Gift Guide for Christmas Parties and Exchanges

It’s that time of year! You’ve probably already started getting invitations for Christmas parties, and many of them probably involve some sort of gift exchange. I love Christmas and I love parties, so Christmas parties are my favorite!

I host an ornament exchange every year with one of my closest friends, and I can’t believe this will be our sixth year. Time really does fly as we get older, wow! It’s such an honor to host an event like this that brings together women from different social circles and seasons of life for a fun afternoon of food and fellowship. In this crazy world of social media, I think sometimes we forget how special it is to cultivate new friendships from scratch like that. My co-hostess is amazing at introducing new people and making everyone feel super comfortable together. I’m hoping some of it has rubbed off on me!

I’ll share a post from the party later this month with pictures and tips for hosting your own ornament exchange.

Today I wanted to share some gift ideas for different types of holiday parties and gift exchanges because I know sometimes it can be difficult to find the right gift. There are a lot of gift guides out there right now to help you find the perfect gift for the people in your life. But I haven’t seen any guides for gift exchanges, which can be a bit trickier since you don’t know exactly who you’re shopping for.

With Coworkers

There’s always that one gift at the office party that everyone wants, and it’s so much fun when it’s yours! Depending on your spending limit, the Yeti Tumbler is always a popular gift because it’s just so dang useful. They really are the best product on the market for keeping your drink at the right temperature. I took mine to the beach this summer, and I still had ice in my drink 5 hours later, seriously! I really like the new matte version because it has better grip than the metal exterior. A similar, more affordable option is this water bottle, which is easier to carry around for activities like sports or hiking.

Other gifts that seem to be popular with coworkers are candles like these, games for families like this one and of course gift cards (especially Amazon and Starbucks). If you want to be a bit edgy, here is another fun option. 😉

With Friends

Shopping for a gift exchange with friends is usually easier because you already know what they like. But it can be a challenge if you’re welcoming new friends into your circle. It’s always a great idea to bring a gift that can be enjoyed by the whole group, like this really fun strategy board game that we love to play with our friends. If you want to play with more than 4 people, be sure to get the expansion pack here. Another fun game is this one, which is basically like Russian roulette with cards. Trust me, it’s a blast (pun not intended, haha!). 🙂

With Family

I ran into Lifeway the other day, and I was blown away by the beautiful Christmas gifts they have this year! They have some really great options, like these gorgeous ornaments or this super cute t-shirt.

If your family is into funny gifts, Amazon is my go-to for unique and silly ideas. A friend of mine got this a few years ago and it is STILL a huge hit at parties and get-togethers. If you’re into witty humor, these and these would also be great options. The family that laughs together, stays together, right?!

Specialty gift exchanges 

  • Ornament exchange – Kirkland’s has some of the cutest ornaments I’ve seen so far this season. My favorites are these and these. Of course, At Home is always a great option too because there are literally hundreds to choose from – these would be perfect for a rustic tree or these for a more modern tree. No surprise there are a ton of ornaments on Amazon as well.
  • Cookie swap – I love cookie exchanges because I firmly believe you can never have too many cookies! I also love trying new cookies and collecting the recipes. Here are more than 40 recipes for Christmas cookies from the famous test kitchen at Southern Living. If you make any, let me know which ones are your favorite!
  • Book exchange – I have read some really fantastic books lately that I would recommend to anyone! All the Light We Cannot See is an emotional and uplifting novel about two kids in Europe during World War II. Ready Player One is a fast-paced book with a great story line set in the future where virtual reality has taken over most of society.  It’s definitely one of my favorite books. For something more light-hearted, I highly recommend The Yada Yada Prayer Group about an unlikely group of women coming together to support one another and encourage each other through life. It will definitely make you want to read the whole series!

I hope these recommendations are helpful! If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments below.

Now about re-gifting – in my humble opinion, it’s perfectly acceptable as long as you do it for the right reasons and are mindful about how you do it.

For example, it would be better to re-gift something you’ll never use, so someone else can enjoy it. I think that’s very practical. It’s also useful if you forget to buy a gift for a party or exchange. You can simply re-gift something you already received at another event (as long as the person who gave it to you won’t be there, of course!).

Just be careful how you re-gift, so you don’t appear ungrateful or unintentionally hurt the feelings of the person who originally bought the gift. I’m sure we’ve all bought something we thought was amazing, but others thought was just “meh.” Hopefully this post will help you avoid that this year!

With that being said, I definitely feel more comfortable re-gifting something I received at a party or exchange, as opposed to something that was purchased specifically for me. In the latter case, I think it’s better not to re-gift out of respect for the person who purchased the item for you.

That’s all for today. Dennis and I will be be putting up Christmas decorations and shopping the Black Friday sales the rest of the weekend! Check out my stories on Instagram for some of my favorite finds. If you want to see a full post, let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


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