How To Host Ornament Exchange? - Unifury

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

How To Host Ornament Exchange?


The ornament exchange is a festive gathering where each participant brings a specially chosen ornament to swap with others. The goal is to end up with a new and diverse collection of ornaments that reflect the personal tastes and styles of the participants. 

By exchanging ornaments, you not only bring home a beautiful decoration but also a piece of someone else's holiday spirit.

When celebrating an ornament exchange, you can suggest that participants bring personalized ornaments, such as ones with their names or family photos. 

Alternatively, you could encourage funny or unique ornaments to spark conversation and laughter. Some may even enjoy seeking rare or weird Christmas ornaments to surprise and delight their fellow participants.

To make the ornament exchange even more enjoyable, there are a lot of ornament exchange ideas, from traditional, random methods to more creative ones like poetry, swapping, and stealing.

In this guide, we will explore the ins and outs of hosting an ornament exchange. Let’s find out!

The Traditional Way

The most traditional way to host an ornament gift exchange is to treat it like a normal Secret Santa. Each participant receives a random person for whom they will select and purchase or create an ornament. 

How To Host 

You can use a random drawing or a predetermined order to assign each participant a secret recipient. This adds an element of anticipation and surprise to the exchange. The best part is that nobody knows who has their name.

After that, gather all participants and begin the ornament exchange. Each person presents their wrapped ornament to their assigned recipient. Encourage participants to share the story behind their chosen ornament, adding a personal touch to the exchange.


  • Consider incorporating a festive ambiance with holiday music, decorations, and refreshments to create a warm and inviting atmosphere during the exchange.

  • Encourage participants to write a heartfelt note or message to accompany their ornament, adding a layer of thoughtfulness and sentiment.

The Random Way

Hosting an ornament exchange in a random way adds an element of surprise and excitement to the traditional holiday tradition. Instead of assigning specific recipients, participants randomly select ornaments, creating a sense of anticipation and unpredictability. 

How To Host 

Participants in this activity will bring homemade decorations to trade with one another. You can arrange them on a table and number them after that. One by one, the guests will draw numbers from a hat to determine the gifts they get. 

You never know which one you'll receive, which makes this a lot of fun. All visitors may see the ornaments up front if you want to show them, or you can wrap them to add suspense when they draw their names. 


The random ornament exchange brings a sense of excitement, surprise, and anticipation as participants eagerly select or steal ornaments. It fosters a feeling of camaraderie and shared enjoyment as everyone experiences the unexpected.

Consider incorporating a theme or specific category for the ornaments, such as handmade, vintage, or personalized, to add an extra element of creativity and intrigue.

Picking From A Tree

An ornament exchange by picking from a tree involves participants selecting ornaments directly from a designated tree. They can either pre-wrap or unwrap the ornaments, depending on the preferred level of surprise. The goal is to create an interactive experience where participants can choose ornaments that catch their eye.

How To Host 

When guests come to the celebration, they will put their handmade ornaments on the tree. Then, all the guests can look over the handmade ornaments on display and choose one to take home and display on their trees. 

It's great fun; everyone gets and takes home an ornament they selected. However, keep in mind that this approach has the potential to stimulate healthy competitiveness.


In this method, participants can select ornaments directly from a beautifully decorated tree, creating a sense of anticipation and discovery. It fosters a feeling of personal connection and engagement as each person chooses an ornament that captures their attention.

However, you should ensure the tree is well-lit and visually appealing to create an inviting atmosphere that encourages participants to explore and select ornaments.

Ornament Exchange Poem

An ornament exchange by using an ornament exchange poem involves participants following a designated poem that outlines the process of selecting and exchanging ornaments. 

The poem typically includes instructions on how to swap ornaments, often incorporating elements of surprise and excitement. The goal is to create a memorable and engaging experience for all involved.

How To Host 

Collect everyone together and give them each a copy of the poem for the ornament swap. Read the poem aloud or distribute it to each person. 

In this ornament exchange, players take turns reading a poem and choosing and trading decorations. Invite everyone to get into the poem's atmosphere and take pleasure in the unexpected turns it takes.


The ornament exchange using an ornament exchange poem brings a sense of anticipation, excitement, and laughter as participants follow the poem's cues and engage in the exchange process. It fosters a feeling of camaraderie and shared enjoyment as everyone experiences the surprises and interactions guided by the poem.

Swap And Steal

Using this approach will make the traditional method of exchanging ornaments a lot more enjoyable. In addition, it is the ideal game for a holiday get-together.

How To Host 

The guests wrap their handmade ornaments and arrange them in a row on the table. It's important to put the ornaments in a random order. After assigning each visitor a number, the first person in line opens the first ornament.

After doing so, they may either hold the ornament they've just unwrapped or go on to the next one in the row. There is a one-time limit on ornament exchanges.

The next person in line has the option of taking the previously opened ornament, opening a new one, or stealing an ornament from the person in front of them. It's essential to keep doing this until each visitor receives an ornament.

Remember that each player may only take from the person who went before them. If they choose to open an ornament, they must open the one that comes after their own. After a player leaves, any leftover ornaments are fair game for the incoming player to keep or reject as they see fit. 


The ornament exchange by swap and steal can evoke various emotions, including excitement, anticipation, and laughter. However, it’s better to remind participants to be mindful of each other's feelings and to keep the game light-hearted and fun.

