How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party!

Last spring I hosted a Favorite Things party with my girlfriends to celebrate the launch of my book Eat More Dessert.  It was one of the most fun parties I’d ever thrown.   I was literally planning the next party in my head as I hosted the first one.  Who does that??

Christmas was the perfect season to throw the next Favorite Things party, but this time, it would be a couple’s party slash date night my husband and I would host together.  We sent out fun Minted invitations to our close friends with all the party information and a list of ideas.

How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party | holiday party ideas | Christmas party ideas | party ideas for the holidays | party ideas for Christmas | hosting a holiday party || #holidayparty #christmasparty #favoritethingsparty #holidayhosting

Favorite Things parties can work all kinds of ways.  Basically you are inviting people to come to your party but they are bringing some of their favorite things to exchange.  This is where each party could differ.  You can ask people to bring any quantity and dollar value you want.  It all depends on what your guests would be comfortable spending, BUT, remember they are bringing home the same value in items as they spent.

We asked our guests to think of THREE of their favorite things valued around $5, and bring 4 EACH of them. So they would bring 12 items total. They would be spending around $60 but taking $60 worth of items home. At first, some of the guys doubtful they could find anything they liked for $5. It is possible!! You just have to get a little creative. I was super impressed with what everyone came up with.

To get ready for the party (two days after Thanksgiving, yes I hosted), I decorated my house for Christmas mid November.  We were those people, the ones with a tree in their front window November 15th.

I didn’t do a ton of extra party decorating because just our Christmas decor was enough!  I had some fun custom pillow covers made from Fancy it Pretty and swapped out my family photo gallery wall with prints from Piece Love Paper.   It’s such a quick and inexpensive way to add a festive touch to what you already have.  I ordered prints with some of our favorite Christmas movie lines and Christmas song lyrics in colors of the party.  They turned out so fun!

As guests arrived with all their favorite things, they grabbed a ticket “pack” (custom made for us by Harper Gray) to jot down their name and their favorite thing.  I cleared off my dining table and built a tower of cake plates for everyone’s favorites.  At both Favorite Things parties I’ve just guessed how many and what size cake plates/trays we’d need and it’s worked out both times!

As people started filing in, they filled the table with their things, grabbed a drink and a plate of the most amazing mexican food I’ve ever had.  We tried a new caterer for this party and she knocked it out of the park.  Feliz Navidad!!

My friends at Oh Goodie Designs made us custom OH WHAT FUN! gold deer head napkins, cups and drink stirs.  Who doesn’t love a gold foiled napkin??

I am obsessed with hanging lit marquee lights hung over my dessert tables right now.  Lollipop Lights makes the CUTEST lit signs in any color, size and font you could imagine.   We had OH WHAT FUN made in emerald green and hung it from a wood backdrop made from old barn wood we had on our property.  I LOVED IT!  I think I’ll keep it up all month!

How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party | holiday party ideas | Christmas party ideas | party ideas for the holidays | party ideas for Christmas | hosting a holiday party || #holidayparty #christmasparty #favoritethingsparty #holidayhosting

I filled the dessert table with holiday treats from my book, and added in some of our other favorite desserts like mini pies from the Snohomish Pie Company, Lady Yum macarons and Frost Donuts french crullers.  If you are local and haven’t tried any of these, RUN.  They’re amazing.

The cake was a buttercream filled naked vanilla cake topped with greens I cut from our property!  After it was done, I dusted it lightly with edible glitter so it sparkled.

How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party | holiday party ideas | Christmas party ideas | party ideas for the holidays | party ideas for Christmas | hosting a holiday party || #holidayparty #christmasparty #favoritethingsparty #holidayhosting

After everyone arrived, we began the first round of Favorite Things. To alleviate a mad rush to the table all at once, each guest was given 12 tickets to redeem throughout the night.  We broke it up into three rounds, redeeming 4 tickets each time.  So you’d take something from the table and then leave a ticket.  Let me just say, compared to the last party of all girls, this was a little more intense.  The guys hovered and were a little more aggressive about grabbing the things they wanted!

I had ordered THE most adorable Santa bags for each couple to take their goodies home in but unfortunately they didn’t make it in time for the party.  Thank you black friday shoppers!!  Sometimes it’s a bonus I am a hoarder because I had bought these fun “TOTES” bags about a couple months ago for (maybe) my daughter’s birthday goodie bags.  They worked perfect for our guests to fill up.  I’ll be mailing each guest their Santa bag once they arrive, so they’ll have it for Christmas morning!

In between rounds we had a photobooth to capture all the date night fun made from a white backdrop and left over garland I had purchased at Costco for my staircase. I found the cute props at Target for $5.  Super easy to re-create!

After our second round, we surprised our friends with a Couple’s Gingerbread Decorating Contest with Wilton‘s Gingerbread Kits.  Surprise!!  You have 20 minutes…GO!

We really should have had this video taped because IT. WAS. HILARIOUS.  It was so funny overhearing each couple’s conversations as they were racing to get their house together.  Talk about marriage building!!  Some turned out really great..and some really awful.

We posted the completed houses on Instagram and asked people to vote for their favorite.  We awarded our winner with a $75 gift card to our favorite donut shop FROST!

After the rush of gingerbread building, we had our last round of favorites and then settled around our fireplace with cozy blankets!  I absolutely loved lighting all my candles in my outdoor lanterns and actually sitting down!  I’m go go go all the time, it was nice to just RELAX!

As people started to leave, we couldn’t let them go without a party favor so we sent each couple with our favorite Balsam & Cedar Illume candles and Lady Yum macarons for the road.

This party was my favorite party to date.  It was the perfect amount and combination of friends.  Laid back, fun, genuine friends.  We had SO MUCH FUN that my husband announced it is going to be a new yearly tradition.


Pin this idea for later!

How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party | holiday party ideas | Christmas party ideas | party ideas for the holidays | party ideas for Christmas | hosting a holiday party || #holidayparty #christmasparty #favoritethingsparty #holidayhosting

We want YOU to have just as much fun as we had at our Holiday Favorite Things party so we are giving away the products we used to throw this fun event!!

Displaying IMG_5229.JPG

Giveaway includes Wilton gingerbread decorating kit plus additional supplies and accessories, Poofy Cheeks Shop personalized Santa bag, a $150 Minted gift card, Illume Balsam & Cedar candle, Harper Gray Designs Favorite Things ticket package, Oh Goodie Designs party cups & napkins, Piece Love Paper party prints and signed copy of Eat More Dessert!

Enter here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gorgeous photography as always from KCB Photography

16 thoughts on “How to Host a Holiday Favorite Things Party!

  1. Jenny, fantastic as always. I absolutely love the pic of you and Dan, holding his tie. That is so cute of both of you and that is def a framer, to bring out every year!!!!

    xoxo Holli

  2. Oh my goodness this is just the best! You are truly the hostess with the mostess! Love, love, love everything about this party and cannot wait to host one for our friends.

  3. Hi Jenny,
    I realy love all your parties. I was planning to go to the Bash conference to meet you, but my family from Brazil will be here.
    I have been trying to Pin those pictures required to participate to this giveaway, but I haven’t been able to do it. Maybe it is a Blog or Pinterest problem that is not allowing me to Pin.
    Are you able to help me on that.
    Ana Carolina

  4. Where did you find the mint colored plates, glasses and cake plates?! I can’t find that color anywhere and I desperately need it for a bridal shower! Love this party theme! So cute!

  5. Jenny! I know I have seen this party before, but just came across again in a search and seriously every detail you did was fantastic! Great job lady! That gingerbread house game looks hilarious and I may have to steal that idea! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *