Looking forward to spending time with family and friends? Keep in mind that you need to plan your celebrations in advance and stick to a budget. That is how you can have a truly sparkling Diwali!
By Varsha Venkatesh
Festival fever is everywhere! Diwali is just around the corner and no one seems to be able to contain their excitement. You too must have started the countdown in your home. Have you been eyeing that dashing Diwali outfit so you can look like a diva in your festival photographs? And, are you also secretly worried about organising the perfect party for family and friends in the coming days? Trying to be a great host is not easy, but fret not, festivities are meant to be fun!
You could, for instance, start your planning a little in advance to pull off a stress-free party without breaking the bank. Who says the host can't derive some enjoyment, too?
Let the celebrations begin!
1. Set the budget: Fireworks don't come cheap. Neither do clothes or gifts. Unless you are a veteran at throwing parties all the time, it is easy to go overboard and spend too much. So, fix a budget to avoid any reckless shopping. Pick up home decor items like lanterns, string lights, festive cutlery, table runners and napkins that will be long-lasting and not the throwaway kind. Keep in mind that you should choose items that you can reuse at birthday parties or even, reunions. Buy only when it is absolutely necessary to do so. Also, try to patronise local shops that sell products made by regional craftsmen to support the local community.
2. Make a guest list: Just remember, the more the merrier does not apply to a Diwali party. So, to keep it intimate, invite a small group of family and friends. You might be tempted to call everyone, and we understand that this is a tough call, but make a guest list and see that it fits within your budget. Every guest must feel special; so, send out invites a week prior to the party and get a head count before you start the preparations. Follow up with phone calls to ensure your guests do not forget the party date — everyone will have things planned this season.
3. Have a theme: Create a memorable day for your guests by paying attention to detail. A theme will help you narrow down a colour scheme so that you can go all out. Magnificent flower decorations, mood lighting, table settings and even, dress codes can set the tone of your party. Don't be afraid to ditch the classic red-and-gold theme and opt for vibrant contrasting colour palettes. Insist on a traditional dress code to imbue that true sense of festivity and spread the Diwali flavour everywhere.
4. Do-It-Yourself decor: Going DIY makes for some amazing savings. There are several spectacular DIY home decor ideas available online and nothing is more fun than getting together as a family and getting creative with the decor. You could make paper marigold garlands for all the guests to wear, make rangolis, lamp arrangements and paper craft to add a special feel. This is the time to use all the glitter you have. It is an inexpensive way to make the party space sparkle and shine for the Festival of Lights. Make sure the decorations are simple and beautiful.
5. Make your own finger foods: There is nothing more special and intimate than preparing food for your family and friends. Of course, you can easily pick up sweets, nibbles and savoury items like samosas from a shop, but it is super simple to make sumptuous Diwali finger foods at home. Here is a tasty Diwali spread to help your foodie friends get together and have a blast.
6. Select good music: What is a party without music? Ensure you have a celebratory playlist ready and some party favourites. Music instantly puts everyone at ease and a much-loved number can really set the right mood, and get people on their feet. This works like magic! Diwali is incomplete without dancing and singing, and putting on the right music can truly make the party come alive. Involve the entire family in choosing peppy numbers for your playlist and get ready to shake a leg.
7. Come up with games: Playing games is the best way to get everyone to participate. Apart from the regular card games, there are plenty of fun indoor and outdoor Diwali games to choose from. A simple but competitive game is one called thread the garland. It requires two-member teams. Here, one player threads flowers into garlands and ties them onto their partner's wrist. The team that makes the most garlands within the set time, wins.
8. Gift of giving: Remember, giving gifts on Diwali is a beloved tradition. So, make sure you hand out gifts so each guest goes back home with wonderful memories. Keep every guest's tastes in mind and personalise the gift to make everyone feel special. During the party, make sure you are warm and attentive so that your guests are having a good time. Keep in mind that your guests may have dropped other invitations to be with you; so thank them for their presence and for making the party a memorable one.
Whether you decide on a casual and simple theme or a formal get-together, start your preparations well in advance. After all, celebrating the festival should not be a strain on your finances. Rather, it is a time for spreading love and light, for making sure that everyone involved has a wonderful time. Happy Diwali!
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