One of my very favorite new holiday traditions is hosting a Favorite-Things Party! For years I heard about these mysterious parties where friends would gather together and share their favorite things and all leave with a few of them. It sounded so fun and delightful to me, but I never got invited to one! Finally, last year, I took matters into my own hands and hosted my own with a friend, and it was so. much. fun.
So how do you host a Favorite-Things Party? First of all, start with the guest list. Think of anywhere from 10 to 15 girlfriends who would enjoy a girls’ night and wouldn’t mind participating and bringing a couple of gifts to share. There are two different ways to do the gifts. My first year we each brought three of the same $5-7 item that was our “favorite thing.” In total, we each spent about $15-20, and we each left with three different favorite things from three other people. This year, we are each bringing one single $15-20 item, and we’ll leave the party with one item! They’re both fun, but in my opinion the three smaller items ensures that people will be excited about at least one of the things they got, whereas if you’re only leaving with one bigger thing, you may be a little bummed if you’re not into it or it’s not your style (and you kind of just want the thing you brought to go back home with you instead—haha does this happen to anyone else?! I have the worst luck at Secret Santa type things!!).
You can serve full-on dinner or just desserts, or you can have friends bring a treat to share. I like to keep things simple, so last year anyone who felt inclined brought a treat, and the other host and I made a couple things. We all wore our pajamas, snacked around the Christmas tree, listened to Christmas music, caught up, and chilled for an hour or so before the gifting started! I also think it would be fun to do a hot chocolate bar and crepes!
Once it’s time to start the gifts, write down everyone’s name on three slips of paper (or one, depending on how many gifts you asked everyone to bring), and put the slips in a bag or bowl. Have one girl start by going up to the bowl, pulling out three names (or one) and explaining why what she brought is her favorite! Some fun ideas I’ve seen in the past include:
Lanyard for keys
$5 gift card to a favorite soda place
Then you pass out the items to the names drawn (putting back any names that repeat so someone doesn’t leave with two of the same thing) and either call up someone else or go around in a circle. You can also allow a certain number of “steals” for each item, meaning that just because your name gets drawn for something, doesn’t mean you’ll actually leave with it! This makes things more intense—haha.
This year my friends and I are doing the party a little differently and making it a couples’ party with one bigger gift instead! It’s a little trickier trying to find something that would appeal to both genders to share, but I think it will be a lot of fun and will add a new element to this fun, new tradition.
If your holidays are already jam packed with events and parties and this just seems like one more thing on your list, a Favorite-Things Party is also a super fun Valentine’s tradition—either for your girlfriends or couples!