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Add A “Favorite Things Party” To Your Moms’ Night In Calendar, Stat

Me time + mom friends + gifts = the best self-care.

A favorite things party is a great idea for friend group get-togethers.
SolStock/Getty Images

You've got a regular moms' night out, right? Or maybe a moms' night in? Here's hoping your answer is yes, because moms need time to be whole people outside of their kids — it's science. And if you need inspiration for your next get-together with your favorite fellow mothers of little monsters, you just found it: a "favorite things party." The idea is simple. Your friend group gets together, and each person brings enough of their favorite things for each person attending. You enjoy each other's company, chat, drink, play adult games, and just escape the pressures of everyday life. Then, at some point in the night, you take time to share each of your favorite things and gift versions of them to your friends.

You may have seen posts about "favorite things" parties making the rounds on social media, and you probably have TikToking mom Hannah King to thank for that. In a now-viral video, she shares her experience with this idea and what she brought. Honestly, it's such a fun way to carve out some me time, get to know your friends even better, and walk away with some gifts. Who doesn't love the sound of that?!

A Great Go-To Gift

There are many ways you could go about choosing your "favorite thing." You could bring your favorite-smelling candle (just be mindful of friends sensitive to candle smells). You could get something soft and cozy for your friends to cuddle. Or even your favorite movie on DVD that they may not have seen or just don't remember. As long as it's your favorite thing and you can properly explain why, your friends are sure to appreciate it.

But if you run out of time before the party and have to make a last-minute, don't-have-time-to-think decision, King's choice makes for a perfect fallback. Not everyone is hip to the fact that fanny packs "are in" again. And while millennials might initially cringe at the thought of wearing one, there's no denying their usefulness. In this case, the fanny packs hone in on a key necessity of motherhood: needing to hold a bunch of crap but still be hands-free.

How To Have Your Own “Favorite Things Party”

There are no rules except the ones you put in place. While your friends might be wildly different than you, they're your only adult friends because you trust them. So, why not let them guide you towards something they love? Otherwise, here are a few tips for hosting a successful first favorite things party.

Guests: Less is more. Invite five people, at the most. If you have a large group of friends/acquaintances, buying something for everyone who comes to your usual cookouts will break the bank. Instead, narrow it down to just a handful of people. This will keep everyone from being stressed about buying something.

When: You can have a “favorite things” party at literally any time of year. If you and your closest friends are talking about how you’re going to exchange holiday presents, this might be a great way to do it. However, you might want to consider throwing your party away from other big holidays, when your friends aren’t already stressed about buying a ton of presents for everyone else.

Rules: Set a budget. When you’re in the planning process, talk to the friends you want to invite to get a sense of their monthly “discretionary funds.” If someone can really only afford to spend $50 on the party gifts and you’re inviting five people, a $20-per-gift budget just isn’t reasonable. Instead, cap it at $10.

Add A “Favorite Things” Theme

Want to make sure your shopaholic friend stays on budget or doesn’t try to outdo everyone? Set a theme.

Favorite Homemade Snack

Instead of bringing an actual present, ask your friends to supply the snacks for your get-together. It’s basically a potluck — except you get to talk about why a certain dish is each person’s favorite. You could also suggest everyone bring a small serving to send home with each attendee.

Favorite Grocery Store Find

This can be as broad or as narrowly themed as you want. If you happen to be friends with three mamas who all have kids with gluten or dairy allergies, perhaps everyone brings their new favorite gluten- or dairy-free snacks to share. Not only do you get to try some yummy food without potentially wasting money on something you hate, but you might also find a new idea for your kiddos’ lunch boxes. Gluten-free pretzel nuggets or dairy-free ice cream, anyone?

Favorite Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree Item

The most expensive things in the Dollar Spot are $5. And, at Dollar Tree, the most you can typically spend is $1.25. It’s a theme without a theme. While one person might bring each friend a green velvet pumpkin, another might bring a roll of paper towels. Paper towels don’t seem like a gift... until you forget to buy some at the grocery.

Favorite Thing From Home

We all have too much stuff. Yet, somehow, handing over a used trinket is often seen as cheap or tacky. This is everyone’s chance to purge thoughtfully. This might mean bringing a book from your shelf that reminds you of Kaitlyn and that owl figurine off your mantle that Sara always compliments. This means that each person’s gift might be different, but that doesn’t make it any more special. You’ll need to be able to say, “This book made me think of you,” or “I loved this owl, but I know you’ll love it more.” Doing so allows you to share a used gift that holds meaning with some of your favorite people.

Even More “Favorite Thing Party” Ideas

  • Favorite things for Christmas baking
  • Favorite things from Trader Joe’s
  • Favorite makeup product under $10
  • Favorite self-care product
  • Favorite (face, foot, hand, lip, or eye) mask
  • Favorite craft
  • Favorite smell
  • Favorite flavor
  • Favorite color
  • Favorite winter drink
  • Favorite quote
  • Favorite thing... about each friend (instead of physical presents, everyone leaves with an ego boost!)
  • Favorite CD from your “teenage dirtbag” era

Get creative and have fun — the most important element of a favorite things party basically takes care of itself: having your favorite people there.