Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I love decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree, cooking my favorite holiday recipes, spending time with friends and family, and of course shopping for gifts. There’s just something about giving another person a present that just makes you feel good inside. Yet, most years I find myself going over my budget and still feel bad that I have to leave someone off my gift list. That is until I thought about throwing a gift exchange party. It’s a terrific way to spread holiday cheer and ensure everyone on my Christmas list gets a gift. And because each guest is asked to bring only one present, nobody needs to break the bank to join in on the fun.
Speaking from experience as a party planner, the most important tip about organizing a gift exchange is to start the party off on the right foot. That means setting the ground rules for the party early, preferably when you mail out the invitations. Begin by telling your invitees what kind of gift exchange you’ll be having. Will it be a white elephant gift exchange, a secret Santa exchange, or some other variation. If you want to set a limit on how much the guests can spend on their gifts, spell that out on the party invitations and spare your guests the embarrassment that comes with buying a much too expensive or overly cheap gift. If you have a special theme for the gifts, make sure that’s clearly communicated on the invites. In other words, make a list of what needs to be on the invitations and check it twice before dropping them in the mail. With so much riding on your invitations, it’s advisable to invest some time and find the right one. To help you get started, I’m detailing five invitations that are perfect for a Christmas gift exchange party.
#1 Jack in the Box:
This invitation is disguised as a small white gift box tied with a red ribbon – a perfect ruse for a gift exchange party. Once the box is opened, out pops Jack or in this case, a slender card folded in accordion style. How clever! The slender card is gray and has large red and white stars. Your text is printed on the slender card. At a cost of about $8 each, this invitation is best for parties with a small number of guests. Also, this invitation will need to be hand delivered as the Post Office will not be able to mail it as-is.
#2 Wrapped Christmas:
I love this Christmas invitation for its cheery colors, fresh artwork, and reasonable price point. At less than $2 per personalized invite, it’s a great option for parties large and small. The invitation features your personalized text above a stack of gift boxes sitting on a green carpeted floor. The boxes are wrapped in vivid, non-traditional holiday colors of aqua blue, green, purple, and pink; and decorated with various patterns such as chevron stripes, trellises, diamonds, and dots. The back of the card is completely covered in a pink diamond pattern. If you like this holiday design, Baby Cachet has other similar designer invitations.
#3 Golden Christmas:
For more grown-up and formal parties, consider this gold colored invitation which exudes opulence. Pictured on the invitation are a gold wrapped gift box tied with a matching gold ribbon, a collection of gold Christmas ornaments, and a pair of tall champagne glasses filled with sparkling wine. The background is covered in a twinkling gold color. The invite measures about 4″x6″ and retails for about $1.50 each.
#4 Christmas Elves:
If you plan to invite children to your party, then this 4″x6″ invitation may just be the one you’re looking for. The artwork is unmistakably kiddy in style and involves two elves carrying a large present wrapped in a starry green and yellow gift wrap and topped with a polka-dotted red bow. A third elf is mischievously lying on top of the present catching a free ride. Your text is displayed on the face of the present. Each pack of 10 invites is priced well at about $8.
#5 All Wrapped Up:
This simple invite card will work for just about any gift exchange. It’s white with an eye-catching red ribbon that intersects at the top left corner forming a red bow. This design comes in various sizes including 4″x6″, 5″x7″, and “6×9”. For comparison, a 4″x6″ costs $1.45 plus a $15 setup fee.