beauty · celebration · Christmas · Cocktails · holiday · party

Favorite Things Party

“Everyone gets a CAR!”

Do you remember when Oprah said those 4 words back in 2004? (or are you a young’in and have only seen memes of the moment?! I love you!). I have always been a huge Oprah fan. I was never able to attend a filming but I would watch every single episode! A funny quote from my now 15 year old daughter when she woke up from a nap as a toddler, “Did you watch Opa without me?!” Hee hee hee. Yes, Oprah has been a staple in our household for many many years.

The week of Thanksgiving, Oprah would share her “Favorite Things” list. It started in the 1990’s when she would share a list of her favorite products of the year and everyone in the audience would go home with those products! Now THAT was a show ticket everyone wanted! And just like Oprah’s bookclub, today, there are groups of ladies hosting favorite things parties all around the world.

How to Host a Favorite Things Party

I had never been or even hosted a Favorite Things party till this year. I’ve hosted many parties, but this one took a few extra thoughts as to the details in order to make everything run smoothly, starting with the invitation.

Invite

For the invitation, I chose to send an Evite. It was the easiest way to get a digital invite to everyone and be able to communicate with multiple details and the guests could respond all in one space. Plus, it was free! Evite worked great for what I needed.

I sent out the invite approximately 3 weeks ahead of time. The month of December gets so busy with parties and commitments that I wanted to give my girls as much notice as possible. I also decided to host on a Sunday night, hoping that most holiday parties would be on a Friday or Saturday night and even if someone traveled that weekend, they could get back to attend the party.

Here’s what I wrote in the invite:

What better way to celebrate the holidays than with some of my favorite girlfriends?!

Please join me for a FAVORITE THINGS PARTY where we will nibble and sip and share our favorite things!

HOW IT WORKS: think of one of your favorite things that is around $10 value. Bring 3 of the same item to the party, unwrapped. (ie. If my fav. thing was TJ’s Dark Chocolate Almonds, I would bring 3 boxes of the TJ’s Dark Chocolate Almonds).

At the party, we will put all the favorite things on display and then draw names as to who gets to pick one of the favorite things at a time. You will go home with 3 NEW favorite things to try for yourself!

BONUS!  If you want to bring a $5 gift, you will be entered to win the jackpot of $5 gifts! (If everyone participates, I may separate it into two winners).

Can’t wait to see you all! xo! m

Favorite Things Details

$10 item, Qty. 3

I chose to have everyone bring their Favorite Thing that cost approximately $10. To the party, each guest was to bring 3 of the same item unwrapped. When researching, I read that other parties have you bring 1 of your Favorite Things, cost: approx. $50 for the 1 item. I thought for the first time doing this, spending $30 was a good amount and each guest went home with multiple items, vs. 1 item. If this becomes a tradition and the format starts to feel a little repetitive and stale, maybe then we might think about changing it up! For now, the overall feedback was really positive as to how we did it this year.

$5 BONUS Item

An extra fun thing I did was an “optional” $5 winner-takes-all drawing. Anyone who brought a $5 item would automatically be entered into a drawing for all the $5 items. We had 10 people bring a $5 item, so I split the $5 items into two bags and 2 winners were chosen to take home a bag full of $5 goodies! This was really fun! I highly recommend doing this extra!

How Many Girlfriends to Invite

I have a decent size house but logistically, to seat everyone in one room, and to “run the game”, I kept the invite list to 15 girls, with 3 that couldn’t attend. I thought it was the perfect size.

