I love hosting parties!! Gnomes and champagne are also my jam!!! Any time of year is a good time to throw a party, but from October to January is definitely party season! On top of all that, I do love a good theme party! I myself, enjoy all the stages that goes into it! The planning, decorating, choosing a menu, cooking and presenting! This can be as easy or as involved as you like.
I am a woman that likes to wear many hats, and one of those hats is a self proclaimed party planner! In my next life, I might make a living doing it. In this life, I spend the money to do it. I really have to reign that in (my husband would probably appreciate if I did). Until then, self proclaimed it is!
I try to host this party a few times a year. Christmas time was the season that I threw my fist Favorite Things party. It was a Christmas pajama party, which was a big hit. As fun as it is to dress up, it is equally as fun to dress down and be comfy!! I have hosted Favorite Things parties as Galentien’s, Spring brunches, and a 4th of July. Anytime is a good time to throw a party, right!
Alright, let’s get started!
Invitation: I love sending invites through the mail, but there is something to be said about a good ol’ Evite. Super easy! Pick your theme and get to creating the invitation. I used this free “Bright Spirits” Christmas theme a few years back. If post mail, digital mail or carrier pigeons aren’t in your wheelhouse…send a text! Text, “When and Where”, and a link to the this “Favorite Things Gift Exchange” and keep it super simple.
Party Details: The where, what time and details of the party. This is where you get to let your creativity soar! Are you serving dinner? Sunday brunch? Drinks and dessert? Would like your guest to bring a “Favorite” dessert or drink? This can be a lot of work or a little. I always go to the side of A LOT. Haha, but again, I love hosting!! So you do you!
My party is starting at 6:00 pm. So I am serving dinner, light desserts and of course, the gift exchange (which can be optional for your guest, but the best part!) that goes along with “Favorite Things” party. I love giving gifts! Receiving isn’t so bad either 😉 The gift exchange can be easily misunderstood, but it all works out regardless. If you’re doing the gift exchange, which I HIGHLY recommend! This is what it is: *Don’t over think and complicate it!
Favorite Things Gift Exchange: Each guest brings 3 individually wrapped gifts, valued at $10 each. (You set the price point, but I find around $30 is a good price point for a little fun) You pick your “Favorite” theme and buy 3 gifts in that “theme” ($10 each) The gifts can be 3 of the same thing, or 3 of the same “favorite theme”. (example: Let’s say you love candles. You can buy 3 candles that are exactly the same, or 3 different patterned/types of candles. *Shameless plug: I make soy candles 😉 Feel free to check them out!! OR let’s say you love lipgloss, you buy your favorite lipgloss 3 times, or lipgloss, a chapstick, and lip stain) What ever you bought, wrap the 3 things individually, and not addressed to anyone. I like to wrap the 3 gifts in identical bags or same paper. That way it’s easy to identify your gifts when they are in a pile of gifts. Which you will need to identify in order to hand out.
Guest: After you’ve entered all your party details, send it out! Who are you inviting? My Favorite Things is usually a ladies night, but it could easily be a couples party, or just a group of friends. At first, in my mind, I was keeping this a small party. Until I had my email list in front of me, then I just started clicking away. Now this party is MUCH larger than I had originally planned. The more the merrier, right!!
Now that you have your Invitations sent out. Below you’ll find a little more of the detail Theme Party ideas.
Theme: What are YOUR Favorite things!?! I love Christmas, so the season works out perfectly. And with that, I love Champagne, Gnomes, candles, and all things that sparkle!! Gnomes have become more popular lately, (I like and dislike this fact) so I don’t have any trouble decorating for this!! My house is already decorated for Christmas and I have plenty of gnomes hanging around (Even when it is not Christmas) Just added some Glitter and Champagne!! One could stop there or take the theme into your food. Which I love to do. I enjoy the extra that goes into food and drink presentation. And since I mentioned hats earlier, the other hat I wear is a self-proclaimed Chef hat! Clearly, as food blogging is in my wheelhouse.
Food: I am a huge fan of Charcuterie plates! Crackers, cheese and meats… oh my!! So that is a staple in my house, entertaining or not. (It’s usually what I eat for lunch) And if different cheeses is your jam, you have to check out Good Obsessions laser cut Cheese Picks. I LOVE them! Back to food…. I made Pasta Fagioli. (Super easy) Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese bites, and a few simple desserts! Keeping it easy! My mom brought the veggie tray and my mother-in-law brought the cranberry and brie puff pastry appetizer! YUM! Working on getting that recipe!
*I am leaving this raw, terribly lit, unedited photo here for prosperity. This is how my photos started off when I first began this blog! I like to think they get better as I continue down this path.
Drinks: Sip, Sip, Hooray!! Champagne, Holiday Sangria, Wine and good old H20 (With fresh mint and pomegranate seed to keep it festive), what ever you fancy to imbibe on.
*Something a little extra I like to do, is give everyone a glass to pick from when they arrive, they use for the night and get to take it home when they leave.
The only things left to do is:
1) Enjoy the party!!
2) The gift exchange! This is how it works.
How to exchange Favorite Things: As everyone comes in, (make sure to have everyone do this as they walk in the door! It is hard to reign everyone in after) have a bowl or dish available, a pen and 3 pieces of paper, (per person) for everyone to write their name on. They write their name on 3 pieces of paper. They brought 3 gifts, so they have 3 pieces of paper with their name on it. They put the names in the bowl/dish and leave their gifts. Have a big area cleared for all the gifts to go. 3 gifts each, really adds up!
When it’s time to start the exchange, herd everyone into designated gift opening area, and good luck! If you’re at my party, everyone has most likely been drinking, talking loudly and in deep conversation. It’s actually like herding cattle!
Once you have everyone together, double check that EVERYONE wrote their name 3x on the little papers. (someone always misses this step) The Host will be the one that starts the game.
You stand up and explains what your “Favorite Thing” is, then pull 3 names from the bowl, then gives those 3 people your “Favorite Things” gifts. *If you draw the same name more than once, just put it back and draw again.
Your 3 people get your gifts, they open it, we all “Ooh” and “Ahhh”, it’s super FUN! Continue this around the room. It really is a fun way to get to know people a little more.
This isn’t a perfect science. There has been a time, or two, where the last person who drew names, drew their own name. Just do what works for you guys. I find that someone is always willing to give up their gift, and open a different one. I also have done this gift exchange with my 2 girls. Being they are under “drinking” age (at least they were when I originally wrote this) whoever drew their name, if it was wine or something they couldn’t have, they drew again. Or if it was at the end of the game and their name was the only one left, whelp momma got it! Haha. Win, win!
A funny example of this happening was my oldest daughter, Alexis. She LOVES things being clean and tidy. So she picked “cleaning” as her “Favorite Thing” LOL (Lucky me, right!!!) She bought 3 Meyer holiday hand soaps, and 3 Meyer brand peppermint candles. (Value came to $10) Put a hand soap and candle as a gift, and make 3 sets like that. When it came time for her to draw names, being she was the last person to draw, she drew her name. She was happy to keep her own gift. Which was a big hit by the way!!
This party is SO much fun to throw and attend! Everyone LOVES the gift exchange part of it, and the food is always delicious (toot, tooting my own horn)! I don’t know about you guys, I have to find ways to make life feel a little more normal. Throwing parties is one of the ways I do it.
I really hope you throw one of these parties yourself or get to go to one. Reach out if you have any questions, or if you DO host or go to a party… I would LOVE to hear about it!
Happy Holidays ~Jeanne
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