Who doesn’t love Christmas? The new clothes, the gifts, the vacation plans, the holiday makers, the merry and jolly moments that seems to go on forever and most importantly, the ‘Owambe’.
We all know Christmas time is definitely the best time of year, sprinkled with a lot of celebrations on going at almost every spot, owambe upandan and we Nigerians know very well how to celebrate and throw the best parties..
We all want to take part in the festivities and make the most of the season, nobody wants to carry last. And with this desire, comes event plans, shopping sprees and money talks, but we know fully well that no celebration or event goes on without a cost.
Hosting a Christmas party is one of the best ways to get your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and even acquaintances together to celebrate the festive season; but we must not break the bank or overshoot our budget because of this.
Yes! Money is involved in everything but even with a minimal budget, we can still host the most fabulous event in town with these tips:
Make a budget and stick to it.
Make a Christmas party budget and ensure that you stick to it like kilode! Think carefully through the list of all the things you need to make your party fab, have all the party details outlined and ensure that you set aside the amount you need, to avoid spending it before the eventC
To finance your budget plans, you can even cut down on some of our expenses, have a fund raiser or carry out a donation drive.
Lastly, ensure that the budget you have set for your amazing party is nothing but realistic.
It is definitely not too early to start making your Christmas party plans in January (if it works better for you o!), afterall it is the biggest party of the year.
Set apart your party budget, make your guest list and send out invitations on time, to enable your guests prepare adequately and avoid any last minute, ‘I didn’t know’ cancellation.
By doing this, you are also giving yourself adequate time to work out your party details, tie up loose ends and reduce the level of stress associated with general party planning.
Set a time and date.
It is advisable that you do not plan your Christmas party so close to Christmas. If possible ensure that party date and time are set a month before December, as you know that there would be a lot of parties going on during this season.
While choosing the date and time for your event;
Ensure that the party falls on a weekend because more people will be oportuned to attend (you Nigerians and their amazing ability to make excuses).
The weather of that day should be put into consideration when deciding on either an open or indoor setting.
You also have to decide if the event will be held during the day or at night.
Also get some inputs from your guests, to be able to make the best choice.
Send out the party invites.
The whole point of making plans as well as setting the time and date early is necessary for making your invites and sending them out to your guests.
Your invite is very important as it includes the date, time and address of your party as well as an RSVP (although Nigerians don’t pay heed to this most times, just add it), to enable you to discern the number of people whom have agreed to attend the party.
This can not be over-emphasized but it is important that your party invites are sent out on time, to enable your guest prepare adequately.
To also save up, you can send out simple invites via mail or texts as well.
Here is one simple but amazing invite design inspiration just for you and don’t forget to add ‘No African Time’ before your guests start trooping in by 8pm for a party slated to commence by 4pm (anything is possible in Nigeria).
You can not do all the planning, arrangements and organising all on your own (no one is superhuman after all).
Planning your Christmas party all by yourself can be exhausting but this can be solved with extra help.
One way to get the needed help free of charge is to enlist the assistance of your family members and friends, like your spouse, your kids or your best friend.
In Nigeria, this is not rare but to get a good result, ensure that you choose the best, do not heap a load of pressure on them and only act as a supervisor (that is, you should actually allow them to do their delegated task and only supervise from time to time)
Delegating responsibilities to them eases you of the stress, frees up your time and makes the party planning so much more fun.
Accent key places.
We all know that we can’t have a party without fancy decorations and all, right? I am glad we all agree on this but the cost of Christmas decorations has sky-rocketed over the past few years and this can put a strain on the carefully laid out budget.
So, instead of getting the entire party venue bedecked in fancy decorations, you can choose key spots like the stage, the food stand, tables, the entrance door and focus your decoration skills there (I can assure you that your guests won’t even notice or pay much attention when there is so much laid out for them).
This will not only save you a couple bucks but ease up the stress as well.
Do we still exchange gifts these days? If we still do, then this is a great addition to your party but not absolutely necessary (after all, this is Nigeria).
Ensure that you let your guest in on this plan, there could exchange gifts among each other and to make it more fun. You could do the secret santa method, where guests pick randomly and give gifts to whomever they choose (ensure that you inform your guest of this plan before the party though).
But depending on your budget and on your guests, you may need to decide if you would like to have a gift exchange or not.
And whichever one you choose, no one will judge.
Keep it simple.
Hosting a party especially a Christmas party (the party of the year!) can be overwhelming but keeping it simple can make all the difference.
Keeping your Christmas party simple goes a long way in determining how well your party will go. Keep in mind as you prepare, that ‘simplicity is the new spice of life’ and it makes things a whole lot easier on you.
For a fast cleanup, you can use disposable plates and cups, and while on this topic, you can purchase small-sized plates to avoid unnecessary food waste and food hoarding by guests.
For the food preparation, you can seek the assistance of friends and family to ease the stress.
For the meals, you could choose the people’s favorite coupled with other exotic dishes while keeping it simple.
For the drinks, you can make a whole new menu – alcoholic drinks can take a backseat while you introduce hot chocolates, variety of cocktails, mixed drinks, you can also throw in ice-creams and yogurt for good measures.
For the style of service, you can decide if you would prefer a buffet or a sit down meal.
A fab Christmas party on a budget will do just fine without a live band or DJ.
In the spirit of simplicity and good cheer, you could select good tracks and party bangers to spice up your party and get your guest in a good party spirit.
Music is food for the soul and we know how much we love good music, so while playing a good mix, ensure that you add our oldies (highlife, Fuji, juju, Afrobeat and reggae), some Christmas jingles and the raving songs of the year as well.
Do not forget the seating arrangements, ensure that your guests gets to seat with a familiar face to avoid unnecessary drama and cold shoulders. Also make yourself available for introductions so that the guests can feel more comfortable with each other.
Most importantly, do not leave out your guest’s children in your preparation and seat settings.
We all know that Nigerians love to invite as many people as they can when invited to an event, so ensure that you inform them as politely as possible the number of extras allowed (to avoid stories touches the heart!).
If you want to host a Christmas party this year, do not let anything stop you, you can do this!
These tips are here to guide you but do not hesitate to add your unique ingenuity to make you christmas party the most talked about party in town this year.
So as you proceed with your party plans, go about it with a smile and when the day finally arrives, do not forget to have fun, take a lot of pictures, enjoy your party, you deserve it!