Christmas Ornament Exchange

 
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As I mentioned in one of our previous Friday Favorites posts, my girlfriends and I love any excuse to get together even though the majority of us have scattered throughout the Bluegrass since college graduation. For Christmas, we decided to do an ornament exchange, and thanks to the careful planning of our friend Audrey, the event went off without a hitch.

I love the idea of doing events around Christmas where everyone contributes a single gift. Whether it is some sort of exchange or Secret Santa, it eases the pressure of feeling like you have to buy something for each of your friends, and you can take more time to just enjoy each other's company. I especially liked the idea of an ornament exchange because it was simple to find an ornament to contribute and easy to stay on budget.

If you're hosting a Christmas or holiday get-together, here are a few tips you can consider:

  1. Pick a central location. Because we all live in different Kentucky towns and cities, we decided to meet in a location central to all of us, Elizabethtown. This meant that the drive for everyone attending stayed under an hour.
 
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  1. Choose: Someone's home or a venue. We chose to meet for dinner and dessert at a local restaurant called The Whistle Stop, technically in Glendale just outside of E-town. While I love home-hosted get-togethers, meeting at a local restaurant was perfect for us because of the convenience factor. A lot goes into hosting an event at your home, so if no one in your group is prepared to take on that duty, restaurants or coffee shops work just as well!
  2. Set a budget. Budgeting is extremely important around the holidays, especially if you're in your early 20s like me and just getting started in your career. I don't pretend to know anyone else's financial situation, so setting a modest budget allows everyone to participate and be stress-free. While we didn't technicaly set an exact dollar amount, we made sure to emphasize that our exchange was about finding a cute ornament, not an expensive one. If this was a Secret Santa event, I would encourage setting an exact amount as gifts could potentially vary in values.
 
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On top of getting to see some of my best girls, it's safe to say I came home with a pretty cute ornament as well! (Thanks, Logan!)

How are you and your friends celebrating the holidays?

Cheers!

Sarah