During the holidays, I end up getting invited to several parties with girlfriends; luncheons, gift exchanges, ugly sweater parties, etc. It got me thinking: there’s nothing happening for the kids this time of year! 5th grade isn’t even doing a class party on Friday before winter break!! Peyton and I got to talking, talking turned into planning, and next thing we knew, it was the middle of December, and it was the day of Peyton’s Ornament Exchange Party!
What is an ornament exchange party?
Basically, it’s a white elephant gift exchange, but with ornaments! Each of the nine girls brought a wrapped gift (without their name on it — so it could be a surprise). We drew cards (ace through 10 for our group) to decide order. Ace is up first – and may unwrap ANY gift they’d like. It does have to be opened in front of everyone. Next up is number 2. Number 2 may choose to unwrap a new gift, or they may steal a unwrapped gift!
Play continues, until all the gifts have been unwrapped. If number 6 chooses not to unwrap a new gift, and wants to steal a gift that was already unwrapped by number 2. Number 2 may then open another gift, or steal another gift! They just cannot steal the same gift right back (no “tag backs”)
I always like to set a rule like “A gift may be stolen 3 times and then is dead” – meaning it cannot be stolen anymore. Otherwise, the game could go on FOREVER.
The game ends when the very last gift is open.
Things I learned: add “no glass” on the invite next year, as one ornament did break! 😳 Or plan better and have a backup!
We also decided to be super fun and make it a Christmas PJ party, too!
The set up
We hosted the party late afternoon, so I didn’t serve heavy food – just snacks. When I asked Peyton what food she’d like at her ornament exchange party, she actually requested several different flavors of Doritos only haha!
A party’s not a party without a balloon garland! I also tried my hand at making a balloon tree… It turned out… but I think I will stick to garlands moving forward 😉 See my tutorial here.
I will link all the decor below:
P and I spent the morning of her party creating these snowflake garlands!
I cannot wait to turn Peyton’s Ornament Exchange Party into an annual event the girls all look forward to each year!