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"Swap Not Shop" Party Ideas

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A thrifty and fun way to give gifts is to swap items that you already have. This is a guide about "swap not shop" party ideas.
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December 8, 2010

Swapping is better than Shopping! Instead of trying to work out how much you can get away with spending this Christmas, why not get friends, neighbors, and family organized and hold a pre-Christmas "Swap not Shop" event. It is fun, will help clear clutter from you house, and most importantly, can save some serious cash!

It is so hard to think of way to spend LESS money in the run up to Christmas, even if you have less cash than ever before. For some of us, however, fusing a common sense approach and living for the future rather than in the moment, spending less cash this festive season could mean the start on the road to financial recovery. We all have so much "stuff" around and amongst all the clutter we can all find items that we no longer want or need that we would be happy to swap for something we do! Unwanted gifts, craft items, and children's toys in good condition are likely to find willing hands to take and reuse them.

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So many of us have the skills to take simple ingredients and turn them into delicious or attractive festive items that others would also be happy to exchange for their own (often brand new) unwanted items, so a "Swap not Shop" event is bound to be a success!

So what do you need to hold a Christmas "Swap not Shop" event?

It is really important that people taking part understand that they have to approach the act of bartering with open minds and kindness in their hearts. Whilst they will obviously have some idea of the value of the items they are taking to barter, the spirit of the event is to make sure that everyone taking part leaves with things that are useful and desirable to them. This could be a chance for people to fill their kid's Christmas stockings and a chance for you to stock your Christmas cupboards with goodies you just don't have the time or skill to make yourself.
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The event operates by those taking part setting out their stalls. Once items are on display they then just need to have a wander about and look at what others have on offer. At this point people are often a little shy because they are understandably reluctant to make an offer for a barter that might be viewed as insulting or risible, but suddenly someone who has seen something they would really like will take the plunge and the event will be off and running and soon everyone will be taking part!

By the end of your Christmas "Swap not Shop" you will have a room of happy people, most of whom will have exchanged the things they brought with them for items that will help them get one step closer the cashless Christmas we all wish we could have.

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December 1, 2015

My yoga studio set up a jewelry swap in November for costume jewelry. You put your contributions in a basket and can take out what you want. I got two very nice pairs of earrings and two bracelets. The picture shows a sample of what I received.

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This idea could work for toys, clothing, accessories, perfume, or anything else. What is one person's trash is truly another person's treasure!

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