Fun Christmas Party Ideas: Cookie Exchange

Christmas cookie exchange partyA Christmas cookie exchange is one of those fun Christmas party ideas that puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Hmmm, could it be because you leave with dozens of cookies to eat and lots of new recipes to try?

I have to admit, I had an ulterior motive to hosting my first Cookie Exchange. I like baking cookies, but don’t have the patience to bake more than one or two varieties. Hosting a cookie exchange would guarantee me lots of different kinds of cookies, and enough to last through the holidays!

The idea is pretty simple. You invite friends and ask them to bring cookies. Lots of cookies. Enough cookies to give half a dozen or a dozen to everyone attending. As the hostess, you get to set the rules (number of guests, amount of cookies to bring, how to package them, etc.) and you should communicate this information in your Christmas party invitations.

There are different ways to do it, but I invited eight guests, and asked each guest to bring eight-dozen cookies, all the same kind. It sounds like a lot, but most of my guests agreed that it was a lot easier to double or triple a single recipe than to make dozens of different kinds. Adding to the fun, I also asked each guest to create a recipe card for the cookies they made, and to bring enough copies for each guest to take home.

My guests arrived with large boxes and trays of cookies, and we set them all around my table. I provided each guest with an empty holiday cookie tin and wax paper for layering. (Lined boxes or plastic containers would also work.) We shared wine, hors d’oeuvres, and funny cookie-baking stories, but the highlight of the evening was parading around the table, filling up our cookie tins.

I expected the Christmas spirit, but was surprised by the feeling of sisterhood that developed. It felt like an old-fashioned quilting bee, where the women of the village join forces to create something we could never have done on our own. Everyone went home happy, with eight different kinds of cookies, a tin to keep them fresh, and recipes to try next year—in short, a very successful, very satisfying party.

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Cookie Exchange Parties

When we were discussing our 2009 collection of Christmas party invitations we all tried to think of parties we attend during the holidays or certain things that just ‘happen’ because it’s the holiday season. One of the events we talked about was Cookie Exchange ‘parties’. This year will be my second year attending such an event and I’m super excited. I’m unfortunately not hosting, otherwise I would of course send this adorable cookie exchange party invitation out to all of my girlfriends. But that’s beside the point, but it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention it, right? J

Sweet Treats -- Christmas Party Invitation

My sister-in-law is the one that started the fun last year and coordinated what type of cookie everyone would be making so there wouldn’t be any duplicates. A cookie exchange party idea was to have your dough ready or have some of the prep work completed prior to the party. Then the day of the exchange we baked. And baked. And baked. We then all were able to leave with 12 or so (however many people were there) different plates of cookies to take home. Love, love, love this. Because I don’t bake. And I learned many of my friends were AMAZING bakers which in turn made my plate of holiday cookies that I would bring to my other holiday parties look really, really good.

So, the date for this year’s exchange is set for a Friday night in December. However the rules have changed just a bit. We’re supposed to come with our cookies pre-baked, packaged (I’ll be adhering this adorable Christmas gift tag to my plates of cookies) and ready to go and prepared to spend the evening with some good wine and of course great company. I’m liking this year’s plan a lot.

Sweet Treats --Christmas Gift Tag

I’d love to hear about your cookie exchange party plans and also which cookie you bring (and the recipe, but only if it’s easy!)

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