I think everyone knows by now that I just LOVE to throw parties! Friends, food, decorations, and the excuse to clean my house doesn’t hurt either! These are just a few of the reasons I’m always excited to plan a party!
A few years ago I heard about a party called a “Favourite Things” party. Basically a play on Oprah’s favourite things mixed with the whimsy of the famous song from the Sound of Music. Mix the 2 together and you’ve got the perfect party theme!
So naturally, being the party lovin’ gal that I am, I just had to give it a try and plan my own version of a Favourite Things party. This was 3 years ago, and Its now become an annual tradition! I think this party could be held at any point during the year, but I’ve made it my tradition to host this event at the beginning of December.
How does it work:
The idea behind this party is that each guest will think of one item from the past year that they’ve grown to love; a “Fab Find”. Maybe you’ve discovered a lipgloss that you can’t live without, or a special kind of tea. Maybe you have a favourite coffee shop in town and want to bring gift cards. This year we even had a gal bring a new gelato she couldn’t get enough of. Once you’ve picked your “item” you buy 5 of that same item. Because the guests are asked to bring 5 of that item, I’ve always recommend a price point of between $5-$10 so that the guest isn’t spending more than $50 on gifts. Everyone brings 5 of one item, and goes home with 5 new “Fab Finds”. I’ll explain how it all works later in the post but I’m sure you get the idea:)
Guests are also asked to bring their favourite dessert or appetizer. It wouldn’t be a party without food…can I get an A-MEN?
Invite Your Guests
About a month before the date, I make a Facebook event and make a cute graphic for the header on Canva. The amount of guests you invite is really up to you but I’ve found that a max of 15 seems to work best. Because of the nature of the party, it could go on for quite awhile if there were too many guests. Instruct your guests what to expect, what to bring and remind them to individually wrap each of their 5 items. Part of the fun is in the wrapping itself! Invite the friends who you know will just love all the little details!
You can really do as much or little as you want for decorations. I usually head to Winners or Michaels and buy some cute napkins and fun straws for drinks (I use little mason jars for events like this and place the straws in the jars as part of the decor). I have a chalk board I usually write on and also use my little light up board as part of the decor. Another fun idea is to buy plain brown gift bags from the dollar store for each guest to place their “Fab Finds” in. Its these little details that are inexpensive but add that extra touch.
Food / Drinks
Because the guests are all bringing their favourite appetizer or dessert, there isn’t a ton of food prep to be done. Being the host, I always supply a variety of options just in case someone gets busy and doesn’t have time to bring or simply forgets. I’ll typically prepare a sweet and a few savoury options.
*Tip: Have your oven preheated in case a guest brings an item that needs to be warmed up.
**: I also set out a variety of dishes and various serving utensils so that its easy to help a guest with their food when they arrive. This just helps keep things relaxed once they arrive so that you can spend more time visiting and less time digging through your kitchen.
For hot drinks I like to have a variety of teas, the kettle ready, and mugs already on the counter. I also have coffee as an option.
Then, I usually make a fruit infused pitcher of water, and provide bottles of San Pellegrino with a variety of mixes that the guests can help themselves with. My personal favourites are Bottle Green brand. I add a pretty bowl for ice and voila – a “help yourself” drink station.
This is another personal preference. Its not necessary to have party favours but I just love all the little details and love to have a little something to give my guests as they leave. This year I decided to buy each guest a special treat from my new “Fab Find” coffee shop in town. Frankie Jo’s has become a regular stop for me and they make the most delicious homemade cinnamon buns. I pre-ordered the amount I needed and arranged to pick them up an hour before the party so they would be fresh. (You guys….they were still warm! YUM!). I was quickly reminded why its my favourite shop when I arrived to see each cinnamon bun individually wrapped in “brown paper packaging tied up with string”, just like the song! This family run business knows that its all about the details.
The Gift Exchange
As guests arrive, have them place their gifts on the gift table. Prior to the party you can cut up strips of paper so that as each guest arrives they can write their name on 5 strips of paper and place them in the draw basket. **Each guest should have brought 5 of one item and should place their name in the draw basket 5 times. It seems easy right? Trust me it gets confusing lol.
We usually spend the first hour catching up and eating and then I’ll gather everyone into the living room and ask them to gather their gifts from the table.
Choose someone to go first and then the fun begins. Draw 5 names from the draw basket (make sure you don’t draw your own name, and make sure you’ve drawn 5 different names) . Then, share a little bit about the item you’ve brought and why its your new “Fab Find”. Next, hand your 5 items to the names you picked.
Keep doing this until everyone has handed out their gifts and by now everyone should have 5 new fun items to take home. How fun is that right? Who doesn’t love to learn about a fun new product and who doesn’t love gifts? Its a WIN – WIN!
Have you ever attended or hosted a Favourite Things Party? I know there are a few different ways to format one of these parties. I’d love to hear all about your party! Thinking of planning your own favourite things party? Send me a message! I’d love to help!
I can’t wait until next year! Until then, keep an eye out for a new “Fab Find”