Christmas cookies are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. (Mmmm…cookies. Sorry, I just made myself hungry.) Earlier this week, one of my close friends hosted her Third Annual Holiday Cookie Exchange Party. This annual event has become one of my favorite holiday traditions, and is one that I recommend for you to make your own!

Not only is throwing a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party simple, but it is a lovely way to celebrate the holidays with your friends. And as a bonus you’ll have lots of different cookies on hand for the holidays. Just bake one batch of your favorite Christmas cookie and you and your guests will go home with a vast array of delicious holiday treats. How wonderful does that sound? Here’s how to host this party:
1.    Plan ahead. Send out your invitations one month in advance. The month of December is extremely busy for everyone. The more notice you can give your friends the greater the turn out will be!
2.    The rules. Ask each of your guests to bring one dozen of their favorite Christmas cookie for the exchange and another dozen for the other guests to sample during the party.  You might want to provide guidelines to each guest so that you get a good assortment of cookies (e.g. have some guests bring rolled cookies, bar cookies, drop cookies, decorated cookies, etc.). Or ask your friends to make a recipe that has been handed down the generations. This is a great way to learn about your friends’ heritages and traditions.
3.    Recipe swap. Have your guests email you a copy of their cookie recipe prior to the party. Then print out each recipe and assemble them into a booklet for each of your guests to take home. It’s important for your guests to know the ingredients in each cookie incase some suffer from certain food allergies.
4.    Cookies make me thirsty. Offer your guests drinks during the cookie sampling. Coffee, eggnog, hot cider, milk and tea are perfect accompaniments to any cookie. And if your friends are like mine, they’ll appreciate a gingerbread martini or a little extra rum in their eggnog.
5.    Wrap it up. Provide take-home containers for your guests. These can be as simple as heavy duty freezer bags or cute Christmas tins (my friend purchased her tins during last year’s Christmas clearance sale).  Also, make sure to have foil, wax paper and plastic wrap on hand as your friends collect their cookies.


But most importantly, enjoy your friends and each other’s baked goods!