Sunday, December 6, 2015

Classy Invitations for Less

The next 3 posts will be part of my series called Serious Holiday Savings.

Have you noticed how expensive it is to throw a holiday party these days?  There's the food and the beverages and the venue (if you use a place other than your home).  There's the added expense of the decorations to spruce up your location.  And something that might surprise you: the invitations.   All of those expenses really add up in a season that is already putting a serious dent in your wallet.

One of the highlights of my year is the annual Cookie Exchange Party I host at my house the first weekend in December.  I serve appetizers and holiday themed beverages and all of my guests bring their best cookie to share with everyone else.  I've done it for at least 5 years, and one of the areas I try to save on is the invitations.  Some years, I've just done a free invite online, but I really prefer to hand out physical invitations.  That way, my guests can display them somewhere to remind them of the upcoming party.  And they have a memento to keep after the event.

One year, I used Christmas-themed recipe cards and put my invitation on the back.  That made a cute invitation.  This year, I decided to look for holiday-themed computer paper so I could print my invitations out.

My son and I went to several stores that I know carry the sort of paper we were looking for.  Would you believe, we couldn't find anything even like it.  I finally found a set of paper at an arts and crafts store for a whopping $13.99, but I was not going to pay that!

We made one final stop at the dollar store, one of my favorite places on earth.  Lo and behold, I found a set of 12 gingerbread foam cutouts.  I realized they were big enough to write the invitation on the back and decorate the front.  I picked up a package of sparkly green "pipe cleaners" to bend into bows for my ginger men, and voila! I had invitations.

If I had gone with my original idea of buying themed paper, I would have spent a lot more on my invitations.  Instead, I allowed inspiration to seize me in the moment and I am so pleased with the resulting invitations.  The best part: they cost $2.

As you are thinking of hosting your own holiday soiree this year, don't be afraid to improvise when you are looking for invitations, party favors and decorations.  You just might find something better than your original idea and it might cost a lot less too!

Happy Holidays!

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