One woman's junk is another woman's treasure, and our little community of beach babes proves that every year with our annual swap party. Oh, the treasures! Purses, home decor, dishes (including a cute little fish-shaped serving platter), barbecue equipment, storage bins, candles, clothes. Something for everyone.
And for little Sheila? Two camp chairs, which will come in handy at the new place we're building. The lot already has a fire pit and I'm envisioning hot dog roasts a plenty. I also scored a brand new yoga mat which will come in handy when I try to do floor exercises on my concrete condo floor. I'm going to try some beginner yoga, too, and see if I can master downward dog. Or is it upward dog? Downward spiral? Anyway, I'm going to be working hard to stay fit this winter and that will help.
Of course, there was much nail biting in suspense as we waited to see who'd won what, and much shrieking and elation every time someone won a coveted item. And a little mock jealousy afterward (as you can see by the picture below), much of which was fueled by wine. But there was plenty of salmon dip and crackers, chocolate, and other goodies with which to console ourselves.
So, how does one run a swap party? Well, there are many different ways. My gang from the old neighborhood just brought things and we took turns picking what appealed to us. The beach babes have their own system. Everyone receives a certain number of poker chips with her name or initials on them. Then we go around and "shop" putting a chip on each item that appeals to us. If we really want an item we might blow all our chips that one thing. If only one person's chip is on an item then it's hers. If more than one woman has laid down a chip, they all go in a dish and our hostess has someone draw the winning chip from it.
Any leftover items get donated to local charities. At the beach we have a committee happy to take our goods for their yearly garage sale which raises money for the Woof-a-thon - a benefit for the town's pets. And if that doesn't work out, there's the thrift store run by the food bank. All proceeds from that go toward helping people with financial needs. So this is truly a win-win-win party.
How about you? Got some decorations you've grown tired of? Have you outgrown that oh, so cool top? Maybe it's time to host a swap party of your own. Christmas is coming. You might get just what you've been wanting. And you won't even have to ask Santa for it!