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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Holiday Entertaining on a Shoestring

Holiday Entertaining on a Shoestring

Don’t let the downturn in the economy cast a “bah, humbug” on your holiday plans this year. Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little creativity, you can throw a fantastic party without breaking the bank. After all, it’s the company of your family and friends that matters, so check out these tips, then go ahead and start spreading the holiday cheer!

Make your own invitations.
Store-bought invitations can be pricey, so why not jump on the computer and design and print your own customized invites? Or even better, go totally paperless and send electronic invitations.

Classic decorations.
Simple greenery and ribbons are always festive. For added atmosphere and elegance, place votive candles inside wine glasses. Pinecones or tree ornaments in a crystal vase or bowl make a beautiful table centerpiece.

Borrow instead of buy. If you are short on items such as dinnerware or table linens, borrow what you need from a friend or family member instead of shelling out money at the store.

Keep it small.
If the budget is tight, consider hosting a small party with just your closest friends.

Brunch. Brunch can be a less-expensive and a more unique holiday hosting idea. A menu of quiche and various fruits is simple and won’t empty the pocketbook.

Open house. Invite guests to drop by at their convenience during afternoon party hours. Light hors d’oeuvres will be plenty for guests during this time of day.

Go potluck. Ask guests to bring their favorite dish. Most people enjoy sharing their specialties, and it is a great way to cut costs.

Host a movie night. Rent your favorite holiday classic, and invite your friends over for a casual evening in front of the TV. Prepare simple appetizers, or have guests bring their favorite finger foods. And don’t forget the popcorn and hot chocolate!

Dessert party. Hosting a dinner can be expensive, so why not plan a dessert party? Set up an ice cream sundae bar. Or have guests bring their favorite goodies along with the recipe to share. You could even whip up a batch of cookie dough and let guests bake and decorate sugar cookies. Use your imagination!

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.