Happy 8th day of Christmas!! To kick off my series of Gift Guides, I’m starting with standout stocking stuffers and noteworthy gift exchange items! This time of year, there’s typically a lot of events with friends, colleagues, and roommates before the festivities with family begins. With a secret Santa and gift exchange of my own, I always find myself needing a little inspo for these in-between items! From beauty buys to home enhancements, there’s plenty of quaint but quality selects that can also act as gifts for your roommates, friends, or even yourself!
1. Gold Candle Wick Trimmer ($12.95) | 2. Pink Clay Gently Exfoliating Mask ($22) | 3. Lollia Bubble Bath ($34) | 4. 2018 Sugar Paper Agenda ($48) | 5. Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick ($32) | 6. Fortnum & Mason Tea ($15.95) | 7. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($25)| 8. Glass Shadow Box ($27) | 9. Fresh Verbena Soap ($14) | 10. Cedar & Spruce Candle ($14.99) | 11. Tortoise Hair Clip ($8.50) | 12. Gold Coasters ($53) | 13. Recipe Box ($34) | 14. Slim Aarons Women Book ($55) | 15. Silk Sleeping Mask ($45) | 16. Set of 4 Cheese Knives ($28) | 17. Pom Beanie ($39.50)
GUIDE TO HOSTING A GIFT EXCHANGE
If you’re unfamiliar with a typical American Christmas gift exchange (which I learned my Brit friends had no idea about!), it’s definitely something I recommend adding to your holiday to-do list! Basically, you round up a group of friends or family when everyone gets together and have each individual bring a wrapped gift, not to exceed a specified price cap! From there, numbed off each person who plans on participating and have everyone draw a number out of a hat, bowl, cup (ie. anything that can hold the numbers!)
From here, the real fun begins! Obviously a little bubbly livens up the spirit, but each participant, starting with #1 unwraps a gift from the center. After #1 unwraps, #2 can either open a new gift or steal the gift from #1… and so on until all of the gifts are unwrapped.
A FEW RULES:
1.A gift can only touch 3 hands. The person who unwrapped originally counts as 1, then the gift can be stolen twice from there. Once it reaches the third person, the gift is “frozen” and is the owner’s to keep! No more steals!
2. No take backs! Basically, if your gift is “stolen” you cannot steal it directly back from the person who took it from you. You have the option to either A. Steal someone else’s gift or B. Unwrap a new gift from the center.
3. If you’re family is sneaky and competitive like mine you may want to consider adding a “No shopping around rule” basically meaning, if you’re up to open or steal a gift, you can’t pick up a bunch of unwrapped gifts in the middle to shake them and scope them out! The one you touch is the one you open!
4. We play where #1 does NOT get to go again at the end. Because 1 is technically considered the “worst” number to draw, people have played where once every single person has had their turn and everyone possesses a final gift, #1 then has the choice to take an “unfrozen” gift from someone exchanging it with their own. It’s up to you if you want to add this rule, but for us, it’s the luck of the draw and we play without this rule!
Overall, it’s a really fun way to get everyone together and add spirit to the holidays! I’ve done them with my girlfriends which has been really fun and the gifts are quite great although there’s less stealing because people don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings 🙂 My family, on the other hand, is a little more ruthless! We have a gift exchange every single year, one for the guys and one for the ladies and they always get quite competitive with behind the scenes teaming up and strategizing going on! Competition or not it’s a super nice way to bring everyone together and is always a fun festive activity to enjoy while recovering from Christmas lunch!