Virtual Favorite Things Party: How to Host + Gift Ideas

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I’ve attended a favorite things party every year for 7 years. They’re some of my favorite girls’ nights, and they’re fun whether you know everyone there or not.

virtual favorite things party

Essentially, these are parties where everyone brings a “favorite thing” to trade for other favorite things. I’ve attended parties where everyone brings 3 of the same thing and then goes home with 3 other things. I’ve also attended ones where everyone just brings one favorite thing and leaves with a different favorite thing. They’re a fun way to discover fun products and also connect over shared interests.

Of course, it’s tricky to have a party in person this year, so I thought it would be fun to do a virtual favorite things party! Some of the traditional rules will need to be a bit different since we won’t all be together physically, but I think it’ll make a really fun virtual party. Here’s how we’re handling it.

how to host a favorite things party

Who To Invite To A Virtual Favorite Things Party

Since it’s more difficult to get to know new people and strike up conversations over a screen, I figured it was best to stick to a single group of friends. While I usually love the opportunity to connect different groups of people, a virtual party makes it fairly difficult. Sticking to a group where most people already knew each other would help everyone feel comfortable.

I also thought having a huge group would make it even more difficult to chat. I decided sticking to a smaller group would also facilitate conversation.

How To Plan A Virtual Favorite Things Party: Virtual Party Ideas

Before sending out invitations, I sent out a quick email just to gauge interest. I wanted to make sure we had at least 5-8 people who were interested in participating to have a critical mass.

After that, I set up a Zoom meeting and emailed it out in a Paperless Post invite. In the same invite, I asked everyone to respond by a certain date, and then told them I’d send out “Secret Santa assignments” the day after. At that point, I’ll randomly assign people to each other (making sure that no two people have each other), and share their addresses with their “Secret Santa.”

Most of the favorite things parties I’ve attended have been white elephant style (where people can steal gifts from one another). But I figured that would be pretty difficult to manage virtually. So I decided it would be easiest if everyone was just assigned one other person to whom they would send a favorite thing.

Spending Limit for A Virtual Favorite Things Party

With the parties I’ve attended, the spending limit varies when it involves 3 items or just 1 item. Usually the spending limit per item is a bit lower if you bring three things – typically between $5-10 per item. When it’s just one item, the price can be a bit higher – anywhere from $10-25.

I tend to prefer a single item of around $25 – that gives a lot more flexibility in terms of getting a nicer gift!

How To Host: Virtual Favorite Things Party Ideas

Our gift exchange party isn’t for another couple of weeks, but here’s how I’m planning to do it!

I told everyone to stick to a spending limit of $25, and to ship their gifts directly to their recipient before the date of the party. They could either purchase something locally and ship it, or just buy it online and have it sent directly. (I did say that if there were shipping delays, they could show a picture if needed.) Then I instructed everyone to not open their gifts when they receive them, but to wait until the party.

Once the party starts, I’ll leave a little bit of time to chat in the beginning. Since it’s not a huge group and since most everyone knows one another, it will be fun to catch up for a bit.

Once we get started, I’ll randomly assign people numbers, and we’ll go around opening gifts in that order. We’ll also let the sender explain why that item is a favorite of theirs!

favorite things party gifts

Favorite Things Party Gift Ideas

There are tons of different gift ideas for a favorite things party! Here are a few that I’ve taken over the years, and that friends have brought:




It’s pretty simple, but I’m glad it’s something we can do to bring a little bit of normalcy to this crazy year. It’s also a nice way to have a friend gift exchange without a lot of pressure to buy for a bunch of people. I hope these favorite things party gifts and ideas for how to host one are helpful!

Have you ever attended a favorite things party? And would you consider hosting a virtual one? What other virtual party ideas do you have?





2 Responses

  • Thanks for the tip to simplify things by sticking to a single friend group to invite to the party. Additionally, if you’re hosting a virtual party for kids, it would be really fun to book a virtual Santa to come and do a quick visit with each kid to really make the night special. Do you have any other tips or ideas when it comes to planning virtual holiday parties for kids specifically?

    • Oh that’s a great idea for a virtual Santa! For kids, perhaps have some sort of activity they can do all at the same time, like a craft or cooking project?

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