10 Cheap & Simple Christmas Party Ideas

In (f) Christmas Party Ideas by threetigersmedia

Christmas is not only a traditional religious holiday for people, but it is a time to gather with loved ones. A great way to bring family and friends together is with a party! While it may only take good company for a fun event, step it up with great food, decorations, and activities!

What are some cheap and simple Christmas party ideas? A warm ambiance with cheerful music, easy decorations, and getting guests involved in the planning will make for a simple get together!

It doesn’t take much to make a great party, but incorporating some of these ideas will make the planning as well as the event even more fun for the holidays!

10 Cheap & Simple Christmas Party Ideas

From food to decorations to party favors, these ideas will surely make party planning easy and get your creative juices flowing!

10 Cheap & Simple Christmas Party Ideas:

  1. Make it a potluck
  2. Holiday karaoke
  3. Wrapping paper decorations
  4. Party favors
  5. Signature holiday cocktails
  6. Christmas movie party
  7. Christmas is in the air
  8. Turn simple necessities into decorations
  9. Toy drive
  10. Make your ice cubes festive

If you don’t want to have a huge budget for your party, make your party a potluck! This will cut down massively on food costs and allow your guests to bring something that they would like to share!

The more guests, the more variety you will have! Feel free to make it an appetizer or dessert party if you don’t want to put too much pressure on your guests!

Instead of just playing music in the background, make it a centerpiece of the evening. This idea combines caroling and party fun!

If you don’t have a karaoke machine, set up YouTube on a computer screen or hook it up to your television! YouTube will have plenty of Christmas karaoke options for your guests to enjoy!

For a consistent and easy holiday look, use your favorite wrapping paper to decorate your party space. This could include a table runner, napkin rings, and bunting across a wall or staircase.

This eliminates a need for a plethora of decorations! Add wrapping paper accents in any fitting space to instantly bring up the festivity level at your party!

Let your guests leave with something to remember! A great parting gift is hot cocoa mix. Christmas-themed and easy to assemble, use tiny jars or decorative baggies. Layer cocoa mix, marshmallows, candy canes, and even pieces of milk chocolate for guests to make at home!

While it is a small gesture, the thoughtfulness and holiday creativity will be memorable! Do-It-Yourself ornaments are another party option! Provide ornament supplies, such as confetti, glass ornaments, and paint for guests to make their own during the event! This is a fun activity that lets guests take home their creation.

Whether this is a cocktail or mocktail, having one type of festive drink will make the host’s job easier. Especially if alcohol is included, buying multiple types and different ingredients adds up! Buy your ingredients in bulk for one drink.

Not only will this allow you to stay on budget, it also spices up your theme and adds another layer of sophistication.

Don’t worry about fancy decorations! Accent the room with candlelight for a darkly lit movie night! Pick a classic Christmas movie and cater the party’s theme to the characters, setting, and time period of the movie!

Make snacks and drinks that play off this theme and use the film as your guide for all party decisions.

Simmer cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and cloves for a festive and warm winter smell. Guests will be greeted with these warm scents and instantly welcomed into your home! 

We all need cups for drinks, right? Take Red Solo Cups and tie black ribbon and a button for an instant Santa-fied look! If you are providing water bottles, use decorative duct tape or wrapping paper to cover the paper water bottle label!

A cute way to mark whose drink is who’s is with a holiday gift tag! We use these on gifts all the time so why not use the same idea for a similar purpose?

The holidays are not only about spending time with loved ones, but giving your time and energy to those less fortunate. Have each guest bring a toy that they would like to donate to children who will not be receiving toys this Christmas.

There are plenty of organizations that take toy donations. Do some research on a group that has meaning to you and your community!

Freeze cranberries inside your ice cubes for a bit of holiday color! Once the ice melts, the cranberries will not impact your drink’s taste but keep the jolly spirit going!

The Best Christmas Party Themes On a Budget

Holiday themes should be consistent and simple. With a clear vision and theme in mind, finding decorations, menu items, and activities can be easy!

Stick to your theme to keep you on budget too! Something you find may be cute, but if it doesn’t work with your theme, skip it! This is a great way to evaluate the necessities for your get together!

The Best Christmas Party Themes On a Budget:

  • White Christmas
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  • Cookies For Santa

Keep it simple, keep it white with a White Christmas theme.  As snow and ice are the main attraction, simple decorations are often better than over the top! Iced drinks, powdered sugar desserts, and snowflakes!

