Ornament Exchanges: A Complete Guide + 15 Creative Ideas

What is ornament exchanges + 15 Ideas for Your Ornament Exchange

An ornament exchange is a festive tradition where individuals gather to swap decorative ornaments with each other, typically during the holiday season. The concept is simple yet heartwarming. The participants bring a unique ornament to the event and exchange it with another attendee’s ornament during the party. This fun activity promotes a sense of connection and togetherness, which is the essence of Christmas and the holiday season.

Ornament exchanges can occur in various settings, including family gatherings, office parties, friend’s get-togethers, and community events. The ornaments exchanged can be store-bought, handmade, or something that reflects the giver’s personality and emotion. The ornaments exchanged often reflect the theme of the gathering to add extra fun, excitement, and creativity to the event.

If you plan to host the ornament exchange party at your place this year, you’ll surely get some fresh inspiration right here!

Ornament Exchange Themes and Ideas 

1. Get Cosy with Winter Wonderland Ornaments

Get Cosy with Winter Wonderland Ornaments

Are you ready to sprinkle a bit of winter magic into your ornament exchange party? Icy blues, shimmering silvers, glitzy goldens, and serene whites- that’s pretty much the color palette you’d want to go for a winter wonderland-inspired theme for the ornament exchanges. Think cute snowflakes that sparkle like stars, dainty and snuggle-worthy mittens. This theme is all about capturing the frosty charm of the season.

Imagine exciting ornaments that take everyone on a mini journey through a snowy landscape. Its like sharing a piece that represents winter and the essence of the holidays with your loved ones. You can ask the participants to get these winter wonderland-themed ornaments to celebrate the season’s magic with every twinkling ornament exchange. Let’s make this holiday unforgettable with a touch of snowy wonder!

2. Rustic Charm

Rustic Charm

Ready to add a touch of coziness to your ornament exchange party? This theme is all about bringing in that warm and comfy feel. Imagine ornaments that bring the beauty of nature indoors. Think wooden wonders and earthy tones that make you want to curl up by the fireplace. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a shopping pro, this theme is all about embracing the simple joys.

Picture exchanging ornaments that could have been plucked right from a rustic and cozy cabin in the woods. So gather around with your loved ones, swap stories, and exchange ornaments that capture the heart of rustic living. Its like sharing a piece of that peaceful countryside living with each other. From handmade treasures to store-bought gems, these ornaments will add a cozy touch to your holiday decor and make your ornaments exchange events a memory to cherish.

3. Vintage-Inspired Ornaments

Vintage-Inspired Ornaments

Think of vintage-inspired ornaments like delicate glass baubles, retro Santas, and a hint of old-world charm. Whether you’re strolling through antique shops or putting on your crafting apron, this theme is all about celebrating the grace of vintage elegance. Imagine exchanging ornaments that tell stories and serve as little treasures that spark nostalgia, reminding us of the magical holidays.

Gather your friends and family and let the magic unfold as you exchange ornaments that reflect a sense of history and tradition. Its like sharing a piece of the past while making memories for the future. So, prepare for a holiday celebration that is adorned with a touch of vintage magic with this theme for your ornaments exchange.

4. Travel Themed Ornaments

Travel Themed Ornaments

Are you ready to take your ornament exchange party on a journey worldwide? This travel-inspired theme brings the excitement of exploration right to your holiday gathering. Imagine ornaments that capture the spirit of your favorite destinations, from tropical paradises to bustling cities. This theme is all about celebrating the beauty of different cultures and places. Imagine exchanging ornaments that hold the essence of adventure, serving as a little token of wanderlust!

As you gather with friends and family, this travel-inspired theme unfolds like a map of memories. From miniature Eiffel towers to palm tree ornaments, these treasures ignite conversations about far-off lands and cherished travel moments. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to exchange ornaments that capture the magic of travel and exploration. With every ornament, you’re not just sharing a decoration, but you are sharing the love of adventure.

