Favorite THiiiiiinnnnnnngs! And a Linky

A guest post from my friend Hayley from The Tiny Twig

“And YOU get a car. And YOU get a car! And YOU GET A CAR!”. Remember when Oprah gave every single person in her studio audience a car? Who hasn’t wanted to play Oprah for a day?

Well, my friends and I decided to do just that. We were seeking a simpler way to celebrate Christmas and still give gifts, because really who doesn’t love gifts? The reality, though, is…we live in a busy, busy society and we have 16 kids between us. We had to simplify out of necessity.

Instead of doing a White Elephant party (don’t you think inevitably someone’s feelings would get hurt if their present wasn’t coveted? no? just me? oh, ok.), we decided to do a Favorite Things party. We also did spa night (it pays to have friends who massage and do hair!) the same night, but that is neither here nor there.

Our favorite things party was the simplest and most fun kind of Christmas party I’ve ever had or been to. I wanted to share with you some of the things that make it really successful.

First, the basic premise is this. You gather a group of women (we had 6) and you each buy your very favorite thing for each person attending. You can wrap it–or not (I didn’t, less fuss!). We didn’t set a price limit, but I think each of our gifts ended up being between $5 and $10. We bought for 5 other people, so you don’t want to be too lavish…unless, of course, you do. And if so, make sure to send me an invite. ;) I don’t turn down lavish favorite things.

We made sure to narrate our gift as we passed them around the circle. Why was it our favorite thing? Where could you buy it? How did we learn about it?

Here are some tips and extra ideas:

*I would keep the group to either 6 or 12. You can either do a single group of 6 or 2 groups of 6. If you have 12, then have everyone buy for 5 people. When they arrive at the party, have some way to divide into groups of 6 and then proceed as I described above. Some ideas of how to separate; blondes and brunettes (it’d have to be even!), you could draw straws (cut short and long), or you could draw cards (6 black and 6 red in the deck). Be creative! That’s most of the fun!

*We each also brought our favorite snack, either sweet or savory. Make sure there is enough for everyone to try. I brought Fresh Market’s Almond Croissants. Seriously, I could have eaten all 6. Other things we had were chocolate covered strawberries, special cheeses, etc.

*Make sure to have at least 2 hours for your party. Also, this is key, eat while passing out gifts. We ate the amazing food and chatted for so long that we had to rush our gift-giving.

*I think that to be true to the concept, you should pick one single item as your favorite thing rather than compiling a few things that you like. If your favorite thing costs 99 cents–so be it–its your FAVORITE…that has its own currency!

*And, lastly, bring your own tote to bring your gifts home in.

I knew immediately what I was going to bring when we first talked about doing a Favorite Things Party. I have loved Mrs. Meyers Iowa Pine holiday scent for the past 2 years–and it can be really difficult to find. The smell signals Christmas to my brain. Christmas cannot happen without Iowa Pine. So, I immediately ordered enough for the whole group and was giddy to give them out. No one in my group had used Mrs. Meyers at all–so it was really fun to introduce them to the whole brand, too.

Some other things we all got were favorite snuggly socks, favorite tea, favorite lip balm, favorite undies (YES! really! and smart girl bought smalls for everyone with the receipt enclosed), a recipe box filled with favorite family recipes, favorite mugs, and a few other things. It was such a fun night, and we got to learn a lot about each other, too. I was with my best friend and would never have even guessed her favorite thing! The whole night made me giddy for Christmas.


Thanks Hayley!   Y’all, I love this idea so much that my sister and mom and I are doing a Favorite things Christmas this year. We just picked a total price limit and go from there.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite things {my mom and sister may or may not be getting something from this list} this year and hey, would you like to share yours as well?   How ’bout an impromptu linky?  If you have a minute and want to share a quick post about one or three of your favorite things this year, link up.  Let’s keep the price at $30 or under.

Here’s my favorite things::

I just purchased this branch candelabra thing for myself from World Market.  It was a splurge at $30 especially knowing that it only came in black and I was going to bring it home and promptly spray paint it white. But, I’ve been looking for something similar to this so this piece was a perfect find for me and I love the pretend natural beauty.

I love TIGI Rock A Holic Flexible Hold Hairspray.  So far I’m on my first can of it, I ordered it from ebay because I hate to leave my house.  It’s like hairspray but without the stiffness yet it still holds well.  I heard a girl talk about it on one of those youtube how to make the perfect ponytail videos and all I could remember from the video was how much she loved this hairspray.   Now I love it too.

This owl ornament from Target?  Love. And it’s only $4.

She has absolutely no idea I’m doing this but yep, one of my very favorite things this year is from Hayley’s Tiny Shop.  She gave me this necklace at Relevant and I think I wore it 3 out of the 4 days we were there.  I wear it a few times a week. I love the quirkyness, the imperfection of the vintage beads and the fact that it was handmade.  The Tiny Shop has very limited quantities, for all I know she’s about sold out but, I have to mention my love for all things Tiny Shop.  And then, to top it off, Hayley even went and named each necklace a fierce name like “Fortitude” and “Patience”.  I just bought Tenacity for myself.

