If you’re the host for the winter party year after year, we completely understand tiring of the same decorations and small-talk parties. If you’re on a budget or are in need a change of style while keeping the spirit of the season, we’ve put together some ideas to bring your friends and family together without breaking the bank, and maybe creating a new tradition! 

  • Boil orange and clove on the stove to give your home a nice scent. Use the money saved by not purchasing scented candles to get extra marshmallows for a gourmet hot chocolate bar. 

  • Plan for a gift exchange so that each guest has to buy only one gift within your group of friends. 

  • Simplify the evening with a potluck style dinner. Decide on a themed menu to get everyone’s creativity flowing, you provide the main dish, and have your guests bring a side dish or dessert. Everyone saves a little on the groceries, and maybe you’ll find a new holiday favorite! 

Sometimes, the best gift you can give over the holiday season is spending time together. Try hosting one of these types of parties to liven up your winter. 

  • A pie party – Each guest or family brings one ingredient of a pie: crust, fruit, or other filling. Everyone works together to peel apples, line pie tins with crust, and mix fillings on the stove. In between steps and while waiting for the final pies to bake, you have plenty of time to catch up and chat. Plus, at the end, everyone gets to take home a delicious, homemade pie! 

  • A tree trimming – Set up your tree prior to your guests’ arrival with the lights on, but don’t add any ornaments. Take turns putting up the decorations that you’ve collected over the years. This works especially well for families or friends with older children, as you can take turns and tell stories about each of the ornaments and where they were collected. 

  • A crafting party – There are so many options for holiday crafting, why not turn one of your favorites into the main event! You can make holiday cards, bake cookies, build gingerbread houses, or decorate ornaments. You can swap these items with other attendees to remember the fun evening or gift them to a friend or family member who will appreciate a handmade holiday gift. 

Even though the winter months bring longer nights, your family and friends will enjoy the light and warmth in your home with one of these new party traditions.