One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking Christmas cookies with my kids.  However, baking an assortment of different kinds of cookies so I have an attractive cookie tray is very time consuming and sometimes stressful.  With an already busy calendar, I always look forward to attending an annual cookie exchange party with friends where I only bake one type of holiday cookie but leave with multiple kinds.

If you’re unfamiliar with this beloved tradition, cookie exchanges are holiday parties where each guest typically brings a large batch of one type of homemade cookie, candy, or other festive treat.  Depending on the number of attendees, each person bakes a dozen cookies multiplied by the number of confirmed guests to exchange.  For instance if you have a dozen people participating than each person brings 12 dozen cookies to share with each person.  This way, when you leave the party, you should leave with 12 different types of cookies to enjoy.

To host a cookie exchange, you’ll need to send out invitations explaining what everyone is to bring.  Some people even include rules on the types of cookies to bring.  I’ve attended parties where only homemade Christmas themed cookies were allowed.  The basic premise is that everyone should bring a special holiday treat which involved time and thoughtfulness in preparation.  The host should also stock up on containers, bags, and trays for each person to take home their beautiful assortment of cookies.  Another option would be to ask each guest to bring their own take-home container to offset the cost of hosting the party.

The party itself does not need to be extravagant, but serving finger foods and beverages are a nice added touch and will help to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

This year my daughters, with my help, are hosting a cookie exchange party in our home.  Both Mimi and Abbi will each get to invite a few friends for an afternoon of hot chocolate, party food, holiday music, and good Christmas cheer.  We are asking each girl to bring a half dozen of the same cookie multiplied by the number of confirmed guests.  I’m going to buy Christmas themed cookie trays at the Dollar Store and festive tissue wrap so each person leaves with a festive variety of cookies.

If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your children, consider hosting a cookie exchange party.  Who knows, perhaps it will become an annual family tradition.

Make sure you stop by next week when I showcase some great cookie ideas for holiday baking.

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  • Aviva Goldfarb

    I love the idea of the kids hosting a cookie exchange–what an adorable idea. Hope it’s a great party!

  • KY

    This article is just great for me as I’m unfamiliar with a cookie exchange party but will be doing one with a friend! One idea was to bring unbaked cookie dough and bake it at the party but I find refrigerated cookie dough very hard to scoop out, worse if they had been in the freezer. Any suggestions?

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  • http://savorysweetlife.com alice

    Ky: What I like to do is scoop the dough out first and then freeze them. From the freezer they can go straight to the oven. Baking times will need to be adjusted but it works really well!

    • KY

      Thanks, I can give that a try. Will definitely check back next week for your cookie ideas!

  • SeattleMommy

    this is great – i’ve always wanted to try hosting one of these!