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Tag: gift exchange ideas

Homeschool Families Making Meaningful Connections with Simple Gifts

Homeschool Families Making Meaningful Connections with Simple Gifts

I saw the need in our community and was excited to think of something that would help – even a little. — Terry Yaceyko School-aged children have certainly been hit with challenges this past year, especially when it comes to connecting with the people they love the most. Not only have they been temporarily cut off from beloved grandparents and special family members, but when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools closed their doors to in-person learning, their usual…

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Life’s short. Talk fast. (And Gift Often!)

Life’s short. Talk fast. (And Gift Often!)

Can you believe it’s been over 20 years since the world first fell in love with the mother-daughter duo of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore and their fast-talking, witty banter (ever-fueled by coffee)? The hit dramedy Gilmore Girls has certainly stood the test of time, and these Girls are not going anywhere, anytime soon. Stars Hollow: Still Our Happy Place The Gilmore Girls phenomenon seems to have only intensified since its debut in 2000. Love for the show is being passed…

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How One Book Club is Amplifying the Voices of Black Culture

How One Book Club is Amplifying the Voices of Black Culture

Just as every book has its own story to tell, so too do the eyes that are cast upon their pages. Through the lens of an author of color, they share the diverse voices of Black culture from their perspective. As readers, this gives us the opportunity to learn from their life experiences and appreciate their story. But some stories have been harder to tell, through no fault of the author. Writers of color — especially women — are often…

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A Freilichen Purim! Gift Basket Ideas to Celebrate Spring, Community and Life’s Joys

A Freilichen Purim! Gift Basket Ideas to Celebrate Spring, Community and Life’s Joys

Late winter and early spring are, for everyone, imbued with a sense of rebirth and excitement. It’s a time to escape the long winter—and look forward to the light. For the Jewish people, though, it means something more. It is the time for Purim, to celebrate when they were saved from annihilation at the hands of the Persians. It’s more than a party for the rebirth of spring; it is celebrating the miracle of existence. And what a celebration it…

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Board Game Community Puts Spotlight on Generosity

Board Game Community Puts Spotlight on Generosity

When I was a kid, my family was really into playing board games. For my brothers, I’m sure it was all about the strategy and a little “friendly” competition. For me, it was all about the tiny game pieces. (I mean, who doesn’t love the adorable Scottie Dog of Monopoly fame?) Those family game nights spent sitting around the dining room table talking, laughing and conspiring over the game board hold fond memories. The lessons we learned from being challenged…

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Cookie Exchange Raises the Bar on Holiday Baking

Cookie Exchange Raises the Bar on Holiday Baking

Here at Elfster, we consider ourselves experts on pretty much “all things holiday” — we are elves after all! Picking the perfect presents, keeping tabs on Santa’s nice & naughty lists and helping your holidays come off without a hitch. You name it, we’re you go-to elves! But when it comes to creating sweet treats, we’ve certainly met our match!  We are super impressed and inspired by a group of over 200 talented and creative ‘Secret Cookie Elves’ who have…

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3 Fun Gift Exchange Games for Family Gatherings

3 Fun Gift Exchange Games for Family Gatherings

My great-grandmother Irene set up games for us to play as a family during every birthday, anniversary, or holiday gift exchange. In the summer and fall, it was croquet in the backyard. The winner received their gift first, followed by those who came in second and third place. For birthdays, we’d play Dominoes or Uno. Only, she would pronounce it “You Know!” That winner would always be first for a white elephant gift exchange. She’d offer lemonade, cookies, and joy…

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Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

“If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Today, communities all over the nation will come together to celebrate an unofficial holiday — Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Liberation Day and Jubilee Day) — to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the United…

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7 Sunshiney Summer Party Game Ideas

7 Sunshiney Summer Party Game Ideas

As soon as the weather starts to turn warm, even just the first hints of spring, I start to get itchy. I love fall and actually really enjoy our cold Midwest winters, but I still cannot wait for warm weather again. I start to make summer playlists. And I start to plan summer parties.  Some winters and springs seem longer than others. We might not always be able to see each other in-person. So, when we can have a summer…

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Gift Exchange Etiquette You Should Know

Gift Exchange Etiquette You Should Know

I love hosting parties. Yet in the midst of planning, there are multiple balls in the air to juggle. Let’s face it—as a party planner, gift exchanges can be overwhelming. Without the right tools to get everything accomplished, it can feel like a lot!  Still, there are ways to make it much easier, including keeping gift exchange etiquette in mind. As trends come and go, basic gift exchange etiquette remains a critical part of the party planning process. The way…

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Disney Lovers Remind One Another They Are Never Alone

Disney Lovers Remind One Another They Are Never Alone

Relax. Take a deep breath. In. Out. Ahhh. Now think of your happy place and the people you’d love to be with in that place. I’m sure it is a moment filled with laughter, joy and a little sunshine. And these days, we could all use a little sunshine in our world. No doubt, the past few months have been a challenge. As we all faced the uncertainty of an unprecedented global pandemic and the challenges that come with that,…

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How to Run a Gift Exchange From Home During Social Distancing

How to Run a Gift Exchange From Home During Social Distancing

When social distancing swept over the world, taking us away from our normal lives, a strange paradox took shape. We began to connect more than ever.  I now have weekly video calls with friends and family that I could easily go months without talking to before. We have a Sunday Zoom dinner with my wife’s parents. People are even… talking on the phone! This doesn’t negate the anxiety we all feel, but it does go to show that we are,…

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5 Ways to Connect During Social Distancing with a Secret Santa Generator

5 Ways to Connect During Social Distancing with a Secret Santa Generator

When I was a kid, my friend, Dawn, moved to California. It happened when long-distance phone calls and snail mail were the only options to stay in touch. Still, we would mail trivia and fun paper games and activities to one another and so kept an entertaining connection. She became one of my best pen pals. And I still believe she was my Secret Santa for that top Secret Santa gift exchange in fifth grade! Nowadays, with the convenience of…

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How to Socialize During Coronavirus With Long-Distance Games

How to Socialize During Coronavirus With Long-Distance Games

Every Saturday since social distancing started here in Illinois, my friends and I meet for an afternoon happy hour online. Some live a few blocks away, some in other cities. It’s great to connect, and it reminded us that we could have done this anytime. We don’t need a catastrophe to enjoy hanging out, even distantly.  Social distancing has, for millions of people, closed their physical world down to a handful of rooms. But what’s amazing—inspiring, beautiful, and deeply human—is…

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Coronavirus: How to Stay Positive and Connected with a Gift Exchange

Coronavirus: How to Stay Positive and Connected with a Gift Exchange

For some reason, most of my family members have birthdays over the same two-month period. Some even share the exact same birthday! So, for over a decade, we celebrated all birthdays together as a family. But in recent years, we moved to Texas, my brother moved to Nebraska, and family is here, there and everywhere. Plus, we’ve experienced some trying times and realized that what matters is to remain connected and celebrate even if we can’t physically be together. The…

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Top Gift Exchange Ideas for All Ages

Top Gift Exchange Ideas for All Ages

One of the best events we’ve hosted involved numerous family members and friends honoring a newly-engaged coworker. With a Caribbean-themed party and gift exchange, we went all out. My parents didn’t even know the couple getting married, but because we worked with them and the grandchildren were part of the fun, they were all in on the activities. With participants of all ages from various circles of life, it was one of the most joyous parties we ever hosted.  You…

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Cycling Group Going The Extra Mile For Frontline Heroes

Cycling Group Going The Extra Mile For Frontline Heroes

As we find our “new normal” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, stories of kindness, generosity and hope are emerging like spring blossoms all around us. Tales of ordinary folks doing the extraordinary sure to brighten our days, warm our hearts and help us focus on the positive. We thrive on the inspirational stories of communities coming together to spread joy, offering all of us a welcome distraction from the reality of these complicated times. And Elfster’s generous gift-giving…

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5 Gift Exchange Party Ideas to Get You Started

5 Gift Exchange Party Ideas to Get You Started

“Congratulations! You’re running the office gift exchange!”  I recently had the pleasure of telling that to a co-worker as we were planning a remote office party. We’d been working from home for a while, so we decided it would be a cool way to keep everyone together. And even though I was the pro, we decided Jess could take the reins on this one. She turned a bit pale at the thought, but I reassured her that it would be…

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How to Figure out What to Buy for a Gift Exchange

How to Figure out What to Buy for a Gift Exchange

I love giving people presents. When you pick the right present, it isn’t about buying. It isn’t about the person getting a “thing.” It’s about them being seen. Picking the right gift is a signal that you truly care about a person.  But when you’re in a Secret Santa, knowing what to buy for a gift exchange can be tricky. You may be extremely close to them, or you may not really know them at all. They could be coworkers,…

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What Christmas Games are Similar to White Elephant?

What Christmas Games are Similar to White Elephant?

There’s a famous old holiday saying which goes, “Gift exchange games are like sandwiches: everyone has their own name for them and by golly, I love them all no matter what.” Okay, that might not be an old saying as much as something I believe, but it’s still true.  See, there are a lot of gift exchanges out there. Some are pretty much the same game but with different names. It’s like sandwiches: a hero, submarine, grinder, and hoagie are…

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Types of Gift Exchanges that’ll Spice Up Any Event

Types of Gift Exchanges that’ll Spice Up Any Event

This summer, we hosted a BBQ, and the invitation said we were going to do a gift exchange. A friend texted to ask what the occasion was, and I had to explain that there wasn’t an occasion. It was just that 1) people like getting gifts, and 2) gift exchanges are fun.  Those, to me, are universal truths. You don’t need it to be a holiday to have a gift exchange, and no matter what kind of event you’re having,…

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7 Virtual Christmas Games for Remote Office Parties

7 Virtual Christmas Games for Remote Office Parties

I’ve worked two remote jobs. One was pretty isolated. There were emails and some video meetings, but I was pretty much on an island. I honestly can’t remember the names of the people I “worked” with. Needless to say, my motivation was not particularly high.  The other one? Constant chatting. Lots of video meetings. Regular check-ins. Weekly Fun Friday questions to get to know each other. I made life-lasting friendships there, even with people I’ve only met once or twice…

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5 Tips for a Gift Exchange with an Odd Number of People

5 Tips for a Gift Exchange with an Odd Number of People

There’s nothing wrong with being odd.  For whatever reason, we tend to think “odd” numbers are, well, off. Even numbers are solid and divide easily. They have a graceful symmetry. Odd numbers? They’re weird and quirky. It’s right there in the name! I don’t know about you, though, but I like things being odd. It makes life more interesting. Odd numbers can be like Alice in Wonderland, taking you to weird and fun places.  And contrary to popular belief, having…

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Online Artisan Community Connects on Elfster to Share Unique Pottery Gifts

Online Artisan Community Connects on Elfster to Share Unique Pottery Gifts

By its very definition, generosity is an act of unselfish giving—and offering one’s own talent, time, and creativity to a new friend you’ve just met is a beautiful example of selflessness. Recently, a group of more than 50 potters from many corners of the globe got down and dirty for a Secret Santa gift exchange. They used the Elfster website to help them share amazing and unique ceramic art created with their own two hands. Creative Hands Reach Out To…

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