A peek inside this post: Ready to throw an amazing event for your friends? Learn how to host a Favorite Things Party on Galentine’s Day and snag our Galentine’s Day Favorite Things Party Invites and Printable Party Bundle to make hosting a cinch!
If you’ve found this post, it probably means that you searched for favorite things party ideas and realized that most people have this kind of gift exchange during Christmastime. But you’re looking for ways to host a Galentine’s Day Favorite Things gift exchange. Right?
I got you!
Galentine’s Day was inspired by Leslie Knope from the tv show, Parks and Rec. On February 13th every year, the character of Leslie would celebrate her best gal pals with elaborate gifts and thoughtful gestures.
So many of us latched onto that wonderful notion and started hosting Galentine’s Day events of our own.
Additionally, Favorite Things Parties took the internet by storm. It’s a fun twist on the traditional gift exchange. And because it is a gift exchange, it makes sense that you typically see it in December.
I have hosted a Galentine’s Day Party for my girlfriends for several years in a row, and decided to include a Favorite Things twist after the first year.
It was difficult for me to find information on merging the two ideas, so I ended up creating a lot of my own things and figuring out how to make it all work together. Now that I have a couple years of doing this (successfully) under my belt, I thought I’d share what I can!
This is a longer post packed full of good info. Feel free to jump around to different sections if you don’t feel like reading all the way through!
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Table of Contents
How to Host a Favorite Things Party on Galentine’s Day
This is really quite simple. Because the Favorite Things gift exchange takes a good bit of time to finish, it’s really the only entertainment you need to plan for your party! Well, that and a good playlist. (Girl, you know I got you. You’ll find an awesome playlist included below in the Printable Party Bundle section.)
If your friends are like my friends, you’ll spend the first hour (at least) munching on delicious food and chatting away. I always have to start the gift exchange after looking at my watch and realizing we’d better get it going before we run out of time.
So, just like for any party, you’ll set a date, invite your guests, get your home ready for company, figure out food and drinks, and whatever other small details you want to sprinkle in.
When inviting your guests, you’ll make sure to give them all the information about how the favorite things gift exchange works. (I have all of this prepared for you in the Party Bundle!)
Since this differs from the traditional favorite things exchange given around Christmas time, I like to use a lot of pink and peachy colors, soft florals, and pretty greenery. It feels super girly and springy and is a bright spot in February!
So now that you know that it’s easy to merge these two party ideas, let’s get into specifics…
Favorite Things Party Rules: What You Need to Know
I have seen many variations of this game, and you can definitely use whatever gift exchange system you like best. As inspiration, I’m going to share how my group does it because it really works well for us.
Everyone brings three identical gifts of a pre-determined value to the party. We choose to keep the gifts unwrapped so everything can be displayed and clearly seen on the table.
We have three jars set out on the table, labeled Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. When guests arrive, they write their name on three slips of paper and drop one in each jar. This prevents someone’s name from being pulled more than once in any given round.
I don’t put my name into the first jar because, as the host, I start Round 1 by sharing what “favorite thing” I brought, and explain why it’s my favorite. (I have a list below of all the wonderful favorite things people have brought that have gone over well, to help give you some inspiration.)
Then, I pull a name out of the Round 1 Jar. Let’s say it’s Monica. Monica receives ONE of my favorite things. There are still TWO of my favorite things left sitting on the table.
Monica gets her item, and then she will share what favorite thing she brought to the party and why she loves it. She pulls a name from the Round 1 jar, let’s say this one is Rachel. Rachel gets one of Monica’s favorite things, and then Rachel pulls a name out the jar, and so on.
This continues until the last name in the Round 1 Jar has been pulled. The last person whose name was pulled, (we’ll call her Phoebe), tells about her favorite thing and then, because I as the host started the round and didn’t put my name into the first jar, I end up getting the last gift of Round 1.
That completes Round 1, and Phoebe will then draw the first name from the Round 2 Jar.
Rounds 2 and 3
The second and third rounds are both played white elephant style. I *might* consider changing this up next time, just to keep things fresh and exciting. If so, I’ll update this post!
Favorite Things Party Invitation Wording: What to Tell Your Guests
You’ll be able to make decisions for your party, such as price parameters. Here’s what I say in my invite, in addition to the party details like date and time:
1| Think of your favorite thing, valued $10-$15.
2| Get three of that item, and bring them (unwrapped) to the party.
3| There will be an exchange and three different people go home with your gifts. You’ll go home with three new gifts!
4| In the spirit of fun, no cash or gift cards, please!
Favorite Things Gift Exchange Ideas
You or your invited guests might need a little inspiration when it comes to choosing your favorite things to bring to the party.
Some hosts will set a theme or criteria for choosing favorite things. Example: kitchen tools or something pink.
I’ve never done this as I feel like it would be too limiting. I love that different women with different interests show up with all kinds of different things! It’s such a fun way to be introduced to new items and learn more about your friends while you’re at it.
Here are some favorite things gift ideas that might help get you started:
I brought these one year and everyone who went home with them have said how much they love them!
I have tried so many dry shampoos and this is the best!
- Cake Stand (bonus points if it includes homemade bread!)
My friend Melissa brought these two years in a row and they were fought over both times! One year the cake stands were a rustic, wooden style and another year they were porcelain.