5. Bling It on With Gold

Bling It on With Gold

Say hello to the dazzling golden-themed ornament exchange party! This is all about bringing a luxurious sparkle to your holiday festivities. Imagine ornaments that shine like pure gold, catching every hint of light and filling the room with a warm glow. Think of exchanging elegant ornaments, from golden bells to gilded angels. Gather your friends and family and set the stage for an evening of glamour. These ornaments are more than just decorations; they are little tokens of joy that light up the season.

So, get ready to exchange ornaments that bring a touch of glimmer to your holiday celebrations. With every golden ornament, you make the event shine brighter than ever!

6. Food Inspired Ornaments

Food Inspired Ornaments

It is all about ornaments that look good enough to eat, right from adorable cupcakes, donuts, gingerbread cookies to tiny teapots. Its all about reflecting that culinary charm. This theme is your chance to celebrate the joy of good food.

Imagine exchanging ornaments that capture the essence of your favorite dishes: a pizza slice, a cupcake with sprinkles, or even a glittering fruit bowl. As you gather around with your fellow food enthusiasts, this theme becomes a celebration of food and creativity. These ornaments are not just decorations; they are rather those little tokens of happiness that a good meal brings. With every food-inspired ornament, you are adding a dash of flavor and fun to your festivities.

7. Ocean Breeze

Ocean Breeze

Get ready to bring the soothing vibes of the sea to your ornament exchange party. This theme is all about capturing the essence of the beach. Think of ornaments that transport you to the sea waves, seashells, starfish, and tiny surfboards. This amazing theme is all about celebrating the beauty of beach life. Think of exchanging ornaments that hold a piece of the salty breeze, like a seashell wreath, a flip-flop, or even a mini beach chair.

As you celebrate with your fellow beach lovers, this theme becomes a celebration of relaxation. These ornaments are more than decorations as they serve as little tokens of peaceful moments spent by the waves. So get ready to exchange ornaments and add a touch of coastal charm to your holiday gathering.

8. Childhood Toys

Childhood Toys

Ready to take a trip down memory lane at your ornament exchange? This theme brings the joy of your favorite toys to your holiday celebrations. Imagine ornaments transporting you to the playful childhood days, from mini teddy bears to toy soldiers. Imagine exchanging ornaments inspired by toys holding a special place in your heart, like a tiny doll, a classic train, or even a mini race car.

These ornaments are the tickets to share the laughter, adventures, and imagination of your childhood playtimes. So, prepare to exchange ornaments that strike a sense of nostalgia and add a sprinkle of childhood wonder to your holiday gathering.

9. Photo Memories

Photo Memories

Turn your ornament exchange party into a gallery of cherished moments. This theme presents a heartwarming idea that brings your precious memories to life. You will be celebrating this with your friends and families. So you could get a mini photo frame with a group photo or any image that holds a precious memory for you and your loved ones. You could choose not to add any image so it caters to the personalized choice of the receiver.

So, prepare to exchange these ornaments that make your holiday gathering a celebration of love, laughter, and cherished moments.

10. Handwritten Notes

Handwritten Notes

Add a personal touch to your ornaments with handwritten notes and messages. This is a wonderful idea to infuse your ornaments with the magic of heartfelt words. These ornaments are not just decorations but tiny notes filled with warm wishes, laughter, and emotions. Imagine exchanging ornaments that carry messages of love, hope, and joy to serve as an expression of your feelings.

As you gather with your loved ones, this theme becomes a journey through shared emotions. So, get ready to exchange ornaments that make your holiday gathering a celebration of personal connections and genuine warmth.

11. Fairy Garden

Fairy Garden

Let’s get ready to sprinkle a bit of magic into your ornament exchange celebration. This delightful idea brings the charm of fairy tales to life. Imagine ornaments that take you through a journey of a miniature world, including twinkling lights, tiny mushrooms, and adorable fairies. This idea is all about exchanging ornaments that capture the essence of a fairy garden. This can include a tiny birdhouse or a dainty fairy figurine.

With every fairy-garden-inspired ornament, you are adding a sprinkle of magic and turning your celebration into an enchanting adventure.

