Have you been around the holiday party block like I have? I’ve done the Secret Santa, Dirty Santa, White Elephant, and Christmas Ornament Exchange til I’m blue in the face. So this holiday season, I decided to try something new! A favorite things party! I threw a favorite things party for some of my very favorite people . . . the ABQ Moms Blog team. We had so much fun, so I wanted to share all about it to give you one more idea for your next shindig.
Here’s how you can throw your own favorite things party!
1. Send out the invitations.
Here’s what I sent. You can even copy and paste. Obviously, the pajamas are optional. But what’s really important is that guests bring 3 unwrapped, identical items less than $10 (or you can decide your own price point.)
Ladies! I’m so excited to connect with you and celebrate the season with you! Here are a few details about our holiday party. I so hope you can make it.
- This event is just for the moms. (Babes in arms are welcome.)
- We’ll play FAVORITE THINGS! What is one thing you love that is less than $10? Maybe it’s some kind of make-up, the best garlic press in the world, the dry shampoo that’s better than all others, the best smelling candle, the creamiest lotion, or the comfiest socks.
- Bring THREE of that one favorite thing (and you’ll leave with three items someone else has brought.)
- Your items should be UNWRAPPED.
- I’m providing food and beverages. Come hungry . . . and thirsty.
- Wear your favorite HOLIDAY PAJAMAS. The theme for the evening is comfy Christmas . . . but you know we’ll take pictures, so just be prepared for those of use who love the Instagram.
I can’t wait!
To give you and your friends some ideas, below are the items that our ladies brought:
- Andi scrunchies from Tumble
- Christmas candles
- mugs with dunkers
- face masks
- essential oil spray bottles
- scarlet red lipstick
- Teavana youth berry tea
- NYX lipgloss
- milk frother
- bath bombs
- Rope and Root ornaments
- Abuelita’s hot chocolate
- Essence mascara
- Lush lavender bath bombs
- Journals from The Stationary Muse
- Lush bath jelly
- 300 Writing Prompts book
- Nano sponges
- Starbucks gift cards
2. Decide what food you’ll serve.
I figured most of us had eaten (or will have eaten) our share of traditional holiday fare. So I decided to give this holiday party a New Mexican twist. And aren’t tacos good all year round?
I ordered catering from one of the best kept secrets in Albuquerque: Los Foresteros #2 Mexican Food.
Friends, this is legit Mexican food, and it will not disappoint. Miguel from Los Foresteros #2 will bring his taco cart to your house and cook up tacos with all the fixings right there on your front porch or backyard. This is my absolute favorite thing to serve at parties because there’s no clean-up and it’s delicioso. Win win! For real, no one can possibly be sad when they’re eating these tacos.
Go give ’em a call for your next gathering. Or just go grab a breakfast burrito. Either way, your life will be better.
3. Serve a festive beverage.
In keeping with the Mexican theme (but acknowledging this festive time of year), I made a Holiday Margarita for my guests. We all gave them two thumbs up! You can get the recipe for these at this link.
You could easily leave out the alcohol and add club soda for a mocktail because if your group of friends is anything like mine, there’s always somebody pregnant. We are a moms blog, after all.
4. Include a make-ahead dessert.
I hate to be in the kitchen and away from the fun and my guests during a party. So my favorite hostess tip is to do as much as possible before guests arrive.
Also, we are a local website. We love our place! So I decided to honor Albuquerque with our dessert. Bischochitos are the New Mexico official state cookie. But I wanted to serve something a little more special than just a cookie. Enter “I Heart New Mexico Sundaes.”
I Heart New Mexico Sundaes Recipe
- jelly jars
- vanilla ice cream (softened)
- caramel or dolce de leche
- biscochitos (crushed)
- whipped cream
- If you are an over-achiever and love baking, go ahead and bake those cookies. I am fine with under achieving so I used store-bought biscochitos.
- Grab a rolling pin or a mallet and crush those biscochitos in a gallon-size zipper bag. Get out all that aggression. Whew! Feel better?
- Could you make homemade vanilla ice cream? Absolutely. You can also buy it and let it soften on the counter while you help kids with homework.
- Spoon one scoop of softened ice cream into jelly jars.
- Top with a layer of caramel. Once again, these would taste amazing if you made your own dolce de leche. But who’s got time for that?
- Add a layer of crushed biscochitos.
- Repeat ice cream, caramel, and biscochito layer. And place jars in the freezer until you’re ready to serve.
- Right before serving, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
5. Give your guests a little assignment as they arrive.
I put out three bowls, a stack of small slips of paper, and pens.
First, guests were to write their name and put it into the bowl #1
Next, guests were to write their name again and put it into the bowl #2.
Then bowl #3 is where it gets interesting. Guests had to write down one fun fact about themselves that no one in the room would know. It could be a famous person they had met, something funny from childhood or their teen years, somewhere cool they had traveled, or maybe an award they had won. Here are some of things my team wrote down. Can you guess who they belong to?
- I stalked Tina Fey at Los Poblanos.
- I fell in wet cement at school in 8th grade in front of a huge crowd.
- I practiced kissing with my sister when I was 11 because I wanted to know what it was like. (We got a big laugh out of this one!)
- I’ve lived in 5 different states.
- I went to school with Ivanka Trump.
- I laugh when people cry. I can’t help it!
- I can’t speak Spanish well, but I can sing it. I’m basically Selena.
- I was on America’s Most Wanted.
- I was a state tennis champion.
- I won a music trivia game in Mexico and won a bottle of champagne.
- I weighed less than 2 pounds at birth.
- I can’t move the toes on one of my feet.
- I prank called my mom and cried. Then I felt terrible for months.
- One time during a dance competition, my costume fell off.
5. After everyone eats, play the favorite things party game!
- Display all the favorite things on a table.
- Then go around the circle and have everyone tell what she brought.
- Round 1: The first person picks one of the fun facts from bowl #3. She reads it aloud. Then the person to her right tries to guess who the fun fact belongs to. If she gets it wrong, the next person in the circle guesses (and so on). If someone guesses correctly, she gets to go to the favorite things table and choose her gift. But if no one guesses who the fun fact belonged to, the original writer gets to pick (since she’s fooled everyone). If someone guesses correctly put has already chosen her first favorite thing, she can gift her turn to pick to someone else who hasn’t picked yet.
- Round 2: Pull names one by one out of bowl #1. Whoever’s name comes out of the bowl gets to choose her second favorite thing to take home.
- Round 3: Pull names one by one out of bowl #2. Whoever’s name comes out of the bowl gets to choose her second favorite thing to take home.
We had such a great time at our favorite things party.
Let us know if you decide to throw a favorite things party. We want to hear all about it!
And happy holidays from Albuquerque Moms Blog!