One of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit is to bake a batch of delicious Christmas cookies. There’s just something about the fresh-baked smell of seasonal spices and sugar in the air that makes people begin to get excited about the holidays. If you are looking for a fun and unique holiday party idea, consider hosting a Christmas Cookie Exchange with your friends, co-workers or family members. It’s a great way to try new holiday recipes and start getting in the swing of the season!
What is a Christmas Cookie Exchange?
A Christmas Cookies Exchange is a holiday party that is designed to bring people together to share holiday cookies, recipes and conversation. The idea is that each person bring a tin of home-baked cookies and a recipe for those cookies to share. A buffet table is set up to display all of the cookies and cards with the recipe are placed next to them for people to share. There are lots of variations on this basic party idea, making it a fun way to get creative and have a good time sharing and exchanging cookie recipes.
How to Organize a Christmas Cookie Exchange
Start by choosing a date for your party and make sure to give guests at least four to six weeks advance notice. The holidays are usually busy and hectic, so a party that asks guests to bake and bring cookies should be well-planned in advance. Make sure to schedule about two hours for the party and state something in your invitation like, “Meet at my house from 2-4 pm for our Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange!”, so your guests will know you aren’t asking them to dedicate a whole day to the party.
Invite somewhere between 8-12 people to this event. More guests will mean more cookies at your exchange, but too many guests might mean that everyone won’t get to taste all the treats. Tell guests to make at least 1-2 dozen cookies, depending on how many guests you plan on having and how many of each cookie you want everyone to get to try. Encourage guests to bring extra just in case, but definitely state a minimum so everyone can get a taste.
Consider creating a Facebook page or other web-based interactive page where guests can post what type of cookies they are bringing. This will help to avoid duplicates. You don’t want a party where everyone brings the same type of sugar cookies – that wouldn’t be any fun! Also, make sure to tell guests how many copies of their recipes they should bring to ensure that everyone gets to take a copy home as well.
Party Favors, Decorations and Food
Consider adding a secret voting ballot where guests can submit votes for their favorite recipes. Give out first, second and third prize party favor gifts to the winners as a reward. If you make this an annual event, your guests will try even harder to make new delicious recipes the next year. Decorations should be easy – just put up all of your holiday decor and dress up your tables and cookie display spot to showcase the baked goods. With regard to food, make sure to provide plates, napkins and beverages to wash down all those cookies. Coffee, tea and punch are easy and appreciated options for most guests.
Another fun idea is to decorate special cookie tins, boxes or bags for your guests to use to take some cookies home for their families to enjoy. While everyone is enjoying the festivities, bundle up all of the recipes together and tie them up with festive ribbons so everyone will make sure to bring their recipe cards home. Or, ask guests to send you recipes ahead of time so you can put them together in a keepsake cookie recipe book for them to share and enjoy. There is no limit to the ideas that you can use with a Christmas Cookie Exchange party. Think of new and creative ways to get guests to interact, share and participate in your holiday party.
Invite Santa to Your Party
If you want your Christmas Cookie Exchange to be extra special, consider sending an invite for Santa to attend your party. Contact The Santa Connection, located in Dartmouth, for all of your Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island party needs. From Fairhaven to Westport or Warwick to Falmouth, The Santa Connection can provide a professional Santa Claus for just about every occasion year round. Call The Santa Connection today to reserve the date for your annual holiday party of Christmas Cookie Exchange.