using PowerPoint. Thanks!

  

Invitation Cost: FREE!

pic logoHandy Homegirl Tip: Invites 101

1. Make it Crystal Clear: Make sure your theme and event are clearly displayed.

2. Don’t be Tardy For the Party: Make sure the correct date and time and address are boldly printed. If you live in the boonies be courteous and send directions as well.

2. RSVPs are a must: Texts are the quickest way for your guests to get back you and once you have a final head count you will  have a better idea of how much money can be spent on food and drinks.

3. Have Expectations: Tell your guests what you expect from them such as, BYOBs, side dishes, or No children if you plan to provide the food and entertainment.

The Menu

Here is where the money part comes in (UGH!) but it helps to be a savvy shopper when you are selecting food for a party.  I chose to serve finger foods instead of a plated meal. Plated meals would definitely break my budget and I am not trying to feed an army. You just want your guests to have something nibble on between dancing, games, and other activities.

Select specialty dishes that friends or family suggest or find some great recipes on Pinterest!  I learned that if you buy items that are sold in bulk you can serve in smaller portions to keep cost low and have enough food for guests.

asparagusbrushettaprocuito

xcgX4X7cAFabulously Frugal Tip: The Menu 101

1. Buy in Bulk: Select dishes with ingredients that can be bought in bulk and served individually.

2. Stick with your theme: Selecting dishes based on your theme will keep you from buying random ingredients

The Décor

Keep decor simple, but on another hand this is an ugly Christmas party so, the hell with it, TURN UP!  Create different sections and give each section a holiday theme but the overall goal in my personal opinin is make the whole space look like a chaotic Christmas sweater. Plus! the best decorations will be your guests decked out in their best DIYed or purchased ugly Christmas sweaters.

xcgX4X7cAFabulously Frugal Tip: The Decor 101

  1. Don’t walk, run to your local DOLLAR TREE  like right now because their Christmas decor items goes fast! Everything a $1. I had a 10% off coupon so everything was $.90!
  2.  Thrift stores are great places to find one of a kind holiday decorations.
  3. And most importantly use what you, your friends, and  even what your parents have. I’m sure they won’t mind because they were just to lazy to decorate themselves #mydad.

The Entertainment

Your entertainment choices can vary in price so ask yourself what of party do you want to have?  Here are 3 options of parties you can have

Option 1: Drinks, Mingling, Soft Music (calm)

Option 2: DJ Playlist and Dancing (fun)

Option3: Live DJ, Dancing, Drinking Games, Contests, Marshmellow Toasting, Christmas Carol Karaoke… (TURN UP!)

We chose option 3 because we want our guests to bring out their inner kidult. Why not?! IT’S CHRISTMAS!

pic logoHandy Homegirl Tips: Entertainment 101

1. The Music: Hiring a professional DJ may not be in your budget so you and your friends can sit down and put together a list of the songs that your guests would enjoy dancing to throughout the night. This process is usually very fun.

2. Games: Games are totally optional, but I like to have games because they are great ice breakers for your guests especially if the party really hasn’t gotten to the hyped part of the night yet.  Board games, cards, an even group gmaes can really help get the night going.

Click here for tutorials on how to make great party games (for adults) such as Jumbo Jenga and Battle Shots.

2. Karaoke: If you want to do karaoke performances. The best and cheapest way to create a set up yourself is to plug your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cord. Go to Youtube and search for the karaoke versions of the Christmas that your guest would like to sing. The music will play and the words will be displayed on the screen!  Give them the mic and let them ruin your favorite Christmas song.  Your homegirl just might ruin Christmas the way she sounds.

3.Other Activities You Can Spring For If You Are Really Creative:

Christmas or Ornament Craft Table ( inner kidult remember!)

Bonfire

Marshmallow Toasting

Oh, I almost forgot the most important activity. The reason why people look absolutely ridiculous and have the hot glue gun burns to prove it.

4. The Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest: As the night is in progress, and your guests arrive in their ormanment  covered ensembles,  your guests are going to get more and more excited about who will win the ultimate prize of ugliest Christmas sweater.  There might be vulgar and hilarious  sweaters and even sweaters that will be too creatively done to be considered ugly but let your guests get the judges, literally.  Those that would like to participate can walk the room. Then the judging can be done Apollo style. The guest with the loudest cheers from the audience for their ugly sweater will be the winner. Now, if you do this contest make sure you actually have a prize, especially if you mentioned a prize on your invitation.

So there you have it. My tips on how to host the ultimate holiday party!  I will definitely be posting a video on how our shindig turned out as well.  Stay blessed and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love ,

Your Homegirl xo

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