How to Host an Ornament Exchange


An ornament exchange is a great excuse for friends to get together during the holidays. It’s also a fun way for your friends to showcase their style and creativity through their selected ornaments. With some easy preparation, you can make hosting a breeze by having a game planned to facilitate the exchange. Guests will be entertained and no one leaves empty handed.

Prepare for Your Party

  • In the invitations, specify the type of ornament expected from guests. State if the ornament should be homemade or purchased, whether there is a specified price range and if there is a theme, such as cats or music. Select a tree on which to hang the ornaments. If your own Christmas tree is not decorated, use it. If it already is decorated, consider a separate mini tree on which to display the ornaments. Make sure the ornaments are properly showcased. Gather paper tags and ornament hooks equivalent to the amount of guests expected. Tie a tag to each ornament hook with string.

Let the Game Begin

  • Hand out the hooks to the guests as they arrive and have each one write his name on a tag. Sit in a circle and decide who selects a wrapped ornament first. After he selects an ornament, have the guest hang it on the tree using the tagged ornament hook. Whoever is next may choose a new unwrapped ornament or if the one currently on display is too appealing to pass up, the guest may select that one. If the latter is chosen, have the guest remove the previous owner's hanger and swap it out with his own. Continue the white-elephant-style game until every guest has had a turn.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images Rich Koele/iStock/Getty Images
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