Are you planning to get together with friends and family this holiday season? Maybe your are throwing a home Christmas party this year but are a little tight on money? Well, there are some ways that you can host a wonderful party on a shoestring budget. It does take some creativity and careful planning, but it doesn't have to break your budget.Are you interested in saving money on your home Christmas party? Check out these 8 ways to save money this holiday season.

1. Christmas Decorations

Decorating your home for Christmas does not need to cost you a lot of money. There is nothing better than a classy decorated home to invite your guests into on a cold winter evening. Plan to dress up your home as you normally would for the holidays and you shouldn't have to worry very much about adding more decorations.

Adding Christmas greenery from your yard or landscape area for the evening may be a nice touch and will save you some money. You could also add some luminaries outside leading up to your home which will add a nice touch. The point is that you don't have to overdue it on your budget to add Christmas decorations for your holiday party.

2. Entertainment

You don't need to break the bank when it comes to entertainment when you throw a home Christmas party. Find some board games and a deck of cards and put them out for people to play. If you are having young children attend your holiday gathering, put on a Christmas movie for them to watch or buy some inexpensive craft items for them to use during the party.

Most holiday parties can get by without a lot of extra entertainment. The majority of the time your guests will enjoy talking with each other and socializing. Don't stress about having enough things for people to do during the party, as they will enjoy the company of others.

3. Party Menu

Make a menu and ask your guests to bring a dish to pass when throwing your Christmas party. Go ahead and provide the main course (i.e. turkey, ham, etc.) and let others bring the side dishes. Most guests will not object to bringing a side dish and may feel honored to be asked.

Another option to throwing a holiday party is to serve appetizers instead of a main course. While providing this kind of food can still cost money, it is much easier and cheaper to provide. It also can make planning the party much simpler and will make it easier for you to ask your guests to bring a dish with them.

4. Beverages & Alcohol

Stock up on soda's and drink mixes like ice tea and lemonade when they are on sale. Make sure you plan ahead to catch your weekly grocery deals instead of being stuck paying a high price later on. Drink mixes are a nice choice as they are much cheaper than juice or other beverages. Put on a pot of coffee as well as a nice beverage option that is low cost.

When it comes to alcohol, it can be a tough call on what to provide if anything at your holiday party. Purchasing beer, wine, and hard liquor for the party can run up a costly bill. First of all, don't feel that you need to provide alcohol to your guests. A Christmas party is for celebrating with friends and family. Secondly, you could tell your guests to BYOB if you want to save some money. Finally, you could provide one option on alcohol and state this in the invitations. Tell your guests they are welcome to bring anything else if they like. These are just a few easy things you can do to save a little money!

5. Christmas Invitations

Instead of purchasing Christmas invitations and spending money on postage, why not send invites electronically? Most of your guests probably have access to a computer these days, so why not take advantage of free communication. You could choose to send your Christmas party invitations via email or possibly by one of the many electronic invitation services.

Maybe your friends and family are using Twitter or Facebook? Social networking sites are a great way to get the word out about your party and won't cost you a penny.

6. Holiday Gifts and Prizes

It may be a nice gesture to give your guests a nice party favor or gift when you throw a Christmas party. Instead of spending a lot of money on gifts for your guests, try making them cookies or holiday baked goods. Look to wrap them up in some inexpensive holiday packaging.

You could also make a Christmas themed craft item for your guests to take home. Purchase some inexpensive ornaments and use them as a place setting. What really matters is that you are creative and you don't spend a lot of extra money on these items.

Another great idea is to throw a white elephant party for your guests. A white elephant gift exchange is a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy your Christmas party. Be sure to have a few extra white elephant gifts on hand for your guests who forget to bring one.

8. Christmas Ambiance

Besides adding Christmas decorations in and around your home, it is nice to add a little ambiance to your party. You don't need to spend a lot of money (if any) to give that extra little touch. Find some candles you may have lying around and put them around your home. Turn on some Christmas tunes that can be played throughout the evening. If you have a fireplace, be sure to turn it on (just make sure your guests are comfortable). These are just a few things you can quickly do to give that added touch to your party.

Final Thoughts

No matter what type of holiday party you decide to throw, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Don't worry about spending a lot of money to host the best party. A successful party has nothing to do with the amount of money you spend. Have fun and enjoy the holiday's this year with your friends and loved ones.

Have a Merry Christmas!