Paper snowflakes were something you probably made in school as a child, meaning they are both easy and inexpensive!

Decorate the walls with simple yet clean snowflakes! Opt for desserts only to play into the delicate theme! Desserts only can cut down on food costs as you aren’t expected to provide an entire meal!

The Ugly Christmas Sweaters theme requires little planning on your part! Other than making sure you have a great Christmas sweater yourself, most of the work is put on your guests.

Look for plaids as your theme, to play off fabrics and clothing! As ugly Christmas sweaters are often a hodgepodge of ideas, so can your decorations! Use what you already have and really lean into the “ugly” look.

Don’t be afraid of clashing patterns and mismatched items! It doesn’t cost too much money when you use things you already have from Christmas’ past!

If you want to lighten your food commitment and get your guests excited, have them bring their favorite cookie for “Santa.”

The cookies will actually be for the other guests, but this theme plays on the tradition of setting out cookies for Santa! Everyone will be able to try an assortment of cookies brought by each guest. Decorate using reds, whites, and blacks to play on St. Nick’s signature look!

Engaging Activities for a Christmas Party

In addition to the themes that were mentioned previously, keep your guests entertained with interactive activities that will sure to get people at any age excited!

Engaging Activities for a Christmas Party:

  • Gift exchange
  • Cookie decorating
  • Mystery stocking

A favorite Christmas party past time includes a “white elephant” or gift exchange! Set your desired dollar value and have each guest bring a small gift.

You can make this a sincere gift exchange or funny and quirky items! Follow white elephant gift exchange protocol in choosing numbers from a bag, picking out your gift, and giving the option to “steal” the gift twice before it can no longer be taken!

Your guests will not only leave the party having had a great time, but will get to enjoy their new possession!

Nothing rings in the holidays like sweets! While you have set up a great food selection for your guests, you can add to the fun by letting them decorate their own treats!

All you need to prepare are the cookies themselves (Christmas-shaped sugar cookies work best), frosting, and toppings. Give guests some sweet color and sprinkle options to create their holiday goodies!

Fill a Christmas stocking with assorted items! Pass a stocking around without guests looking inside. Have the guests write down what they think is in the stocking based on weigh and feeling of items inside. The person with the most correctly identified items wins!

Themed Appetizers and Finger Foods For Cheap

Make the food you provide at the party not only delicious, but decorative as well! Your menu can and should be the decorations as well!

Below are some easy to make snacks that will not only taste great, but add to the holiday ambiance you want to create!

Holiday food tips to keep in mind:

  • Use color to your advantage
  • Provide both hot and cold options
  • Don’t be afraid to mix appetizers with desserts

Christmas Tree Veggies

Pick up your favorite assortment of vegetables, mostly in greens and reds! Broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes, celery, and snap peas! Cut them into bite-sized pieces and arrange them in the shape of a Christmas tree!

You can alternate stripes of red and green and add a yellow garnish at the top for a star! You can also shape your veggies into a wreath!

Strawberry Santa Hats

Strawberries and whipped cream. That’s it. Cheap and easy! Cut the stems off your strawberries and place them sitting up on the cut flat side.

Take a tiny dollop of whipped cream (or a small squirt from a spray can) to make the fluffy poof of Santa’s hat. You will have a bunch of tiny Christmas hats waiting to be enjoyed!

Cranberry and Brie Bites

A really simple yet beautiful appetizer keeps you within the holiday color scheme. Use crescent rolls or crostini as the base depending on your preference! Take sliced brie cheese and place it on each piece of bread.

Top with whole cranberry sauce, which usually has chunks of cranberry versus the plain jelly. Bake these in the oven to melt the brie and get a nice golden glaze on your bread choice! Garnish with rosemary to get some green on the plate!

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

These are not only delicious, but fun to make! Dip pretzel rods in an assortment of white or dark chocolate. Drizzle the pretzels with the opposite chocolate for a zebra-like effect and top with Christmas-colored sprinkles.

They look great presented in a cup and can be scattered around the room or food table. They are not only great snacks, but serve as a table decoration!


While not specifically related to Christmas, bruschetta is a delicious party snack and Christmas-colored! Top baked crostini with a mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt. The bright red tomatoes contrasted with the green basil will fit right into your Christmas theme!

These ideas will not only be a hit with your guests’ stomachs, but will save you time and energy on decorations! No matter the theme, thoughtful touches will make for a wonderful Christmas party!

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