The holidays are full of parties, get togethers, and pot lucks. It’s so hard to find the time to attend everything, let alone do the cooking and baking. Hosting a Christmas cookie exchange is a great way to combine seeing friends while getting some of that holiday baking done.
Pick a Date and Time
Don’t stress too much over this. Remember that it’s the holidays. There won’t be a good day for everyone. Time of the day is important too. You can have people over in the evening for some wine and cookies or in the afternoon with some snacks and punch. Look at your schedule to see what works best for you. Sometimes it’s easier for me to have people over first thing in the morning to get it out of the way. Other times it’s easier to do it later in the day so I’ve got the day to clean and get ready for guests to come over.
Invite Your Friends
Print out these Christmas cookie exchange invitations and give them to your friends. Setting up a Facebook event is a good reminder too. Having a paper in hand seems to help me remember (before the last minute) so I try to do paper invites too. When you’re giving out invites, make sure it’s far enough in advance for people to have time to bake the cookies they’ll be bringing.
These invitations ask each guest to bring three dozen cookies to your event. If you need to switch it up and have them bring more, just make a change to the invitations or let them know when you’re inviting them. I’ve done cookie swaps where you bring a dozen cookies for each person attending (these are smaller swaps so you’re not making thousands of cookies). You can also do a swap where each guest’s cookies are on a plate and the guests take a predetermined number of cookies from each plate. Guests can swap with each other if there’s a kind they’d rather have. Guests can also bring their cookies in small zip top or cellophane bags for the other guests.
For guests who aren’t the best bakers, decide if you’ll allow cookies purchased from a local bakery or store bought cookies. Make sure your guests know about this. I’ve had guests come to enjoy the party without bringing cookies. They just don’t take cookies home because baking isn’t their thing.
Share the Recipe
Have guests bring the recipes for their cookies to the Christmas cookie exchange. This way when your guests get home, they can make more of the cookies they love. Make sure they bring enough copies for everyone attending to be able to take home a copy. You can print out these Christmas cookie exchange recipe cards and give them out with the invitations. I’ve asked guests to let me know what cookies they plan to make when RSVPing for the party to make sure we don’t have a bunch of the same type of cookies.
Swap Those Cookies
Have a designated spot for the exchange cookies when guests arrive. It could be trays on the table from the dollar store or guests can bring their own trays. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Everyone’s going to be looking at the cookies so don’t stress over the set up.
Think about how your guests are going to be taking their cookies home too. Ask guests to bring zip top bags or buy a box and put them out on the table with the cookies to swap. You could also pick up trays or tins from the dollar store for everyone to take their cookies home in.
Christmas Cookie Exchange Twists
Having your cookie exchange early in the season? Inviting people who already love to bake? Ask your guests to bring their cookie dough instead of baking the cookies. That way everyone can take the dough and freeze it to make cookies when they need them during the holiday season.
You can also let your guests know that you’ll be voting on the cookies brought to the cookie swap. These Christmas cookie exchange voting slips will help your guests vote on different categories. You can print off these Christmas cookie exchange certificates to give the winners.
Have you ever been to or hosted a Christmas cookie exchange? Leave a comment and tell us about it.