Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Organizing a Gift Swapping Party

Seven or eight Decembers ago, I was preparing to move. I had just read the book Love Dharma and was inspired to become more "Zen" about my material belongings. So, I picked my favorite books and my favorite paintings and then opened up my apartment to my friends. They could take home anything they liked. We put every one's name in a basket and drew out each name to create an order to the "choosing." It was wild. It was one of the most freeing experiences of my life.


To this day, I smile every time I visit any of those friends and see how one of my belongings which I had already forgotten about is still being treasured by someone else. Pretty great stuff.


This experience gave me an idea for organizing a Gift Swap.


Who? Friends who aren't crazy about buying all their gifts at the mall.

What? Each person comes with several nice quality objects that they would like to give away. Unopened gifts that aren't your style would be perfect for this Swap. If you can, invite an artist or photographer (unframed art would work well, the person who takes the work home could then go to a thrift store and buy a frame).

1.Start by laying all the items out on a table.
2.Give everyone a few minutes to look through everything.
3. Put everyone's name in a hat and have the host draw out each name.
4.Write down the order and begin. Set a time limit.
5. Keep going until someone is uninterested in picking anything else, scratch off their name from the list and continue until there are no more names!
6. Box up the remaining items and donate them.
When? Probably in the beginning of December.

Where? Whoever has the biggest place or is centrally located.
Why is it a great idea? It's a win-win for everyone. 

My experience? Very, very rewarding. See above.

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