A few Christmases ago, two of my best girl friends and I started doing a Christmas dishes exchange for our presents. It's the best!
Here's how it works: in early December, as we each get out our Christmas decorations, we take stock of the dishes we have so far and let each other know what we still need in our collections. We each spend about $30 per person (so I spend about $60 total) to buy a few plates, bowls, or mugs. It'll take several years to build a full collection but that's the point!
One of my friends is collecting the cute Pottery Barn reindeer dishes; the other is building a snowman dishes collection. I've been going a la carte with reindeer dishes from Crate and Barrel and tangled light plates from West Elm. This year there weren't any Christmas dishes that really caught my eye so I asked for some merry dish towels like this and this.
I love using my Christmas dishes throughout the holidays; they remind me of my dear friends who I see much too infrequently (hint, hint) and make even just a piece of toast seem festive!