(SPOT.ph) As one of the newest hires of his company, insight analyst Rob was asked by his boss to organize their team’s Christmas party, a happy problem of sorts as he hosts his office’s first in-person holiday gathering in two years.
While planning events is nothing new to him, the 25-year-old from Mandaluyong City takes on his manager’s task with care. Aside from making sure that it’s safe for everyone, he also has to find ways to keep the celebration within their budget.
“Of course, we want the party to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. But then kailangan din talaga hindi masyadong malaki yung gagastusin. Kung kaya na i-DIY, i-DIY talaga,” Rob said.
As COVID-19 restrictions further ease just as the holidays approach, Filipinos will now finally be able to celebrate Christmas in one room and indulge in the season’s blessings. But while this alone is a cause for a big celebration, it’s still important to manage expenses in hosting Christmas parties so as not to welcome the new year in financial ruin, according to an event planner.
“Sa pagpaplano ng event, it's not enough na maganda lang, na nasunod yung theme na gusto mo. It should also be cost-efficient,” Kaycelyn Francisco, the owner and stylist of Just DIY, an event planning service provider, told SPOT.ph.
“Kung magdi-DIY ka ng isang event, kung ano lang yung meron ka na pwede mo namang magamit talaga, basta maging creative ka lang, magagawa mo talaga,” she added.
How to DIY Your Christmas Party
Planning and holding Christmas parties need not be expensive, as long as you can turn existing household items and other materials into decorative pieces.
For Francisco, who has made a living out of her interest in organizing events, many of the items you can use for decorations can be found in your living room.
“What we do is we look for alternatives. Minsan naghahanap lang kami ng lumang curtains na hindi natin ginagamit, ginagawa namin siyang backdrop,” she said.
“Minsan yung mga wood and styro na pwede natin i-paint, gawin nating backdrop or standee sa mga things na gusto natin. Pero hindi namin talaga siya tinitipid. We design it na hindi magmumukhang scrap,” she added.
For those who want to DIY their Christmas parties this year, Francisco gave the following tips.
Be clear with your theme
Make sure that your theme is something that your guests can get onboard with, as it will set the mood of the entire Christmas party, Francisco said.
“You should consider the people invited, dapat magugustuhan din nila yung theme na naisip mo. Dapat alam nila and mae-enjoy nila na yung theme na naisip mo,” she said.
Consider the interests of the guests
Select a theme that will fit the personalities of the people you are partying with. Make sure that your theme will suit their expectations, Francisco said.
“Halimbawa isa kayong team na pala-party, yung theme niyo is something that's shimmering, mga silver, gold. Kapag sa bahay naman, depende kung ano yung mood ng family niyo,” she said.
“Sa school naman, usually more colorful. Given na yung may color tayo na green at red pero more on details na parang may mga candies, gifts,” she added.
Location is key
If you are holding the Christmas party in a specific venue, make sure that it is easily accessible to guests, Francisco said.
“Kung may space naman sa bahay niyo, why not? Pwedeng sa garage lang o sa tapat ng bahay niyo, kung malaki naman yung space, kasya yung mga tables and chairs," she said.
“Pwede ka rin mag-ask sa mga invited guests kung sino yung may malaking space, kung pwede doon,” she added.
Take note of the venue’s space and availability
If renting a party venue is more favorable for you, make sure that it can accommodate all of your guests and that it can be used for the entire duration of the event, Francisco said.
There are venues that can be rented for at most 24 hours, while there are some that can be used for a little over four hours but can accommodate up to 200 people. It depends on your party’s needs, she added.
Cook your own food
Although there is nothing wrong with getting a caterer for your event, you will be able to save a lot of money if you choose to cook your Christmas party food instead, Francisco said.
“Mas matipid kasi if you will do the pamamalengke kasi mae-estimate mo kung ano lang yung bibilhin mo for that specific number of guests, so hindi ka mag-oover the budget,” she said.
Make do with what you have
Look for items around the house that you can use for decorations in the party. These could be your old curtains, plywood, or even your backyard plants which could match your chosen theme and enhance the look of the venue, Francisco said.
“You have to stick with your theme. It would be easier for you to determine what decorations you will put. You don't have to buy new decorations all the time,” she added.
Get ideas from TikTok, YouTube
It will also help if you watch videos on TikTok and YouTube that discuss DIY event planning. This way, you can replicate exactly what the video shows for your party, Francisco said.
“Sa DIY tutorials, yun na talaga yung ibibigay sayo na information. Ikaw na lang talaga ang didiskarte kung paano mo gagawin,” she added.
Prepare at least a week before
Francisco advised that you prepare for the Christmas party at least a week before the actual event, so that you can plan ahead and avoid incurring bigger expenses.
“Kapag one to two days preparation lang, mapapabili ka talaga. Unlike kapag a week before or a month before, mapaghahandaan mo kung ano lang yung meron sayo,” she added.
Do away with non-biodegradables
As much as possible, avoid disposable items when it comes to your decorations and utensils, as these are not sustainable for the environment. If you have household items that can be reused for your party, go with them, Francisco said.
Clean as you go
Of course, you need to clean up after the Christmas party. Make sure that you dispose of your wastes properly so that they will not cause a mess in your immediate surroundings.
“We never stopped thinking din na maghanap ng eco-friendly decors na less damaging sa environment natin. This is one of our responsibilities as human beings na we make sure that we take care of the planet that we are living in,” Francisco said.
Kaycelyn Francisco is the owner and stylist of Just DIY, which offers services and equipment rentals for birthday parties and photoshoots and other events. Learn more about their services on their Facebook page.