Yep.  I might have been the last person on the planet to read The Hunger Games, but it’s still worth mentioning.  You can read it in a day.  And then, the best part?  There are two more books in the series!

Raising Hope. My favorite TV show.  I love watching The Middle with our boys but, Raising Hope?  I laugh out loud and roll my eyes with ridiculation during every episode.  This is an after the kids go to bed kind of show.

And finally, my favorite coffee creamer.  I haven’t had it in almost a year.  Our local Super Target stopped carrying it.  I knew one day I could actually use this blog for something : Dear powers that be at Charlotte Area Super Targets, bring back Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Mate.  PLEEEEEEEEEESE?

Soooo, my favorite things list is kind of embarrassing–food, weird TV and hairspray? Where are my priorities?

Ok, your turn, if you have a few minutes in the next week or so, write a quick post and link up YOUR FAVORITE things $30 or less and if you don’t have a blog or don’t want to spend the time, just leave your favorite things in the comment–only one link per comment if you are linking–or else my blog will think your comment is spam::

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  1. One of my favorite things is SmartWool knee socks. So warm and cozy, yet your feet never feel sweaty. They are perfect for winter in NY.

  2. This is brilliant, so do-able, and sure to be a fun time!

  3. Love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing!! Merry Christmas!!

  4. My Relevant Roomie Lara Williams brought Rock a Holic to the conference. I stole it the whole weekend. It really is awesome!

    What a fun post and idea!

  5. tiny twig! I adore your neclaces, hayley.
    nester. I adore you! your list made me smile and smile and smile! and the powers that be had better bring back your favorite flavor. how fun!

  6. AHH! i took the last candle yesterday at tarjay! i had gotten 2 others on an earlier visit and wanted more … boo to one left! LOVE the scent!

  7. Love the party idea!
    Can’t wait to blog about my favorite things.
    Meanwhile, this has to be my new favorite $10 and under gift idea: Cinnamon Honey Butter in a Crate & Barrel Crock: http://www.susiedavis.org/2011/11/cinnamon-honey-butter/

  8. Karen Moore says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Will definitely be setting one up for all the girls in our family. I went in search of Mrs. Meyers and have to tell how sad I was that they are sold out of some of their Iowa pine holiday scent. I’ve bookmarked it tho and will be checking with them! Wishing you a lovely Christmas season!

  9. What a fun idea for a Christmas party! I love it! My biggest problem would be narrowing it down to ONE favorite thing. So hard to choose… :-)

  10. LOVE this! The girls in our Sunday School class did this as a ladies night out a couple of years ago….my favorite was Dunkin Donuts coffee!! Also, hhave to find the mrs.Meyers..have never tried that scent, but love those cleaners!! ;)

  11. What a fun idea!! Love it!

  12. What a fun idea! I love it, so much better than white elephant gifts! Plus I would love to know what other gals find to be their favorite things.

  13. Several years ago one of my friends hosted a Favorite Things party, and it was so much fun! Thanks for reminding me of this – I think I’ll do it this year!

  14. My Bunko group has a gift exchange at Christmas and it’s a highlight of our year. We also limit the price to $10. There are twelve of us and we bring our gift to add to the pile. We draw numbers to see who gets to choose first, then we have fun watching the opening, ooing and ahhing over every one. Fun times!

  15. Ok, so far I buying like 4 things from all the linkies. Pretty much I just did this post for myself so you all could tell me the best gift EVER! Thank you!

  16. Heading to target today for the owl. Must have it! Thank you for the great link party! Also having a favorite things party next week with my MOPS table girls! Can’t wait!

  17. LOVE the party idea! That sounds like a blast!

    I think that ought to be the new mantra for Christmas swapping at a family gathering as well. How fun! You KNOW it’ll be great! I can vision putting the fav things in a pile in the middle of the room, drawing numbers and taking from the pile in turns. I think I need to instigate this one this year.


  18. What a great idea for a party! To the party I would bring coveted jars of my friend John’s bread and butter pickles, Tweezerman tweezers, Trader Joe’s orange-flavored dried cranberries, Wen shampoo, lavender scented candles, and a Starbucks card. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  19. I loved all the pictures posted from Oprah’s giveaway, thanks for the laugh! Merry Christmas!

  20. Deb Thompson says:

    What a great post! Love this idea and I have to do it! Maybe I’ll wait until January as a fun relax after the crazy holidays are over sort of get together! Love your blog and I’m a Tiny Twig fan all the way! Thanks!

  21. This sounds like SOOOOO much fun! And i agree about the white elephant thing – I pretty much despise it. Last year went to a party and pretty much everyone bought gift cards to Starbucks so it was kind of … strange. I joked that we should have just brought $5 cash and passed it around to each other. :) So anyway – I love the idea of this kind of party! I already emailed a girl friend to see if she’d be interested! So fun!

