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Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange

A large part of what makes the holidays fun (and stressful, might we add) are the parties and the goodies. Christmas calories don’t count, right?

What if you could attend a holiday party with your friends and bring home treats to enjoy throughout the season? Wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds? Hosting a holiday cookie exchange is a great way to gather all your friends in a comfortable environment (no need to drag out the cocktail dress) ,and everyone gets to take home at least a dozen delicious Christmas cookies! 

Here are a few tips on pulling off a fantastic cookie/treat exchange: 

The Invitations 

Start by creating your guest list. Consider your closest friends, co-workers, church group or make it a “mom’s day out”! For this type of party, 8-10 guests is great, because everyone will bring two dozen cookies (a dozen for sampling and a dozen for each person to take at least one cookie home). For invitations, you can ask an artsy friend to design them for you, purchase at a local print shop or find a cute card online. Just allot at least two to three weeks for your guests to receive the invitation in the mail. Short on time? Send out an email invitation to your guests.  

The Recipes

As far as the cookie recipe, it’s really up to you and your guests! On the invitation, encourage your friends to bring the recipe to share with everyone in case they fall in love, or you can ask your guests to bring one copy of the recipe and provide index or recipe cards for everyone to write down their favorites. For another twist, open up the party for Christmas “treats” as well. That way, you’ll get Aunt Fanny’s Fudge, Grandma’s Divinity and Oreo Snowballs. Also, something to consider is how well the treats will store or travel home. It’s best to keep the dainty and crumbly cookies for the tea parties. 

The Display

Don’t feel like you have to label every goodie that comes through your door, but it may be beneficial to mark anything that has ingredients that affect common food allergies like nuts or gluten. Also, let guests know if you are providing hors d’oeuvres or any other food items at the party. Adding in a salty snack and punch, or other festive holiday drinks, would complement the sweetness of all those treats. Provide a table for your friends to place their cookies, and have extra platters on hand to create a beautiful treat table. 

The Packaging  

 As party host, it would be beneficial to provide packaging for your guests to take home their goodies. Usually around Christmas, plastic storage containers are available in festive holiday colors. You could also use red or green cellophane or storage bags … any container that will make it easy for your friends to travel home with their treats. 

See Also

The Activities

The great thing about cookie exchanges is the entertainment can’t be beat: taking home lots of yummy Christmas sweets! A few suggestions to add even more spice to the party are to offer prizes, such as jars of cookie or brownie mixes, or pair your party with a white elephant gift or ornament exchange. Your friends will just enjoy gathering together over the holidays and enjoying great fellowship and festive foods, so crank up the Christmas music and have a great time! 

With these steps and your own imagination, we’re sure you can host a memorably sweet holiday tradition!

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