I hated spending too much of my own hard-earned money to hold these parties, yet was too proud to let go of my reputation as the “chief organiser” of such events. Over the past few years, I managed to find ways to cut corners.
My strategy was to start early – I would look out for discounts and deals throughout the year, going for warehouse sales to stock up on presents and party essentials. Boxes of scented candles were used as individual gifts and to set the party mood. The cheapest, super family-sized cartons of sweets and canned drinks could last throughout the year till the day of the party. I bought three-for-one packs of novelty knick-knacks that I could pass to colleagues and family members as gifts, with them being none-the-wiser.