I’m back at the catering company, helping them plan the many parties they’ve been hired to execute this month. My friend, Sarah, the owner of the company, is taking a short maternity leave, and I’ve been asked to come back and help them through the hectic holiday season.
While it may not have been the brightest move on my part, seeing that I have a book manuscript due in less than two months, I absolutely love being there, and helping people plan their parties and putting together menus offers me a small thrill each time we have a successful event.
My entire professional life is completely submerged in all things party right now, and I find it hard to focus on little else. I’m hosting my own seasonal bash in a few weeks, and it's been a challenge keeping my menu simple because the ideas are flowing fast and furiously. But let’s be honest - there’s only so much food you can serve at an afternoon open house, and there’s almost always a budget to keep in mind, too.
Speaking of budget, I’m often asked how you entertain within one, and while I’m aware that there are many who choose to spend a lot of extra cash on their festive feast (we have a client at the catering company who spends $30,000 on their annual Christmas party. That's right - $30,000!), I’m willing to bet there are far more people who prefer to host a holiday gathering with a little less expense. Happily, it can be done.
Here are eight simple steps you can take to conserve a little cash this month. These are tried and true tips that we pass along to clients, and I think they’re wise considerations for anyone planning to entertain in December.
1. Banish the full bar. Everyone is a cocktail connoisseur these days, but being an expert requires you to have a well-stocked bar with all of the necessary supplies. Instead serve wine and beer, and maybe one specialty cocktail or holiday punch (which can also double as a centerpiece) and leave it at that.