House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time.

Um, it's exactly what I wanted (not!)

Now that the stores are (finally) a little less crowded, it's time for the annual 'Return Run' (I'm going to copyright that). Growing up in Canada, I naively thought that the best time to do this was December 26th (Boxing Day), but I have quickly realized that in a world of growing customer service values and amazing inventory systems, there's no reason to rush and dive into a sea of frustrated shoppers and tired retail workers. Even though it's January, you still have time! The stores are ready for your unwanted gifts! Of course, there are other alternatives for what to do with unwanted presents. At House Party's Holiday Party, we did a White Elephant Gift Exchange. It's basically your standard gift-swapping game - you open, exchange and steal, er, I guess what you would call...gifts. Our gifting guidelines: new or used, less than $10, re-gifts welcome, and creativity and silliness encouraged. The star of our exchange was the "doggie gnome" -an elf-like dog statue (creepily wearing doggie slippers, too.) He was stolen a couple of times and was ultimately kidnapped by a team of mischievous co-workers. With a ransom. See for yourselves:

[box/] [/box]

Despite how much fun we had with the doggie gnome, my personal favorite gift from the White Elephant Gift Exchange was this glorious photo of fellow blogger Brian:

Did you receive anything you didn't want this year? Did you return it? Better yet - did you exchange it for something awesome? We'd love to hear all about it.

Throwing a successful House Party

Cooking with Sarah: Leftovers recipes!