Three Favorite Things

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Most of us have been to Holiday parties before where the entertainment was playing “Dirty Santa.” (For those not in the know, it’s a white elephant gift exchange where people “steal” gifts from each other.) Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes people get their feelings hurt, and sometimes you bring home a junky thing that goes straight in the trash before you even walk through the door. This weekend, I attended a party that had a better twist on the whole idea. Instead of Dirty Santa, I went to a Three Favorite Things Party.

Here’s how it works:

Instead of bringing something funny or “white elephant,” you buy three of something you really like that’s under the dollar limit and bring it unwrapped but in a bag. (Our limit was $10.) I brought a lavender goat milk soap that I really like that retails for $6.99 a bar at our local gift store. (Shoemaker & Hardt if you’re from the area.)

When we got to the party, everyone wrote her name down on three pieces of paper (one for each gift we’d brought) and put them into a bowl.

After grabbing a plate of snacks and a cocktail or two, we sat around the living room. Going one by one around the room, we each stood up, drew three names from the bowl (the people who got the gifts we’d brought), and explained what we’d bought and where we’d gotten it.

The only person who was allowed to steal was the last one because she got her own name, and she ended up trading with someone else.

I came home with a cute Christmas picture, a great candle and soap duo of the same scent, and a gourmet snack.

I kept track and now have a list cool under $10 things in our area and where to find them. It’s been a lifesaver as I try to stuff stockings and buy teacher gifts. (Yes, homeschoolers have to do that too.) Everyone left in a great mood, with cool party favors and no hard feelings.

If you’re planning a get-together for the first weeks of Advent, may I suggest a Favorite Things Party instead of Dirty Santa? Your guests will thank you for it.

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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