Women got excited because they’re so cute and versatile! It’s a cute place to put your dish soap on in the kitchen or a nice place to display homemade baked goods– whether that be cookies, bread, or an actual cake.
My friend Jenni has brought these every year. What a great find!
My friend Morgan brought these last year and I was lucky enough to get one. I’ve used it every day since! It was one of those things I didn’t realize I needed in my life and now I don’t even travel without it. Ha!
- Wine and Chocolate
Always a great combo!
- Mascara + Makeup Bag
It’s fun to try new brands!
Sometimes people are a little nervous to commit to something being their “favorite thing.” My best advice is to not overthink it. If you love it, it’s very likely that others will too!
I do suggest staying away from anything strongly scented. Scents can be such a personal preference, and let’s face it, some things are just too overbearing for the olfactory system.
What to Wear for Galentines: Outfit Ideas
As the host, it’s nice to set (and communicate) some sort of a dress code for the party so nobody feels out of place.
You could tell everyone to wear their jammies, or don red, white, and pink!
I usually just specify “cute and comfy”, which for me, means I do my hair and makeup and wear cute sweatpants or joggers. One year I said, “Slippers optional, jeans prohibited.” Ha!
It’s your party and you can wear what you want to! Just make sure to communicate to your guests.
Galentines Day Favorite Things Party Checklist
Now that you know that it’s easy to merge these two party ideas, let’s get into specifics…
- Set a date, time, and location for the party.
- Decide on a guest list.
Obtain mailing addresses if you need them. You don’t have to mail your invites (especially if you’re on a tighter budget).
I do prefer to mail mine because I’m a sucker for snail mail, both on the sending and receiving end.
- Decide on your food and drink situation.
Will you serve brunch? Wine and cheese? Order pizza or make a gourmet dinner from scratch? Ask everyone to bring a favorite finger food? It’s good to have a plan so you can communicate it to your invited guests.
- Create invitations (I have some for you in the Printable Party Bundle!).
Make sure to include the following details: date, time, location, your contact information, gift instructions, and anything else you think is helpful or important (like what to wear, RSVP by date, or if everyone should bring a food or drink item).
- Send out your invites and collect RSVPs.
- Figure out your party flow.
Where will everyone sit? Will you start in one area and work your way to another? How will you communicate this on the day of the party? It’s good to think of these things ahead of time.
- Choose a spot for all the Favorite Things to go.
Determine now, well in advance, where makes the most sense for all the Favorite Things to go. You don’t want guests arriving with their hands full as you try to make a decision on the fly of where they should unload. You might choose your kitchen island, dining table, or a separate room.
I like to keep my kitchen island and dining table clear for all the yummy food we’ll eat on party day, so instead, I put a long folding table against a wall in my living room. I throw a tablecloth over it and add some decor to make it a focal point.
- Don’t forget to choose your own favorite things.
- Shop for things you’ll need.
Things like food, drinks, napkins. Will you use your own dishes or buy disposable?
Another thing to consider is any kind of party favor (if you choose) to give. I like to provide a nice tote bag for each guest so they have something to carry their loot home in. One year I bought some kraft paper bags, another year I personalized canvas bags. This year I’m getting these!!
While of course a bag (or party favor in general) is not necessary, it is a nice touch that’s always really well received and appreciated by guests.
- Get your playlist in order. (Again, I’ve got you covered in the Party Bundle.)
- Clean and decorate your home.
Key spots to remember are your guest bath, fridge, microwave, and oven– you never know if someone will need to use them!
Also, make sure you have things clearly spelled out for your guests. Include instructions on the Favorite Things table so guests know to display their items there and put their name in the jar. (Having your favorite things out on the table already will help indicate to guests that they can do the same.)
- Set things out.
Do as much as you can the night before. Set out plates and cups and create food and drink stations that make sense.
- The day of the party, allow yourself time to relax before guests arrive.
Hopefully with all this preparation and intentionality, you won’t find yourself frazzled the day of the party.
I always like to finish up what I need to do around the house, get myself put together with hair and makeup, and then take some time to relax before guests arrive. It puts me in a much calmer state, which helps me focus on my guests and making them feel welcome in my home.
Galentines Day Favorite Things Party Invites and Printable Party Bundle
I’ve put together some darling printables to make your life easier and give your party just the right touches.
This printable bundle includes:
- Party Invitation with flexible editing options (either print and write in your information manually, or edit my template on Canva)
- Guest List
- Party Planning Checklist
- Favorite Things Poster
- Welcome and Instructions for Party Guests
- Floral Decor Prints
- Party Playlist
- Detailed instructions for using this bundle
Hosting Galentine’s Day on a budget has never been easier with these open and go, done for you printables! Snag yours here.
Other Springtime Favorite Things Party Decorations
In addition to the items in the printable party bundle, you might like a few more decorative pieces.
I like to use a lot of greenery and florals because I’m in the south and February already looks and feels like spring.
I usually buy some discounted flowers at Publix and separate them in jars or vases around the house and on the table.
I do already have a decent amount of seasonal decorations for Valentine’s Day which certainly helps set the ambiance. But don’t stress if you don’t have these things. Your party will be great because you care for your guests!
Are You Ready to Throw Your Favorite Things Party this Galentine’s Day?
Whew! That was a lot of info, but I hope you’ve found it helpful! Reach out if there’s anything that’s unclear, and please oh please leave a comment and tell us how your party goes!