How to Organize a Christmas Cookie Exchange
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By organizing a Christmas cookie exchange, everyone who attends only has to bake one type of cookie. And yet, each cookie swapper will go home with dozens of different types of cookies. It's a great way to have a wide variety of assorted baked goods for holiday parties and entertaining while doing only a fraction of the work.
Decide how many people you want to invite. Generally, everyone will receive either a dozen or a half-dozen cookies from each person, so choose a number that is both manageable and yet will give you a good variety of cookies to take home.
Decide on a location that can comfortably host all of your guests. If your home is large enough, it is likely the most festive place to host the exchange. Otherwise, you may be able to use a room at your church or local community center.
Set a time and date, preferably a weekday evening at the beginning of the Christmas season, so that it doesn't interfere with your guests' busy holiday schedules. Send out invitations a few weeks before. Call the week before to remind people who have sent in an RSVP. Ask everyone to bring a dozen cookies equaling the total number of guests. For example, if there will be eight guests, everyone should bring eight dozen.
Ask attendees what type of cookie they will be bringing and try to avoid duplicate recipes. Variety is the key to a successful cookie exchange. If you want, ask guests to bring copies of the recipes for each of the attendees as well.
Play Christmas music and serve refreshments such as mulled cider, cocoa and coffee. Place some empty trays in a central location and have each guest place one dozen cookies on the trays. These will be served as refreshments during the party.
Spend time enjoying each others' company, relaxing and talking. Before each guest leaves, provide them with a large tin or other container and have them pack up a dozen of each kind of cookie.