Favorite Things Party Ideas

A favorite things party is a great excuse to gather friends to celebrate the season, plus share some of your most adored items among friends. And I’ve got ideas for you on all of the above!

Christmas plaid gift bags for A Favorite Things Party.

Throw a favorite things gift exchange party this year! It’s so easy and fun to do, and it’s a great way to get to know even your closest friends better.

This is a fantastic idea for a Christmas gift exchange, but it can also be done any time of the year. 

Who knows what you’ll discover: your girlfriend’s favorite hand cream (from Trader Joe’s, of course) or your next go-to casual bag that holds all the essentials? (Affiliate links underlined)

Invite as few as three people and up to as many as you fit in your house! But you may want to limit the gifts your guests need to buy to make it easier. More on that later.

Are you ready to have a party? Let’s get planning!

What is a Favorite Things Party?

At its most basic, a favorite things party is a gift exchange. However, unlike a traditional gift swap, you select a favorite item of your own as your gift(s) to bring.

All guests are then asked to bring a set number of the same unwrapped gift (usually 3) at a specific price point. Each person then goes home with the same number of gifts they came with.

Red and black buffalo plaid table decor for A Favorite Things Party.

How to Set Up a Favorite Things Party

There are several ways to organize a favorite things party.

Small Party

First, you could invite a few friends and have them bring enough of their items for each person. So if you invite three friends (4 total, including the hostess), each person will bring 3 of the same thing.

Large Party

If you want to host a larger crowd, set a number for the number of gifts that they bring.

For example, have each person bring three gifts, and they’ll all go home with three gifts.

One way to do it is to have all the guests put their names into a bowl for as many gifts as they brought. For example, they put their name in the bowl three times if they brought three gifts.

Then, as the gift exchange gets underway, have each guest draw one name per gift that they brought (in our example, three names) out of the bowl and distribute their gifts to those people.

Consider your friends’ budgets and what they would be willing to spend on a friend’s gift exchange.

$10-20 per gift is a pretty reasonable minimum, keeping the budget under $50-60. Most people can typically find something they love for under $20.

Party Food

Of course, you’ll want to have food at your favorite things party, but don’t get too hung up on setting up an entire dinner party.

Since your guests will spend most of their time chatting and exchanging gifts, I recommend going with some light snacks, appetizers, or treats.

You could also serve a signature cocktail that’s easy to put together.

This party is casual, so combine homemade snacks and treats with store-bought ones to ease your workload.

Set up a grazing table featuring an assortment of savory bites like gourmet cheeses, charcuterie cups or a charcuterie board, and artisanal crackers.

Consider cream cheese sausage balls or a delicious smoked salmon dip served with baguette slices, crackers, bagel chips, or cucumber slices.

Consider a dessert station with miniature treats such as adorable Grinch hot cocoa bombs, bite-sized cheesecakes, and colorful macarons to satisfy sweet cravings. 

Cut up an array of chocolate treats, such as Chocolate Cream Puffs, Oatmeal Bars with Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt, or Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars.

Planning the Party

Planning a favorite things party is quite simple. First, decide who you’d like to invite and send them invitations detailing the night’s intention.

Favorite Things Party Invitations

Paper invitations are cute and fun; who doesn’t love to get mail that’s not junk these days? But if you don’t want to put in the extra effort, use something like Paperless Post to send them digitally instead. 

The most important thing is clearly communicating the party’s “favorite thing” scenario, what you expect them to bring, and how much to spend.

Maybe something like this:

Join us for a Night of Favorite Things!

A Holiday Gift Exchange

Saturday, December 8th at 6:00 pm at the Munson’s.

Bring 3 sets of one of your favorite things to share. Each item should be wrapped and valued at $10. You will go home with 3 new gifts.

RSVP to Cindy at 555-123-4567.

If you have questions, feel free to text me.


A Christmas Gift Exchange

Join us for a Few of Our Favorite Things!

Saturday, December 8th, 6:00 pm at the Munson’s.

Purchase 3 sets of one of your favorite things. Each item should be gift-wrapped and worth approximately $25. You will leave with 3 new gifts!

Text RSVP or any questions to Cindy at 555-123-4567.

In the week leading up to the party, outline what you need to purchase regarding food and drinks. Also, summarize what, if anything, you must prepare ahead of time.

Ensure you have enough seating for everyone (no shame in borrowing folding chairs from friends if you have to) and that your house can be set up comfortably for the party.

On the day of the party, you only need to prepare the food and drinks and chat with your friends!

Favorite Things Gift Ideas

Not sure what to purchase for a favorite things party? Think about the things you use regularly and absolutely love.

Here are some of our (mostly) reasonably priced favorite things to help you brainstorm ideas about what to bring!

Wearable Gifts

For all those fashion-loving friends of yours.

Reading and Writing

For those who love to read and write.

Gifts for the Home

Big and small luxuries for their home.

For Travel

Fun ideas for your friends on the go!

Favorite Things Questions

Another great activity for a favorite things party is to ask some favorite things questions. 

Not only do you discover new things you might love, but you also learn more about your friends in the process. 

These printables are fun, but you also could create your own. Here are some popular favorite things questions:

  • Favorite color
  • Favorite restaurants
  • Favorite hobby
  • Favorite store
  • Favorite way to relax
  • Favorite snack
  • Favorite sweet treat
  • Favorite coffee drink
  • Favorite cocktail

Let me know if you throw a favorite things party! You and your guests will have as much fun as we did!


More Party Ideas

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Party Games for Kid’s Parties
Party Food for Kid’s Camping Party
Fancy Picnic Ideas

Girls Lunch Party
Birthday Lunch Party
Patriotic Dinner Party
Raclette Dinner Ideas
Graduation Party

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