How to Host a Cookie Exchange Party

I simple adore the holidays. The lights, the food, and let’s not forget the presents. Once PSL is rolled out, I begin to get giddy. While most hate seeing holiday decorations in stores early, I secretly love it. It’s just a preview of what’s to come in the upcoming weeks and months, and I can’t help but get excited!

Once Thanksgiving is over, all I listen to is holiday music. Old tunes, 90’s classics (Hello *NSync holiday album) and even new albums like Gwen Stefani’s holiday CD are blasted 24/7 in my Mommy Van and in the house. The tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season has officially arrived.

One of the holiday traditions I look forward to most is our annual cookie exchange party. What is a cookie exchange party you ask? It’s pretty much one of the best experiences ever if you adore sweet things like myself. Cookies, hot cocoa, a spiked holiday beverage or two are a few of my favorite things, and when you add friends and family, it turns into a fun event that isn’t focused around gifts.

Here are some tips to plan a cookie exchange

We all know December is a crazy month full of holiday shindigs, so pick your date early! I’ve sent out both actual invites and digital invites depending on how organized I am on the particular year. You can find adorable invites on Etsy and Shutterfly or even make your own on Canva.

Decide on how many cookies you want each guest to bring. I always say to bring 2 dozen cookies. And it works out to be the perfect amount.

Purchase take away containers. The dollar store and Target have some precious, inexpensive holiday tins and containers. They are the perfect way to send your guests home with their cookies.

If you will have little ones in attendance, set up a cookie decorating station. Bake some sugar cookies and gather up frosting and sprinkles, and let the kiddos have a blast! If you have the space and weather is permitting, I suggest doing this outside. One year, I was sweeping up sprinkles for weeks, true story.

What’s a cookie party without some hot chocolate and coffee? I always head over to my local Starbucks and get a travel coffee to go. It’s inexpensive, it stays hot AND they give you all the fixings like cream and sugar. For hot chocolate, I put it in the crock pot. It stays nice and hot! Make sure to put out sprinkles and marshmallows!

I love a good holiday cocktail! In addition to coffee and hot chocolate, go online and find a yummy alcoholic drink to make. This year I’m going to opt for a cranberry sangria.

To display all the goodies, load up on platters or ask your guest to bring their cookies displayed on one. I can’t tell you how many holiday platters I have accumulated over the years, and I love being able to use them during my cookie party!

And if you don’t feel like baking, check out this guide for tons of great local bakers to support!

Hosting our annual cookie exchange is such a blast and I hope you consider hosting one as well. Have you ever been to a cookie exchange party?

Mary Olivio
Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.


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