...the frugal way.
Last year some of my friends hosted an open house. They entertained a LOT of people, and it was a really lovely, relaxed time. They achieved this on a very tight budget, and here is how;
1- They chose the timing of the event carefully. 2.30 until 5pm. This avoided meal times, so there was no expectation of a large meal being served. It meant that people could come and go as they pleased between those times, without feeling awkward.
2- They served a limited range of drinks. Tea, coffee, and lemonade. A large pan of home made mulled wine, simmering gently on the hob. It made the house smell amazing.
3- They served a limited range of refreshments. There were lots of home made mince pies, baked and frozen long before the festive madness began, warmed through and sprinkled with icing sugar. The only other option was lovely big, warm cookies, baked from dough that had been made in advance.
A good time was had by all!