‘Tis the season for festive parties and get-togethers! One of our favorite holiday traditions and a great family Christmas idea is hosting a Christmas cookie exchange party. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends, enjoy some holiday cheer, and of course, sample a variety of delicious Christmas cookies! If you’re thinking about hosting your own cookie exchange party this year, here are some tips to make it a success.
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How to Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party
Looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays with your friends? A cookie exchange party is the perfect solution! Not only will you get to enjoy an afternoon of cookies and holiday cheer, but you’ll also go home with a variety of different cookies to share with your family. Here’s everything you need to know about hosting a successful cookie exchange party.
Plan Your Guest List
When planning the guest list for your cookie exchange party, be sure to think about how many families you invite. Twelve is the magic number if you want to everyone to be able to bring only two dozen cookies. Remember, each family should have at least one of each type of cookie to take home. When thinking about who to invite, remember:
- New Neighbors
- New Church Members
- Older Couples Without Children
- Singles Without Family
Choose a Venue
When deciding where to host your Christmas cookie exchange party, consider the number of guests you will have. Make sure your space is large enough for everyone to move freely. Make sure you have tables large enough to accommodate large platters of cookies. You might also consider a place that will be decorated for Christmas if you are not hosting the party in your own home.
Choose a date and time and send out invitations.
When choosing a date for your cookie exchange party, be sure to pick a date close enough to the holidays for everyone to be feeling festive, but early enough to not get too close to Christmas. Also remember, that cookies can be enjoyed almost any time of day. You could even host your cookie exchange around a brunch. Give your guests plenty of notice so they can clear their schedules. You might also want to set a deadline for RSVPs so you can get an accurate headcount.
Include Specific Instructions
Some of your friends may never have been to a Christmas cookie exchange party. They may not even know what it is. When you send out your invitations, be sure to send out a letter with specific instructions about what each family is supposed to bring and how the cookie exchange will work.
How many cookies should each family bring?
Each family should bring one dozen cookies to share during the exchange party, plus an additional cookie for each family to take home in a box for the exchange. Ex. If you have 12 families attending, each family will bring two dozen cookies. Every person might not get to try every kind of cookie at the party, but each family will leave with at least one of each kind of cookie.
What about allergies?
Instruct each family to bring a cards with their cookie recipe printed on them. You will need one recipe card for the sharing platter for the party, one card for the exchange platter and one card for each family to take home.
How do we exchange the cookies?
You can conduct the actual exchange part of the party a couple of different ways. First you could allow a representative from each family to go through the line with a box to fill with one of each type of cookie. If you do that, just make sure you have some hand sanitizer or gloves available so the cookies are clean. If you would rather one person handle the cookies, you could designate a cookie packer to pack up a box for each family while some entertainment or games are provided.
How do you pack up the cookies?
To send cookies home with your guests, you can have your guests bring an extra platter or you can provide festive cookie boxes or even just basic covered to go containers to send the cookies home in.
What other food do you serve at a Christmas cookie exchange party?
In addition to an assortment of cookies, you’ll also need to provide some light refreshments for your guests. A few finger foods and some festive beverages should do the trick, maybe some other Christmas desserts for those who don’t like cookies! Maybe a hot cocoa bar? Don’t forget to account for any dietary restrictions when planning your menu. Gluten-free and vegan options are always a good idea. We like to keep things simple by setting up a self-serve buffet so that guests can help themselves throughout the party.
What about the leftovers?
Encourage your guests to take home leftovers. Let’s face it – there are always going to be some leftover cookies and other refreshments after a cookie exchange party. Send your guests home with a goodie bag full of treats so they can share the holiday cheer with their families.
Make a Keepsake
If all the guests bring their recipes on an index card, you can use some ribbon or pretty yarn to tie them all together into a crafted keepsake book of cookie recipes. This will be a sweet reminder of your holiday time together, and maybe something they will cherish for years to come!
A cookie exchange party is a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays with your friends! By following these simple tips, you can host a successful party that everyone will enjoy. So put on your Santa hat, fire up the oven, and get ready for a fun afternoon full of delicious cookies!
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