How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange

This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market. All ideas, suggestions and opinions are 100% mine.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

The holiday season is upon on us and it’s time to gather up your girlfriends and celebrate this wonderful time of year! Sure you could invite your best gal pals over for a cocktail party, brunch or cookie exchange, but why not try something new this year? This year, change it up and host a holiday ornament exchange. It’s a great way to get everyone together to celebrate the season and add a little fun and excitement to your holiday gathering.

Don’t have a clue how to host an ornament exchange? Well, no worries! I’ve got you covered and I have three different ways for you to host and you can choose the option that works best for you and your friends! So let’s get started……….

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Party Idea #1 is a traditional holiday ornament exchange. This is where everyone brings one, beautifully wrapped ornament to the party within a specified budget. You can decide on the budget based on the guests you’re inviting (I suggest between $5-$10). Once everyone arrives, all of the ornaments are put on a table together. The guests sit in a circle around the ornaments and each guest draws a number out of a hat. So if there are 20 guests, there would be numbers 1-20 in the hat. The person with #1 chooses an ornament from the table and unwraps it. The person with #2 can choose to take that ornament from person #1 or select a different ornament from the table to unwrap. And the game goes on from there. Usually it’s a good idea to set a limit as to how many times an ornament can be taken (aka stolen) so things don’t get too out of hand.

Once everyone has had a turn, each guest will leave the party with the ornament they have ended up with in the game.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Party Idea #2 is very similar to Party Idea #1; however, in this version you (the hostess) provides all of the ornaments. You select different types of ornaments, but wrap them the same. They can all be around the same price or vary. The game is played the same way as in Party Idea #1, but you are not asking your guests to bring anything to the party and everyone will leave with a beautiful ornament that is selected by you. Kind of like a party favor, but with a fun game involved.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

And the last idea, is somewhat similar to a cookie exchange (if you’ve ever been invited to one of those parties), but it is done with ornaments. I suggest this idea with a smaller group of friends, say 4-8 guests. If the party has 8 confirmed guests, each guest brings 8 of the same ornament, again, within a specified budget amount. They do not necessarily need to be wrapped (but they certainly could). Then you exchange ornaments. Each person will get one ornament from each party guest and everyone goes home with 8 new ornaments!

So if you are having a large party, this may not be the best idea. Asking someone to bring 20 ornaments is a little bit much, but for a smaller group, this is a wonderful idea and a great way to build your ornament collection!

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

So now that we have all of our party hosting options, let’s move onto what’ll you need no matter what option you have chosen………..gather all your supplies for your party and start planning! It’s usually best to buy more than you’ll need. Better to have too many items, than not enough and you can always return what you don’t end up using. I purchased all of the supplies above from my local Cost Plus World Market.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

First, you’ll need ornaments. These are some of the ornaments that I picked up for my holiday ornament exchange. I love the vintage vibe of these santa’s, bottle brush trees and glass cloche ornaments. I was kind of trying to pick more natural and vintage ornaments to go along with my party decorations. I thought the hedgehog and the bird were so pretty made out of twigs and other natural elements. I think the gold reindeer would add a lovely statement to a Christmas tree. There are so many choices, check out some of these options here and see what appeals to your design aesthetic.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Again, it’s really important to set a specified budget for your guests if you are having them bring ornaments to the party. These ornaments seen here range between $5-$10 and can be found at Cost Plus World Market.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

The ornament wrapping is such a fun part of the Holiday Ornament Exchange. You can get really creative with your wrapping or keep it more traditional. I picked up all of these wrapping supplies from World Market. All of these went along with the look and feel I wanted for the party. Like I said before, whenever I’m hosting I tend to buy more than I think I’ll need. You can always return what you don’t end up using, but it’s better to have more options, than not enough. Most of these things can be purchased in-store, but a few can be found online.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Here is the wrapping that I decided on for my holiday ornament exchange. I chose to wrap all of my ornaments the same. I am in love with these little kraft paper berry baskets. I think they are so sweet. I also used some red and white striped baker’s twine, red gingham tissue paper, twine, green and brown paper shreds in the bottom of each basket, clear cellophane basket wrapping, and this vintage style chalk labels. You can check out most of these things here. I’m really happy with how these turned out!

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

You’ll want to make sure that you plan to host your ornament exchange when your house is all decorated for the holidays. You can host the party in your dining room, family room or keep in casual and host in the kitchen around a big island. Either way, you’ll want to get out your fun holiday decor. (The above picture gives you a little glance into our new dining room……I know I haven’t shared any reveal pictures of our new home, but I will!)

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

I love these scalloped caked stands, so much so that I bought all three sizes! The white works well for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Gotta love when you can use decorations for more than one holiday! I also used a red and gold table runner with coordinating napkins placed inside of a basket. The candlestick holders that I had out were used for fall as well, but they blend right in to our slightly rustic ornament exchange theme. The centerpiece on the table was just a holiday garland that I’ve had for years that was folded up around the candlestick holders inside a wooden basket that is always on our dining table.

There are many ways to get creative with your decor and World Market has some great options for you.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

You can’t have a party without food! If you want to make all of your food from scratch, by all means, go for it! But if your holidays get busy like ours, then just pick up some easy, tasty treats for your guests to enjoy. I got some olive oil and herb popcorn, Dark Chocolate Almond Lacey Cookies, some classic Walker Shortbread Cookies, Cappuccino Long Wafer Cookies for a few of the munchies at our party.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

And no matter how busy life gets, I need to make a little something. So I created these little Strawberry Rhubarb, Cream Cheese and Thyme Hand Pie Bites using some Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from World Market, store-bought pie crust, cream cheese and fresh thyme. I’ll share the full recipe with you tomorrow!

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Now you are going to know your party guests best and you may choose to serve certain beverages depending on the time of day you are hosting. For my party, I wanted a sort of signature drink using champagne and I also created a non-alcoholic version. If you are hosting a brunch, you could serve coffee and tea or if it’s later in the day, you may want to serve wine. But champagne is pretty good any time of day (in my opinion).

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Here is the signature drink that I served. It’s very simple. Fill the champagne glass about 1/4 full with the Strawberry and Guava Nectar and then add the chilled champagne.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

For the non-alcoholic version, fill your champagne glass about 1/2 full with the Strawberry and Guava Nectar and add sparkling water, such as Pellegrino. You could also add lemon-lime soda or flavored sparkling water.

How to Host a Holiday Ornament Exchange Party. Check out these three different party ideas from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

So what do you think? Are you up for hosting a holiday ornament exchange this year? It’s such a fun, exciting way to celebrate the holiday season. Grab your pen and paper and get planning. Then head over to Cost Plus World Market and pick up all your supplies. Your girlfriends will love it!

This post was sponsored by World Market. I was compensated for putting together this post; however, all ideas, opinions, tips, tricks and suggestions are 100% my own. And I really DO love World Market or I wouldn’t be writing this!

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5 Comments

  1. Wow! Looks like a really fun party!

  2. I love the idea of an ornament exchange! Those ornaments are gorgeous too!

  3. So many great ideas! Those scalloped stands are beautiful!

  4. This makes me so excited for Christmas! Love all the wrapping supplies and festive decor!

  5. I’d go to a party at your place any time! This looks amazing.