Three weeks prior to the party each guest received an invitation with the following instructions:
- Please bring a new and unwrapped gift that you wish to show off and pawn to a new owner.
- Gifts will be displayed under the tree and at 9pm, our "surprise auctioneer" will begin the live bidding wars.
- Bids start at a loonie (so remember to hit that piggy bank and bring your change)!
- At the end, hopefully everyone goes home happy with something they actually want. And if not, you can re-regift it to your family plus feel good that 100% of proceeds from the auction will be donated to purchasing “Gifts of Hope” via Plan Canada.
Twenty five peeps attended and we had all sorts of gifts. Ranging from the quite cool and practical like the hands-free soap dispenser (hope my Aunt isn't reading this!), a mini coffee maker, board games and wine to others, that we wonder if they were just rotated around family members, re-wrapped and re-gifted. Among some of the more questionable and funny items were a vintage bike horn, a random green apple candle and a yellow ceramic frog with a mouthful of bath salts!
The bidding paddles were made out of humourous pictures of pigs, chicks and goats to remind people of the cause they were supporting.
At the end everyone had a blast and all re-gifts were re-gifted to new owners (hopefully I wouldn't get any of those things back next Christmas)! We ended up raising $250 - enough to purchase a goat, pig, three baby chicks and some mango trees which will be given to underdeveloped countries. Thanks to all my friends who attended and supported this great cause!
To learn more about Gifts of Hope, visit the Plan Canada website.