Setting Up Your House

There were a few key stations I mapped out in-order to make the night run smoothly:

  1. Entry: nametags, bucket & large bag for $5 items. On the entry table, I had a separate piece of paper with each guest’s name. As I greeted the guests, I had them pick up their name if they brought a $5 item, and put their name into an ice bucket I had in the front room. Next to the ice bucket, I had a large gift bag for them to put their $5 item into.
  2. Dining/Display Table: the guest then went to the dining room where I had everyone’s name on a tent card in alphabetical order, and each guest was to place their 3 items behind their name on the display table.
  3. Drinks & Desserts: in the kitchen, on our breakfast table, I had my Christmas Punch (which I need to make more of next time! It goes down so smooth!), non-alcoholic sparkling beverages and wine in the ice bucket plus a tier of dessert nibbles (one being my girlfriend’s delicious gingerbread cake bites! Thank you Kirs!)
  4. Food: small bites. A big piece of advice is to have food in multiple areas when hosting a “cocktail party”. This encourages people to mingle and mix and not just all stand around in the kitchen. I had a couple of the more messy bites available on the kitchen island, and then a few finger foods on the ottoman in the family room. Because the party started at 7pm, I didn’t have a full meal but instead had finger foods so everyone could easily nibble, especially since we were imbibing. 😉

How to Run the Show!

Once everyone arrived and set up their items, we sipped, nibbled and chatted for about an hour. I then brought over the bottles of wine and bubbles to the ottoman and we got started with the fun part: sharing our Favorite Things!

First, I welcomed everyone for coming and invited them all into the dining room where we could all go around the room explaining what we brought and why.

Here is our list of Favorite Things for 2022:

  • L’oreal Double Extend Mascara (Target)
  • Acure Brightening Glow Serum
  • 5-Minute Gratitude Journal (Amazon)
  • Kentucky Mule: A bag with 1 lime, 1 can of ginger beer & 1 mini-bar size of Makers Mark plus the recipe!
  • Make Well Perfume Oil, scent: Love (Sonianiebergall.com)
  • L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial drops (Target)
  • Fusion Black Truffle Salt (Market of Choice or Amazon)
  • Find Your Happy Place Hand Cream (Walmart) + Candle (Homegoods)
  • City Lips Lipgloss (Here)
  • Dermora 24K Gold Eye Masks (Amazon)
  • They’re Real Magnet Mascara by Benefit (Ulta)
  • Crystal Bracelets (White Birch, $5each) (similar)
  • Vehhe Electric lighter (Amazon) + Trader Joe’s Travel Candle

We then retreated to the family room where everyone sat around chatting while I would draw a name out of the bowl. When your name was drawn, you then got to go pick one of the Favorite Things from the dining room table. Note: It was reported that having the items in a different room took off the pressure of choosing (both for the giver and receiver, if you know what I mean).

Once we went through everyone’s name being drawn, I then put all the names back into the bowl and drew names again! After 3 times, all the Favorite Things were chosen and in the possession of a new owner!

Bonus time!

The $5, winner-takes-all was super fun! I grabbed the ice bucket from the entry where the guests that DID bring a $5 items had put their name, I mixed them up a million times, and drew 2 names to take home the fun goodies. One of the winners said, “Yay! I never win anything!”

Take Aways

I can not express to you how fun this event was. To be able to stop and celebrate these amazing women in the middle of the busiest time of year made the event extra special. Moms really do make the magic of December happen for everyone. To be able to gift them with a night of discovering new products, walking away with 3 of them, and just enjoying each other’s company for an evening was truly my Favorite Thing this December.

Host a Favorite Things Party Any Time of Year!

Come to think of it, why do we have to do this party only in December? You could easily host one for Galentine’s Day! Maybe have everyone bring their favorite lipgloss! Or, host one in May or June, leading into summer and have everyone bring their favorite sunscreen or summer product! October, you would have a “bring your favorite beer” in honor of Octoberfest. Or a “Fall Harvest” theme where everyone brings their favorite fall goodies (now there are SO many food choices in fall!). Oh, the possibilities are endless!

I truly hope your year is off to a great start and this has inspired you to host a Favorite Things party for all the favorite people in your life!

XO, melissa

2 thoughts on “Favorite Things Party

  1. Your Favorite Things Party is a terrific theme to a party. You get to know your friends better. Each invitee goes home with a gift and a full tummy of tasty foods. It does require the host to do a lot of planning and hosting but that is a pleasure you do for friends. I can imagine such a party for couples. The humor and relationships around the couples would be fun. And then I wonder what a Favorite Things Party would be like for husbands. Fun ideas Melissa.

    Like

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