Every December some friends and I get together for dinner and (lots of) wine and swap gifts in our version of the Yankee Swap tradition. It might just be my most favorite night of the year, bonding with my besties and reveling in the joy of the season. If you aren't in the habit of doing one of these, here's how it works: we all bring wrapped gifts (the max you can spend is supposed to be $100, but everyone always seems to spend slightly more). We each draw numbers to determine the order in which we open the presents. The person who draws #1 goes first and opens a gift from the pile. The person who draws #2 goes next and opens a present and has the choice of taking the one
opened by #1, or keeping the present she just opened. The person who draws #3 goes next and can either take #1's gift, or take #2's gift, and so on. After everyone has had a turn, player #1 can
swap gifts with any other player. Over the years, the swap has become more competitive, as we all want to give away something dazzling and highly coveted while still being able to claim that we have adhered (sort of) to the spending limit. This has required us to become super creative in sourcing high-impact, low-budget giftables. And, the resulting bounty is proof: this year's Yankee Swap, held earlier this week, included vintage Oscar de la Renta chandelier earrings, an Hermes horn cuff (that was definitely over $100!), a gorgeous, on-sale Serpui Marie ombre clutch (above), and a studded Valentino bracelet, pictured below, along with some of the other highlights:
P.S. I won the cashmere J.Crew snood above, and yours truly gave away the Clare Vivier snakeskin embossed clutch pictured above, which, not surprisingly(it's a gem), was appropriated and and then re-appropriated by more than a few of my fellow discerning Yankee swappers.