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Hosting a Gift Exchange || Gifts Under $35 for Her

Our 5th Annual Girl’s Gift Exchange is around the corner! Easily one of my favorite holiday parties, this event is one that all of us look forward to attending year after year! Over the course of an evening about 20 girls gather around a huge pile of perfectly wrapped presents, drink lots of wine, snack on appetizers and have the very best time exchanging gifts.

Each year our exchange gets more exciting and more competitive because
we’ve learned which gifts are the most desired. Undoubtedly there are always a few epic squabbles over candles and gift
cards which makes the night even more fun and entertaining. And there is nothing more victorious than watching the gift you brought get stolen and leaving with an equally amazing gift.

If you don’t have a gift exchange to participate in you should consider hosting one! Here is a rundown of how ours works…

Hosting a Gift Exchange

Invitation: To ensure a strong attendance send your evite out to your closest girlfriends at least several weeks in advance of the exchange to give everyone enough time to pick out a fabulous gift.  In the invitation note all of the important details like bring a bottle of wine to share, bring an appetizer to share, price range, no collusion, etc. Also, we’ve found that the closer the group of girls are the more wild things get. Some people may hold back or err on the side of caution when stealing a gift if they don’t know the other person.

The Gifts: Set a gift limit (we’ve found $35 is the perfect price point) and make sure everyone knows these are NOT gag gifts. No one wants your re-gift and half the fun is watching your gift be stolen and fought over! It is imperative you bring something you’d be happy leaving with (even though that’s against the rules). Also, spend as close to the gift limit as possible. So if you buy a $30 item, consider including a $5 gift card or a complimentary item to ensure the gift you brought is fair to the one you’re bringing home!

The Rules & Instructions: Prior to kicking off the exchange make sure to go over all of the rules with the attendees. We’ve tweaked our rules over the years as things have gotten more competitive (ha!). For example, opened gifts must be kept out in plain sight – no hiding! And you may not leave with the gift you brought! 

1.) Each girl will pick draw a number and choose gifts in that order.

2.) Player #1 will select a gift & unwrap it. No shaking, sniffing or peaking. The gift you pick up is the one you open — so pick wisely.

3.) The following player can either “steal” a present from a previous player, or select an unopened gift to unwrap.

If a gift is stolen, the person stolen from may choose to steal from
another player, or open a new gift. The “round” is over once an
unwrapped gift has been selected.

5.) A gift may only be stolen THREE times the entire game. After that, it is “frozen” or “safe” with the last person who has it.

6.) If a gift is stolen from a player, that player can’t steal it back until another round.

After the last player has stolen/picked a gift, player #1 gets a final
turn to either keep their gift or swap with someone else. ((Note: They
cannot swap with a frozen/safe gift!))

Gifts for her under $35

Lastly, I can’t write a post on how to host an exchange and not include a few of our favorite gifts over the years! Here are some of the most fought over and stolen items from the past five parties!

Gift Cards: Target, Starbucks, Nail Salon (+ polish). Some girls bring a $35 gift card while others include a $5 gift card with a gift — both are always big hits!

Stemless Wine Glasses: Shatterproof // Cooling Set // Rubber Sleeved Set (my favorite!!).

S’well Insulated Water Bottle: 9 oz // 17 oz
Insulated Totes: Casserole Carrier // Cooler Bag
Fun Jewelry: Bracelet ideas: 1 / 2 / 3 | Necklace ideas: 1 / 2 / 3
Cosmetics: Ideas: Lip Scrub // Eye Palette // Smashbox Eye Palette // MAC Eye Palette // Urban Decay Eye Palette // NARS Blush + Bronzer Duo // Lip Scrub
Coffee Mugs & Tumblers: Ideas 12 
Scarves: Ideas 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
Candles: Rewined // Aquiesse // Volcano // Nest

Happy gift exchanging!



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Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

that blue capri candle is my all time favorite! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

Jacqui German

Monday 21st of November 2016

Love these ideas! We do more of a secret santa with my girls because there are only 5 of us that go in on it but these are some fantastic gifts. I have a Rewined candle in mimosa and I am going to be so sad when it's finished!!

Danielle Siero

Monday 21st of November 2016

How much fun!!

Lizzie Simantz

Monday 21st of November 2016

I so love this idea! What a fun tradition! And great gift ideas too!

Sarita @ it's my girls' world

Monday 21st of November 2016

Such an awesome idea!!