The holidays are always a notable time for the tradition of gift giving, but haven’t we all received that one gift where all you can do is wonder “how did I end up with this?”
The end of the season usually results in retail stores being jam packed with customers exchanging that ugly sweater their aunt got them or returning a DVD that they already own three copies of. But instead of waiting in those lines to return an unwanted gift, you could turn the concept into a party between acquaintances and relatives. They do say after all, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
This idea transformed into a tradition between my family and friends to host an annual re-gifting party every year after Christmas. It started because my mom, brother, dad and I had a collection of odd gifts sitting around the house that we had neither interest in nor purpose for. My mom is always one to entertain and thought that other people might have a similar predicament in their own houses after the Christmas season. After pitching the suggestion of hosting a post-holiday season get-together to several of her friends, the re-gifting party was born.
When we send out the invitations, we ask the guests to bring a wrapped, unwanted gift to the party. Once the day of the party is upon us and the guests arrive, they place the gift under the tree before we begin the re-gifting.
We turned the event into a game that is similar to a Pollyanna to add a different layer of entertainment to the night. Guests all select a number that will determine the order in which they pick a new gift from under the tree. Here is the catch: once a gift is opened, it is eligible to be “stolen” by another player. Therefore being towards the beginning of the game is not ideal. The players with higher numbers will be able to see all the different gifts that are already open and if they really want it, they can take it from the owner and then that original person has to select a new gift.
Aside from the aspect of a little friendly competition, the amusement comes from seeing what gifts have been placed under the tree. Since it is a re-gifting party, the presents can range from typical lotions and candles to over-sized ski vests. Not all of the gifts are your everyday items though. Some of the most notable re-gifts I have seen through the years of this tradition are a clock that chirps like a bird every hour and a 5-foot-long Santa hat that flashes lights when a button is pressed.
When the game comes to a conclusion, guests can trade what they opened with each other to have something more desirable or they walk away with their new Christmas present.
This is not your typical Christmas party and that is why it has become such a hit within my family and friends. It not only serves the purpose of getting rid of that non-desirable gift, but also as one last final holiday celebration before returning to the every day routine of work and school.