Four years back, I did a post about holiday entertaining. It was inspired by this New York Times article, in which the author challenged an elite party planner accustomed to five- and six-figure budgets to plan a "transcendent" holiday dinner party for eight people in the author's West Village apartment on a "recessionary" budget. His definition of "recessionary" was as $30 a head.
When this story showed up in my Tip Hero newsletter, the comment section on the website erupted with derision. The most common response was along the lines of "$30 a head is cheap?" They found it highly amusing that on a budget that they considered lavish, the best the hotshot party planner could do was a potato-based dinner and paper snowflake decorations. At least one poster scoffed that for that price, she could serve her guests champagne and filet mignon. So I responded with a post about how I would go about throwing a similarly "transcendent" party in my home. I ended up coming up with nature-based decorations, a fancy vegetarian dinner, a homemade pie, and some cheap wine from Trader Joe's, all for about $55—less than a quarter of the budget the original article provided.
In my latest Money Crashers article, I've expanded on that idea. Instead of just one party idea, I've come up with multiple ideas about how to put together the elements of a great holiday party—decorations, food, drinks, and entertainment—on the cheap. First I explore each element in turn, and then I discuss several ways to put them all together to create themed parties on a budget of $40 to $65. Read all about it here: 4 Holiday Entertaining & Party Ideas on a Tight Budget.