Did you know that “re-gifting” is only a dirty word when it’s done on the sly? If you use the concept as a party theme, re-gifting magically becomes a fun and festive tool to promote recycling by encouraging guests to exchange items they don’t use much.
The idea is to combine two of my favorite things — brunch (also known as the 'Best Meal Ever Invented' in my book) and presents — to create a wonderful gathering for a memorable weekend afternoon. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose a theme for the re-gift exchange, such as kitchen gadgets, fashion accessories, or even cookbooks. Each guest is then invited to bring an object they already own but don’t want any longer, wrapped as a present.
2. When guests arrive, each wrapped package is numbered and a corresponding set of numbers is tossed into a bowl or bag. Collect all the numbered packages on a table draped with a pretty cloth.
3. Then let folks mingle a while and enjoy food like stuffed brioche French toast, candied bacon, piping hot strawberry muffins, and fresh fruit along with bubbly spiked with rosewater or cherry syrup.
4. When you’re ready for the gift exchange (and opening), gather everyone around and let each person draw a number from the bowl or bag. The person who draws number one goes first, opening the gift marked with a one. Follow with number two, number three, and so on until each guest has opened a gift. Everyone will ooh and ahh — or at least have a chuckle — at the gifts as they are revealed. Certainly someone, if not everyone, will be delighted with their new acquisition, thus proving the point that “everything old is new again.”
5. If you want to add another layer of fun to the gift-opening, you can let people “steal” gifts from those who have already opened their presents. In other words, the person holding gift number seven can “steal” any gift from numbers one through six, trading their gift in exchange. This adds a spirit of competitiveness and envy that is key to many a great party.
The best part? You don’t have to think about guest favors, because at the end of this clever brunch, dear hostess, everyone already has a gift to take home.