What are ornament exchange party ideas?

An ornament exchange party is a delightful way to celebrate the festive season with friends and family. Here are some ornament exchange ideas to make your gathering even more memorable:

  • Have a Theme:Instead of a generic ornament exchange, introduce a theme. It could be based on colors, Christmas movies, or even specific materials like wood or glass. This adds a layer of excitement as participants hunt for the perfect ornament that fits the theme.
  • Play a Christmas Trivia Game:Engage your guests with a Christmas trivia game. Not only does it serve as a fun activity, but winners could perhaps get the first pick in the ornament exchange or a special bonus ornament.
  • DIY Ornaments: Instead of buying ornaments, encourage guests to craft their own. Provide basic supplies and let everyone's creativity shine. This adds a personal touch to the exchange, and each ornament becomes a unique keepsake.
  • Together is a beautiful place to be this season: Remember, the essence of the ornament exchange party is togetherness. Ensure there's a cozy atmosphere, perhaps with soft Christmas music in the background and warm drinks on hand. Celebrate the joy of being together during this special time of year."

How To Prepare For Ornament Exchange?

Set The Date. And Create A Guest List.

  • Determine a suitable date and time: Choose a convenient date for most guests. Choose a time when people are more likely to be available, such as the weekend or evening. Check for any conflicting events or holidays that may affect attendance.

  • Create a guest list: Make a list of people you want to invite to the ornament exchange. Consider friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues who would enjoy participating. Make sure to keep the number of guests manageable for a successful event.

Send Out Invitations

Once you have finalized the date and guest list, send invitations to your guests. You can use traditional paper invitations, email invitations, or even create an event on social media platforms. 

Provide all the necessary details, such as the date, time, location, and any specific instructions or themes for the ornament exchange.

Remind Everyone To Bring A Wrapped Ornament

Set up a group chat or email thread specifically for the ornament exchange participants. This will serve as a convenient platform to communicate and send reminders. In the group chat/email, remind everyone about the requirement to bring a wrapped ornament and emphasize its importance for the event.

In your reminders, provide clear instructions on what kind of ornament participants should bring. For example, specify the theme (if any), size limitations, and any other specific details you want to include. This will help everyone choose an appropriate ornament and avoid any confusion.

You can send these reminders a week before, a few days before, and the day before the event. 

Decorate Your Home Before The Party

When preparing for an ornament exchange party, follow these steps:

  • Decide on a theme and color: Choose a theme, such as traditional, modern, or rustic, for your exchange party. Besides, pick a color scheme that complements your theme and the holiday season. 

  • Focus on key areas: Concentrate your decorations in places where guests will spend most of their time, such as the entryway, living room, and dining area, to make a big impact.

  • Use festive lighting: Lighting creates a warm and inviting ambiance. Consider stringing fairy lights or using candles to create a soft and cozy atmosphere. You can also use LED candles for safety purposes.

  • Add festive touches: Don't forget to include small festive touches throughout your home. Hang stockings on the mantel, place a wreath on the front door, or add holiday-themed artwork or prints to the walls. These small details can make a big difference in creating a festive atmosphere.

Prepare Some Good Food And Drink 

Preparing good food and drinks for an ornament exchange party can enhance the overall experience for your guests. You should offer a variety of dishes to cater to different tastes and dietary needs. 

Host The Ornament Exchange

When guests arrive, welcome them and guide them to the designated area for the ornament exchange. 

Explain any rules or guidelines for the exchange, such as how the exchange works (e.g., drawing numbers, swapping with a chosen partner, etc.).

Don't Forget To Take Photo

Throughout the event, remember to capture the special moments by taking photos. Document the exchange, the displayed ornaments, and the joyous atmosphere. These photos can serve as lasting memories and you can share them with your guests afterward.

How To Choose Surprising Christmas Ornaments For Ornament Exchange?

Choosing Christmas ornaments for an ornament exchange can be fun and creative. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect surprising ornaments:

  • Think outside the box: Look for unique ornaments that stand out from the traditional ones. Consider ornaments with unconventional shapes, colors, or materials. 

  • Personalize it: Look for ornaments that allow you to personalize. Personalization adds a special touch and makes the ornament more meaningful for the recipient.

  • Handmade or vintage: Consider handmade or vintage Christmas ornaments. These often have a unique and nostalgic charm.

  • Mix it up: Consider a mixture of traditional and unique Christmas tree ornaments. Combining classic and unexpected elements can create a surprising and visually appealing ornament collection.


In conclusion, organizing an ornament exchange is a fun activity that may strengthen bonds among loved ones. If you follow the advice in this manual, your event will go off without any issues, and everyone will have a good time. 

So go ahead, embrace the joy of the season, and host your own delightful ornament exchange!

Article Suggestions: 

👍 Christmas Ornament Definition: Exploring the Meaning and Significance in Holiday Decor.
👍 Discover Where to Buy Christmas Ornaments for Your Festive Tree.
👍 When Can You Take Christmas Decorations Up? A Guide to before-Holiday Traditions.
Unifury Support

Unifury Support | View all blog posts

Unifury is here to help cherish and share special memories in life with those you love, no matter where you are in the world. Having been part of so many families' milestones and celebrations, we offer a wide range of interesting, creative, thoughtful gifts and ideas, and fresh gift-giving inspiration to make every moment count.

Share this post

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.