The holiday parties are in full swing (I’ve got two this week alone!) and just as things were starting to get busy, my favorite First Thursday girls and I got together for a little celebration of our own.
We had the usual: drinks, yummy food, and great conversations, but this time we threw in a little favorite things gift exchange to make the evening even better. Everyone was in charge of finding that one thing they love dearly and buying enough for everyone else. So I showed up at Melissa’s house with seven of my favorite lip balms (more on that later) and everyone else did the same.
I’m not going to lie, I was excited about this event all day. Even my students said I was acting nicer than normal. I just love hanging out with these girls, reconnecting after all these years and, all of the sudden, doing life together again. It’s sweeter the second time around, for sure.
We had so much fun, I’m telling everyone I know they should do this with their friends or family. Here’s how it worked:
It’s really simple: everyone invited brings enough of one gift for everyone else. Eat lots of yummy food and drink delicious drinks that make your belly warm and fuzzy. Then when bellies are full, it’s time to pass out the gifts!
Every girl got to pass out her gift and then talk about it (why it was her favorite, what was so great about it, etc.) as everyone else opened them. I loved hearing about everyone’s favorite things and why they loved them. And I think I picked up a couple new favorite things as well.
Jennifer brought Albanese gummie bears, specifically the red, blue, and white ones because those are her favorite flavors. Albanese Candy is an Indiana confectionery that makes the greatest gummie bears I’ve ever tasted. She said their factory is something right out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and they deliver!
Jessi is the poster child for shopping local and she brought a sample pack of her favorite perfumes from an Indianapolis-based company, Ambre Blends. They create organic body products and I’m already a big fan of the solace essence.
Heather brought awesome packages of Rubbermaid. And you would not believe how excited we all got about them. It was embarrassing. Lids that actually go to something! Matching bowls! Thrilling.
Jessica’s favorite thing was the new Pampered Chef mini nylon serving spatula. Again, we all got a little too excited over this one. Oh, the scooping possibilities! Also, welcome to adulthood, let’s make brownies!
Amber’s favorite holiday is Christmas and so she brought beautiful snowflake ornaments for everyone. I’ve already got mine hanging on the tree and it looks smashing if I do say so myself.
Krissy brought a little grab-bag of favorites including Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bath and Body Works candle, gum, Nivea A Kiss of Shimmer lip balm, and Ghirardelli chocolate squares. She had so many favorites she couldn’t decide, but I’m not complaining.
Melissa shared her favorite sandstone citrus scrub from Lush. The smell alone was worth the buy, so I can’t imagine what magic it’s going to do as an exfoliate.
And I brought my favorite of favorites. I have these in every purse, keep one in my desk at school, and in random cars, some that I don’t even own. C. O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine from Bath and Body Works. This stuff has just a enough mint to make your lips tingle, masks bad breath in a pinch, and has the perfect amount of shine. It’s the only thing I wear on my lips.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t get a lot of surprises for Christmas. I know what’s waiting for me under the tree, but this night of little gifts from my friends was perfect. It was exciting and fun to share the things we love with each other. And it doesn’t hurt that as I’m writing this, I’m snacking on gummie bears and enjoying a sweet smelling candle.
What’s also great about this idea is that you don’t have to wait for Christmas to do it. This is the busiest time of the year and sometimes you just can’t cram onemorething into your schedule. Do this on a girls’ night in the spring or host a summer BBQ with your favorite things. Maybe throw in a themed favorite things night: pick a color for the gifts, a room of the house (kitchen-related items, vanity-related items, office-related items, etc.), buy only local gifts, or focus on a specific culture (Italian! Spanish! French!).
What do you think? Have you done something like this before? Do you have any fun theme ideas?