12. Nature Inspired Ornaments

Nature Inspired Ornaments

Get ready to bring the outdoors indoors for your ornament exchange party. Say hello to the beauty of the natural world in your holiday celebrations. These ornaments aren’t just decorations but tiny tributes to the wonders of the earth. Imagine exchanging ornaments that capture the essence of the woods. Think pinecones, twigs, leaves, and perhaps even a mini bird’s nest. These ornaments are like little tokens of serenity that nature brings.

So, get ready to exchange ornaments that add a touch of forest charm to your festivities and make your celebration a breath of fresh air. With every nature-inspired ornament, turn your party into a reminder of the beauty surrounding us and invite the outdoors in! These ornaments could be handmade or store-bought. The only idea is to have them in a nature-inspired theme.

13. Disney Inspired Ornaments

Disney Inspired Ornaments

Calling all Disney lovers and holiday enthusiasts! Are you ready to sprinkle some of that Disney magic onto your ornament exchange? Imagine ornaments featuring classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. These beloved figures will bring smiles and nostalgia to your exchange. Bring in the elegance of Disney princesses with ornaments inspired by Cinderella’s glass slipper or Ariel’s seashells.

Capture the essence of magic with miniatures featuring iconic Disney castles. Bring the toys to life with ornaments showcasing Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the whole Toy Story gang. These ornaments will take your holiday celebration to the next level. For the kids and the OG Disney fans, this idea will surely be a hit!

14. DIY Fun


Get ready to add a personal touch to your ornament exchange party with the magic of DIY ornaments. Its time to roll up your sleeves and let your imagination run wild. Grab the essentials that you need, from glitter, glue, beads, popsicle sticks, and craft supplies. This theme is all about using your creativity to uplift the Holiday cheer and make something artsy. It is all about putting your heart into homemade treasures to share a piece of your hard work, effort, and creativity.

Each ornament becomes a tiny masterpiece that narrates a story of its own. As you gather with friends and family, the DIY spirit infuses your party with warmth. These ornaments reflect the effort and care you’ve put in to make them. With every DIY ornament, you are making your holiday gathering a true celebration of creativity and connection. Let’s craft memories that shine as bright as our DIY ornaments.

15. Fur Buddies

Fur Buddies

Its time to celebrate the four-legged members of our families with adorable pet-themed ornaments. These ornaments are a tribute to the unconditional love and joy our pets bring into our lives. Imagine ornaments shaped like cute paws. Craft ornaments that resemble dog bones, cat nap spots, and other beloved pet accessories. Miniature versions of pet collars adorned with their names or little charms add an extra touch of cuteness. Personalize ornaments with heartwarming quotes that capture the special bond between humans and their beloved pets.

Ornament Exchange Games for A Fun Vibe

1. Gift Swap Game/White Elephant Exchange

Gift Swap Game:White Elephant Exchange

Assign a number to each participant in this game, and each person gets to choose the gift from the central pile as per the sequence. But the twist here is that each subsequent person can choose to swap the gift/ornament from someone who has already picked up the gift or can choose to take another one from the pile. That is why if you are hosting the ornament exchange at your place, keep a handful of ornaments extra if you are planning to include this game.

2. Its Quiz Time

Its Quiz Time

Attach some common questions related to holiday or ornament themes to each ornament. When the recipient picks up the wrapped ornament gift, they must answer the question to keep it. So, let them guess and add some fun to this ornament exchange game.

3. Pass the Parcel

Pass the Parcel

Let all the participants sit in a circle or a line and play some nice Holiday music, that is, of course, some cheery Christmas songs. Let the participants hold one gift and pass it to the next person until the music stops. The person who is holding the gift when the music stops has to unwrap the gift, and it becomes theirs, and they then leave the game. In this way, every person gets the gift until the end of the game.

Wrapping It Up

Ornament exchanges are a way to spark connections, celebrate the holidays, and create cherished memories. Exchanging ornaments that carry personal significance uplifts the Holiday cheer. With every ornament swapped, you are not just exchanging decorations, but you’re sharing laughter, love, and the spirit of the season.

Whether its through games, handmade wonders, or a themed ornament exchange party, these ideas will make your gatherings truly extraordinary.

So, let’s celebrate, exchange, and cherish the holidays in a way that’s as unique as each snowflake!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *