Christmas Party
Gift Exchange Ideas

Delightful, Unusual, Fun

Christmas party gift exchange ideas are some of the most difficult Christmas party ideas to come up with. Something for everyone who's in your budget, maybe even homemade...not so easy. Holiday Party SOS to the rescue!

The idea of homemade really appeals to the budget conscious in all of us. After all, gifts don't have to be huge or expensive to be memorable. You can go with our homemade Christmas party favors, or go a little more elaborate with the gifts below.


Glove Garland

patterned mittens hanging on clothesline

Here's a gift everyone needs, at least matching ones. (Goodness knows we all have a pile of single gloves pining for a mate.) This Christmas party gift exchange idea is designed to be displayed as part of your Christmas decorations.

Buy a clothesline, wooden clothespins, and dozens of solid knit gloves. Or if you're a mitten type of person, gather a bunch of those instead. String the clothesline like you would lights across your ceiling, criss-crossing 3 ropes. Pin up the gloves (or mittens) with clothespins. As your guests leave, they get to take a new pair of hand-warmers with them.


Christmas in a Bowl

Fill a terrarium with the smells, textures, and colors of the season. Make one for each guest. Here's what you'll need for this Christmas party gift exchange idea:

  • Glass terrarium around 8" in diameter
  • Scented candle about 4" in diameter in pine, gingerbread, cinnamon, peppermint, or mulled cider scent
  • Small pine cones, 1" red wood beads, 1/2" shiny silver beads

Fill the bottom of the terrarium with the pine cones, red wood beads, and shiny silver beads. Place the candle in the center of the terrarium. The top should be flush with the top of the terrarium—add more items underneath if it's too short and remove some if it's too tall. When you're at the right height, fill the sides of the terrarium with the remaining pinecones, red wood beads, and shiny silver beads.


Felt Christmas Tree Stocking

Felt is fun and easy to work with because you don't have to hem anything; cut an edge and it's good to go. Instead of gluing, stitch the pieces on with a sharp tapestry needle (big enough to thread yarn) and use contrasting embroidery thread or yarn.

For this Christmas party gift exchange idea we've included a stocking template for you to follow, complete with where to stitch.

Christmas stocking template

Click to download

  1. Print out 2 copies of the stocking template. Cut out the stocking form on just one of them.
  2. Pin the stocking template to the top of 2 pieces of green felt to form the front and back of the stocking. Cut around the outer edge to create 2 copies of the stocking. Do not stitch them together yet; that is the last thing you'll do. First you'll add garland and ornaments, and the green color will make it resemble a Christmas tree.
  3. Using the stocking template that you already cut the stocking from, cut out a small ornament and a large ornament (both the top and the ball itself), as well as one of the garland circles. Using these as templates, pin them to felt and cut out the following: 29 small circles for garland; 3 medium and 3 large circles for ornaments; 3 small squares and 3 large squares for ornament tops. The tops of the ornaments are actually little squares; just overlap the circle below it a little to create the ornament. Use dark yellow (like a gold) for the little garland circles. Use primary colors for the balls of the ornaments. Use gray for the ornament tops.
  4. Referring to the complete template (the second printout you have), arrange all of the pieces on top of one of the green felt stocking pieces and stitch per the dashed lines with white embroidery thread or yarn. Once all the pieces are affixed, sew the back onto the stocking.
  5. Attach a Christmas tag that says "Made with love from..."
  6. Fill the stocking with candy canes, and you'll have completed a very cool, very memorable Christmas party gift exchange idea.

Cookie Exchange

green and red basket with Christmas decorations and homemade cookies

As Christmas party gift exchange ideas go, this one is just yummy. On your party invitation ask everyone to bring a batch of their favorite homemade cookies with the recipe on a 3" x 5" card. You'll need to let them know how many guests you're expecting so they can bring enough cookies and copies of the recipe for each guest.

Here is your part: creating festive baskets that they can take home with their cookies and cards and use year after year. Shallow wicker or twig ones work best. Drape a different red and green napkin—plaid, checked, and striped—in the bottom of each basket. Add a sprig of evergreen and a shiny Christmas ball to the right hand corners. The baskets are now fabulously ready for cookies and recipe cards.

Tip: Stacking the cards and tucking them behind the greens and Christmas balls will keep them neatly together.


Cookie Cutter Decorations

cookie cutters in different colors and Christmas shapes

I guess it's because Christmas is a holiday that you associate with cookies that cookie cutters look just like Christmas. Amazingly, that includes almost every shape, even hearts.

And the beauty of cookie cutters is you can do so much with them in addition to what they're intended for. Use these unique cookie cutter ideas at your next holiday party gift exchange.

  • Ornaments: Use strips of holiday fabric to tie the cookie cutters to the tree.
  • Garland: Tie 6 cookie cutters to a long red velvet or satin ribbon with a thin green ribbon.
  • Candle Holders: Cut a piece of green felt 1/2" larger than a silver cookie cutter. Place a candle in the center (depending on the size of the cookie cutter it could be as small as a tea light or as large as a 3" candle). Fill around the candle with little red wooden beads and brush with decoupage glue to hold it all together.
  • Bell Pull: Braid 3 strands of beaded garland—one red, one pearl, and one silver. Rubber band each end. Attach a cookie cutter to the bottom with a thin red ribbon. Tie a big red velvet wire bow at the top and a smaller one at the bottom to hide the rubber bands.


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list of holidays in the fall


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