Hosting a Christmas Cookie Exchange is an easy way to get to meet and know your neighbors!
You’ll also end up with some of the best cookies to share with family, friends and co-workers at Christmas!!
I hosted my very first Christmas Cookie Exchange with one of my friends way back in 1985 as a way to meet our neighbors and have either hosted or attended at least one each Christmas since. We have grown used to having an assortment of cookies at Christmas time, and there are so many ways in which to use them that I usually end up having to make many more batches before Christmas is over. Here’s one of my earlier parties:
I’ve had large and small gatherings and both are great, though in the smaller gatherings you will end up with more of each cookie. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years of having Christmas Cookie Exchanges!
Planning the Menu ~ Keep it as simple as you like:
Most cookie recipes make 3 dozen cookies, so I usually ask them to bring 5 dozen to exchange and any extras to share, which means they will double their recipe. I use the extra cookies as the refreshments for the evening since most of us are anxious to try all the different kids of cookies. This way all you have to provide is punch or beverages, small plates, and napkins, but you’re free to add more refreshments if you’d like.
Designing Invitations ~sample invitation:
An invitation to:
The Annual Old Fashion Christmas Cookie Exchange
Monday, Dec 19th, at 7pm
Hosted by, ______
Ladies, come help celebrate the Christmas season with your neighbors
and come away with some of the very best Christmas cookies to
share with your family and friends.
Please bring along 5 dozen homemade Christmas cookies to exchange,
any extra cookies (if able) to share,
and one empty container to collect your cookies in.
Please call (Phone #_) to R.S.V.P or with any questions.
- The Amount of Cookies
- That they are to be homemade (I’ve had some come with a bag of Oreo’s before and no one wants store boxed cookies that evening)
- They are to bring an empty container to collect the cookies in. (Plan on having aluminum foil and plastic wrap available for your guests.)
I usually hold the cookie exchange on a Monday evening so that working women have the weekend to make their cookies.
On the night of the event:
- I usually have everyone go around the room and introduce themselves or I would introduce them, if I knew everyone. Then I would have them share a special Christmas memory, tradition, must-have food item, favorite Christmas movie or TV show, song, story, etc. as an ice-breaker and a way for everyone to start to get to know one another better.
- You can also sing Christmas Carols depending how musical you are or
- Have someone share a little devotional
When it’s time to exchange or collect the cookies:
- Pass a basket around and have everyone draw numbers with a large crowd. Lowest numbers get to collect their cookies first. (If your group can all fit around the table together at one time, you can pass on this step.)
- Divide the number of ladies by the number of cookies brought to determine how many of each cookie they need to collect. For example: 5 dozen = 60 cookies divide that by 10 women and they would collect 6 of each different kind of cookie.
Ending the Evening:
- Provide guests with aluminum foil, plastic bags or wrap, so they can wrap up those wonderful cookies for their travels home.
- I usually like to give each women a little favor at the end of the evening as they are leaving. One idea is a candy cane with the Legend of the Candy Cane attached. These favors are optional, however.
If you’d like to give a little favor at the end of the evening, I’ve included a few here for you to click on and print.
I hope this will encourage you to take that first step in reaching out to your neighbors and turning them into friends! I’d love to hear how it all goes, if you do decide to host a Cookie Exchange!
“Til next time,