Have a Christmas Chili Charity Party

Just because you’re feeling the economic pinch doesn’t mean you need to be a social grinch this season. Here’s a fun and easy idea that allows you to feed friends with the bare minimum of stress, mess, and expense. Plus, it contains an added feel-good bonus of helping out a children’s charity big time after the bash.

Have a Christmas Chili Charity Party

1. The inexpensive no-fuss feast

When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing like a piping hot bowl of homemade chili as hearty comfort food. It’s inexpensive, and you can make it the day ahead so you won’t be tethered to the kitchen on party day. Guests can easily help themselves to the big pot of chili kept warm on the stove if you leave a ladle handy. And additional food can be as simple as crusty bread and butter and grated cheddar cheese as a topping. Christmas cookies can serve as dessert.

2. Bring your own beverage request

It’s up to you if you want to stock wine and cold beer, but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask guests to bring whatever alcoholic beverages they want to drink. You should provide soft drinks, coffee, and tea. If you really want to make it a fancier fiesta, whip up some frozen margaritas as well.

3. The help-yourself holiday buffet

Whether you value your time or your money most will determine how you set your buffet table. You can use your own dishes, but that involves a big time-consuming mess to clean up afterward. Instead, you could spend a few bucks and set your table with plastic bowls and cutlery, paper side plates and plastic glasses. Class it all up with decorative candles and a nice tablecloth.

4. The easygoing atmosphere

Guests who have attended this style of party in the past rave about the convenience of coming and going when they please since the food is always ready. For music, keep in mind that most folks have become very tired of the holiday standards by this time. Why not find some Mexican yuletide music or something with a Caribbean Christmas beat? And once the party gets hopping, any good dance music will do.

5. The heart-warming part

What sets this party apart from your typical holiday season shindig is one rule: Every guest must bring a new toy to put under your tree for charity and it must be purchased at a dollar store. And request they avoid battery-operated toys for maximum playtime pleasure. That way, no matter how budget-stretched your guests are, they can still contribute. Also, it’s best that the toys remain unwrapped because it makes it easier for the charity to determine age and gender appropriateness. You will find the toys become great conversation pieces.

6. Santa for a day

You’ll feel like a million dollars when you cart a ton of new toys to your favourite charity the next day. And your guests will have not only had a great time, but they will also leave feeling good for their part in it. Try it this season and it may even become an annual event.

Go to the next page for an easy, tasty chili recipe.