  22. I just love the Hunger Games. Our 14 year old read it for school and then he had us listen to it on audio on our family vacation. Lots to talk about there.

    I *still* haven’t tried Mrs. Meyers! I keep sniffing it in Target…and my family keeps pulling me away teasing that I have to sniff everything. Next time…I’m just tossing it in the basket!

    I linked up a couple of past posts – one Everyday Favorites and one Kitchen favorites.
    What a fun impromptu party!

  23. Mmmmm…love the food items!!! I’m a sucker for food. :)

  24. $22 for hairspray??? It must be good LOL.

  25. Great post! Looking forward to checking out all the favorite finds under $30! Thanks for
    hosting :-)

  26. Two of my favorite things, that I panic over when I am almost out of them: C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine (from Bath&Bodyworks) in the dark green shiny tube and Satsuma Body Butter from The Body Shop.

  27. I would have to think long and hard to decide between SmartWool socks (can’t be beat!!!), Caribou’s Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate and Aveda Lip Saver. Neat idea!

  28. hi!
    about the choc-raspberry creamer…
    I am also a Charlotte dweller… i live in South Park and I think i saw that creamer at my harris teeter recently. The one on Morrison… i can double check. if it’s at that one, it’s sure to be at the others.
    i don’t know how i can let you know if i find it, other than posting. You can tweet me? @kendrasands?

  29. Fun party! Thanks for the ideas!!

  30. Love the hunger games as well….and there is a movie coming out in March…yes!!!!

  31. I don’t have a post to link up, but I had to tell you that I loved The Hunger Games too. :) I can’t wait til the movie comes out, but I don’t think Peeta is as cute on screen as he is in my head. ;)

  32. We are on the same wavelength…I have my party planned for Friday night and I so can’t wait!

  33. I’m not sure I can narrow down to one favorite thing, but here are my top three, in order:
    Harry & David Moose Munch coffee (yummmmmm)
    Neutrogena Naturals lip balm
    JetPuffed mallow bites chocolate covered mini marshmallows.

    fun post and fabulous party idea!

  34. triciaintexas says:

    i LOVE the iowa pine and have searched high and low for it — where oh where did you find it?

  35. I JUST had the chocolate raspberry creamer this morning at work when our book keeper generously shared her secret stash! I don’t drink coffee often, but if I had that stuff I just might! :)

  36. Fran’s Gray & Smoked Sea Salt Caramels are out-of-this-world-delicious! Here’s their website for anyone interested. I bought them at Sur LaTable, pricey at $12.00 but a great gift for party hostesses, that someone special, teachers, or just for yourself. https://www.franschocolates.com/store/home.php?cat=2

  37. I LOVE this idea! I just shared your link with my bunco group. : )

  38. Thanks, Nester for giving me the chance to participate in my first linky party! (I’m newer to blogging – 4 months).
    Hayley, love your blog and this idea! I’m doing an ornament exchange with my friends in 2 weeks, but we may need to add this to the list too! How great! LOVE IT! BTW, love your blog and jewelry too!

  39. Your favorite things party trumps the tired ol’ brunch my friends want to do in lieu of exchanging gifts…

    I joined in the fun and actually visited most of the posts. Because dishes can wait, and my favorite blanket and Boston Terrier make getting off the sofa impossible…

    Thanks for hosting.

  40. What a great and novel idea! I can’t wait to link up. Now let me think, my favorite things…

  41. What a fun idea for a party! I’m pretty sure dork that I am, I’d need to buy a pack of matchbox cars for favors, so that I could do the, “and you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car” thing. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Great idea! Love this!

  43. I so totally LOVE this idea! :)

  44. this is the most amazing party idea EVER! thanks for sharing! I’m linking up and hoping to try this with my friends this year! =)

  45. Kohl’s has the cutest light up ornaments or picture holders. like snow globes with a light that changes colors. everyone is getting one this year! they were half price this week, so about $5 or less.

  46. girl, you are soooo speaking my language. Ugggh…LOVE THIS!!! WANT TO DO THIS!!! trying to figure out if i can fit it into my celebrating this month!!! lol…i sound all famous or something. lol. ok, so i have no idea what my favorites are yet, i just want to throw a party. off to plan. ;p

  47. My favorite link party ever! I’m getting so many good ideas from checking out everyone’s favorites!

  48. Someone tell me…where are all the links that were here last night? All I see are the comments. Am I missing something? I was 1/2 through reading the links last night and was so looking forward to reading the rest tonight.

  49. I LOVED the Hunger Games. It certainly makes you think! It kind of made me think of reality TV in a weird way…. we (myself included) end up watching a lot of people self-destruct on TV for entertainment. Okay, anyway I loved the books and want to read again. I linked up – it was fun to do this post/party! Thanks!

  50. LOVE this party idea!!!! I have often thought that I wanted to share my favorite things with my friends. I am going to have to check out every single one of these linky’s… no telling what new favorite things I will find! Too fun!! Blessings!

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