This is my 18th year throwing a Christmas party. Started in high school, menus have varied over the years, but I'm always looking to do something new. Like many others, this year will be a little tighter than the past, so I'm looking for main courses that I can do on a budget - probably do one pasta and one meat. Any suggestions for what to do with inexpensive cuts of meat for a crowd?
I also try to have a theme that helps me corral my menu. Past years were the "Very Drunken Christmas" with penne vodka and tenderloin in port sauce, "Colors of Christmas" with stuffed shells, chicken with red pepper sauce, and spinach with rice; or "Chritsmas Circa 1974" with apricot chicken, fondue, etc. This year I'm playing around with the budget aspect, and looking at things like "homestyle holidays", but I can't come up with a nice title that expresses the warm and welcoming, yet thrifty aspect without sounding too depressing. Any suggestions?