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::